Why people fear love

What is it that compels people to fear love and sabotage its success? Like love itself, it is a complicated issue.

The fear may not be obvious, like the boy who gets sweaty palms before asking a girl to dance. It may not even seem like fear at all. Sometimes, people who fear love get caught up in a cat and mouse chase after each other; neither person really grabs onto the other. Adrenaline and anxiety prevail; the intensity seems real enough. The participants are so caught up in the headiness of the game that whatever fear precipitated it has long been suppressed. Fear? What fear? It’s more like, love on caffeine. Because the excitement is so addicting, they may not even feel like they are running from anything, let alone fear of committing to love. The obsession may stand in as the real thing. Needless to say, a trip to the couples’ counselor may just yield two people getting off on trumping each other’s melodrama.

Other forms of denial may include not wanting to appear cold-hearted, like the person is some kind of sociopath. Maybe it is a sense of bravado that a person may sport to appear strong. If you admit being afraid of love, isn’t it possible you could be seen as an iceberg or a weakling? Better not to admit you have the fear, even to yourself. Except it isn’t better to stay in denial; secrets have a way of coming into the light. No better way to blind the shadows of your soul than to fall madly in love, because most times it will take you by surprise. It is deep enough to find the cracks in whatever mask that blinds the fear.

Fear of love can be because of the obvious. A person abused as a child equates even the idea of love with pain, hence he fears it. Or it can be because one just doesn’t know how to act when love hits him. Sometimes it is easier for a person to feel that everything in life is within his power. Nothing shatters this illusion more than a good love affair. When it comes to being loved, forget about control. There is no way you can make a person love you or love you exactly the way you want. If a person wants everything to be neat and tidy in his life, including how others treat him, then being loved is a pretty scary thing.

On a related note, the feeling of love itself may be scary. Because it is a many faceted thing, sometimes hot, sometimes warm, sometimes cold, it may be hard to get a grasp on it. A person who likes to pride herself on having her life planned out really won’t get that bargain when it comes to love. It is a game changer, and many times people feel more comfortable when they can control change. This won’t be happening when dealing with love.

Whether it is because of a person’s past, unrealistic expectations, or need for control, the fear of love is quite real for many people. Perhaps it is not really so much even fear of being cherished, but the fear that it can be yanked away at a minute’s notice. The problem is that when it comes to love affairs or even friendship, affection can wane. A possible solution to this fear could be for a person to discover a way keep love alive in his or her own heart. This choice will help those who fear being loved because of the lack of control: they can control love by always having it in their hearts to give. If those who fear being loved choose to seek love in a genuine form by giving it away, then maybe the love inside of them will finally overcome the fear that plagues them.

One Response to “Why people fear love”

  1. Kathy T says:

    I especially like the last 2 paragraphs. Yes affection can wane. Love is blind, and it is not pleasant to think that it could be yanked away. The last sentence gives the essay an optimistic and hopeful tone for the reader in that if you give love away then it will overcome our internal fear. And sometimes I think that idea works in the real life. Overall it is a good and interesting read on complex topic of love, fear, and abuse.