It’s halfway through October already, and that means we are halfway through Fear Season. In case you didn’t know, we are all about conquering our fears this October, whatever they may be.
Being scared of getting into a serious relationship can be pretty rough, especially when it seems like everyone in the world is in one. It’s like that classic angel and devil on the shoulder scenario – a little bit of you is super into a new relationship until something inside you slams the door shut, and often you don’t even know why. So whether it’s being exclusive or it’s the idea of saying ‘I Love You’ that send shivers down your spine and makes you feel like you’ve been on the waltzers at the fair for over an hour, we got you.
1) If you aren’t ready for one, that’s ok
There has never been a rule book that says you have to be ready for a relationship on a certain day. There’s a pretty big difference between not being ready for a relationship and letting your relationship fears stop you from being happy. We know that knowing the difference is half the battle, so we have come up with a couple of things to think about below.
2) Don’t feel like you HAVE to do or be ANYTHING
So what if everyone else is in a relationship? We all live our lives at different paces, and some people are ready to jump into relationships much earlier than others. Don’t compare your chapter 10 to someone else’s chapter 20 – you might not get to that chapter for years yet, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.
3) Know you are NOT broken
It can be easy to feel like you are a broken toy when everyone else seems to find it so easy to slide into relationships and you are still trying not to hyperventilate at the idea of a fourth date. The most important thing to remember is that you are absolutely not broken, and are 100% right. Sometimes, you don’t want a relationship, sometimes you feel too much pressure, sometimes, you simply aren’t interested. It is all perfectly OK.
4) Think you might want something? Try dipping your toe in the water
Think it might be fear of the unknown that’s got you running scared at the mere mention of a date? Just try it out! There is no one rule that says every single person you go on a date with is going to work out or that you even have to see them again. We aren’t saying go running around town with Tinder, ghosting everyone after one Five Guys, but meeting people is a great first step to figuring out what you want, which is the only way you’ll ever be able to build something that lasts.
5) Be honest with the person you are with
Being on the same page is so important for a lot of things, but especially this one. At the end of the day, if something is starting with someone you like, hurting them should NEVER be on your agenda. Honesty is always the best policy here, and you owe it to them and to yourself to sit down and have a proper conversation with them about your fears and concerns. Get on the same page, and give them the chance to move on and find someone who wants the same thing as you. It doesn’t mean you are destined to be alone, it just means you guys want different things right now, and it will save you both a lot of pain in the long run.
6) Check yourself…
So you’ve hit fifth date panic mode, and when you aren’t excessively sweating, you are planning a fake exit from the country? Well, this might be the sense of looming relationship status that’s driving you right now. Ask yourself
- Is there a genuine reason why you are reacting like this?
- When you calm down, in your day to day, do you always feel like this?
If not, maybe take a step back, breathe and try to think about the situation rationally before pressing send on the break up message. Try these exercises for calming yourself down and de-stressing to get you in the right headspace before you have a big chat.
7) … But trust your gut
A big thing that most commitment-phobes will do when they are out in the dating game is, because they are second guessing every thought in their heads, stick to a relationship that was never right in the first place. Ask yourself:
- Do you feel attracted to them?
- Do you miss them when they aren’t around?
- Do you want to tell all the random shit that happens to you during the day?
- Is it easy to be around them and do you want to drop their name in conversations that have nothing to do with them?
If the answer no to all of these, maybe it isn’t the commitment-phobia talking, and just your brain actually doing you a solid and getting you to move on.
Having relationship trouble? Reach out to the Ditch the Label Community here and we will listen to you.