7 Signs Your Relationship Fears Are Messing Up Your Connection With Your Partner
Some people fall into relationships really easily. They naturally trust, connect, and can integrate someone into their life well. But for other people, it's a little more complicated — they have relationship fears. A lot of different things can cause you to be scared of a relationship, like maybe you've had a relationship go awry before or maybe you've never been in one at all . But if you don't deal with them, your concerns about a relationship can impact your relationship with your partner in a major way.
The first thing to remember is that if you do think that you're holding onto relationship fears or insecurities is that it's really, really common. And the best way to deal with it is to talk it through with your partner.
"The best thing to do in these cases is to be straight and open with them," relationship therapist Aimee Hartstein, LCSW, tells Bustle. "Explain that you have fears about relationships (being abandoned, being cheated on - whatever they may be) and that getting closer is starting to make you anxious. Ideally your partner will be happy to discuss these things with you and be reassuring, but there does become a time when these are issues that they can’t fix. In that case, your best bet is to reach out to a good therapist and look into these fears and how you can best manage them."
But how do you know if your fears are impacting your connection with your partner? Here are the signs that your relationship fears are getting in the way of your current relationship.
1. You're Self-Sabotaging
If you find yourself pushing someone away but you're not sure why, there might be bigger relationship anxieties at play. "Have you ever pushed someone away that you actually really like?," Nora Dekeyser, matchmaker and dating coach at Three Day Rule, tells Bustle. "Why did you do that? Because you're afraid of getting hurt like last time. It's a lot easier to be in a relationship at arm's length because then you can't get hurt! But also... then you can't connect with the person either, which in the end will hurt you."
Even if you haven't been in a relationship before, the fear of getting hurt can keep you from connecting or progressing in your relationship.
2. You Have A Wandering Eye
If you're scared of a relationship, you might mess with your connection with your partner by not giving them your full attention. "Flirting with other people you don't care about," Dekeyser says. "People crave connection, but if you are afraid of connection with the partner that you love because you have relationship fears, it's easier to find flippant connection with random strangers at a bar for a night." It's a dangerous game.
3. You Feel Like They're Going To Leave You
If you can't relax around your partner because you think that they're about to leave you, that can put a real strain on your connection. And it's especially difficult if you've been burned before. "Abandonment issues can factor large in relationships when something triggers that again," Susan Trombetti, matchmaker and CEO of Exclusive Matchmaking, tells Bustle. "It’s scary and hard to put to rest. See a therapist and know your triggers so you can react differently in this relationship."
4. You're Living In The Past
You can't connect with your partner if you are constantly thinking about your ex. Trombetti says if you can’t stop thinking about your past relationship, the pain won't leave your current relationship and you'll be afraid of going through another breakup again. It makes sense — you're not going to really let your new partner in if you're still dwelling on old relationships.
5. You're Fighting A Lot
Sometimes, the fears can come out aggressively and you can start to pick fights with your partner. "The biggest sign that your relationship fears are impacting your connection with your partner is if they are causing fighting and or/distress in the relationship," Hartstein says. "Are you constantly worried that your partner doesn’t like you or is pulling away? Are they constantly reassuring you that [they] care about you and that everything is fine?" If you find yourself nitpicking or creating arguments for no reason, you might be letting your fears get the better of you.
6. You're Behaving Irrationally
For many, the ultimate relationship fear is getting cheated on, but if you let that fear turn into paranoia then things can get really messy and tear away at your connection with your partner. Trombetti says your partner will start to feel like their privacy is being violated.
7. You're Punishing Your Partner For No Reason
If you're angry at your partner or they feel like you're treating them as though they've done something wrong — even when they haven't — that's often fear taking over.
Trombetti says punishing them when they haven't done anything wrong will ruin your relationship. It's important to take a deep breath and focus on this person and their behavior, rather than treating the relationship like your fears have come to life.
A lot of us feel nervous about relationships, even when we really care about someone. But if you let those fears affect your connection with your partner, it can wreck your relationship. Talk to them about your fears and insecurities, get them off your chest, and, if you need it, don't be afraid to talk to a professional.