Are You Afraid Of Relationships? 5 Questions To Ask Yourself

Co-Founder of Inner Bonding By Margaret Paul, Ph.D.
Co-Founder of Inner Bonding
Margaret Paul, Ph.D., is a best-selling author, relationship expert, and Inner Bonding® facilitator.

Do you believe you are ready for a relationship, but just haven't found the right person? Or do you often end up with someone who is trying to avoid a relationship?

Well, maybe the problem is that YOU are actually afraid of relationships!

Since we attract people who are similar to us in their levels of self-abandonment or self-love, if you keep attracting unavailable partners, it's likely that you are emotionally unavailable and afraid of relationships.

Here are some questions you might want to ask yourself to find out:

1. Do you like the chase more than being in a relationship?

Do you often find yourself attracted to someone who is playing hard to get, believing you have found "the one?" You pursue and daydream and fantasize about them, but as soon as they start to show real interest in you, you find yourself losing interest in them?

2. Do you give too much at the beginning and wind up feeling trapped?

Are you overly accommodating at the start of a romance, but then find yourself feeling trapped, used and taken advantage of? Do you give up your power and just go along with what the other person wants in order to avoid a conflict?

3. Do you fall hard at the beginning of what seems like a promising relationship, but then quickly get bored?

Do you start off by being infatuated with someone, but once you are exclusive, you become judgmental and critical toward your partner? Does it seem like they can't do anything right?

4. Do you have a big fear of losing your freedom?

When you think about being in a committed relationship, do you feel anxious about losing yourself? Do you have a fear of engulfment — of being smothered or controlled? Do you stop putting yourself first by believing you have to give yourself up completely to be loved wholly by another?

5. Do you feel anxious about getting hurt?

When you think about getting into a committed relationship, do you feel anxious or fearful about being rejected, betrayed, or losing a committed partner to death? Does the fear of the loss of your partner feel too scary to you?

The fear of rejection and the fear of engulfment often go hand in hand. Underneath the fear of engulfment might be a fear that if you don't give yourself up, you will be rejected.

Many people have these fears of rejection and engulfment, because most of us experienced painful rejection as we were growing up, and we learned to give ourselves up to avoid the rejection. These fears follow us into our adult relationships — unless we do our inner healing work.

The solution? You must heal your fear of being in a relationship.

Healing means that you do the inner work necessary in order to develop a strong loving adult self, who is capable of lovingly managing the heartbreak, loneliness and helplessness of rejection.

When you know how to not fall apart and not feel abandoned when you are rejected — because you've learned how to love yourself rather than abandon yourself — then gradually you will lose your fear of rejection. When this happens, you also lose your fear of engulfment, because you will no longer give up your power to avoid rejection.

You will find that when you heal your fear of being in a committed relationship, you will start to attract available potential partners!

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