Let’s talk about love and fear. I can promise you they are much more connected than you probably have the drive to realize. Why talk about it when it’s so uncomfortable, so easy to ignore? Why not sweep the messy, complicated and sometimes unrealistic idea of love under the rug and continue believing in the fairytale that might one day find us?
Because sweeping it under the rug is what’s destroying your chances of ever finding it, and that’s the truth.
Love is portrayed as such a beautiful beginning to a happier, more fulfilling and more exciting life. We are taught through books, movies, stories and even people that love is something that completes us and reveals feelings so euphoric that we question if what we are experiencing is even real.
I’m not going to sit here and say that’s a lie; I’ve had those feelings and they were among the best things I’ve ever felt. Love is powerful, there is no doubt about it. But so is fear, and when combined, happiness will never be the outcome.
What do I mean exactly? What does fear have to do with finding love? Quite a bit, actually.
Many of us seek out love because we are afraid we won’t find it, we are running out of time and options, it doesn’t exist and we need to prove ourselves wrong, we are worried our one person isn’t out there or we fear being alone. Among other fears, these cause us to throw ourselves in the way of love.
For instance, if someone is afraid their perfect person isn’t out there, or they fear not being able to find them, they may throw themselves into dating sites, clubs or social settings where they “up the odds” of finding the one. Not that there is anything wrong with actively making yourself available, but when you are making yourself available out of fear you are doing yourself a disservice. How?
Fear causes us to surround ourselves with things to fill the void. I struggle with fear of imperfection, so I tend to surround myself with things that push me, people that I consider to be more than I am, I engage in making my surroundings perfect, seek out opportunities to prove perfection. The problem is, when the lights go out at night, it doesn’t matter how clean my home is, how large of an event I planned or how well I competed to anyone else but me. I’m the only one who can convince me I’m perfect. I’m the only person whose praise matters. Yet I spend all this time trying to fill that void with stuff to prove I haven’t any flaws. I know the truth. When those competitions are over or those people who push me go home, I am left with my imperfections and nothing to distract me from them. I either have to accept them or I have to deal with the misery of feeling left behind by my expectations.
Love is the same way.
If you are seeking it out because you are afraid of loneliness, running out of time or never finding that fairytale, you will actively try to fill the void. It causes you to rush into things, to convince yourself of emotions that may not be true or to become available for the wrong person. You might get the great partner and the stable relationship, but sooner or later you will be looking for ways to fill the spaces where your strong emotions should be. No matter how pretty or perfect something looks on the outside, it’s the inside that will tear it apart or build it up. That’s why you have to be confident, strong and stable on the inside before you can ever be ready for a relationship worth your time and love. Don’t fall victim to the cycle.