If there was ever a list of problems that consumed the majority of couples, being ‘too afraid to love’ would be very high on that list. Sadly many individuals/couples are not aware that this is their challenge and as you read on you will discover why.
I see couples in crisis every week so I’m going to have a very unique perspective on the world of relationships, so in todays post i’m going to share what I’m seeing with these couples in crisis so if you are struggling this may help you.
If you were aware that ‘not being loved’ was one of the biggest fears for all humans then this might start to give us some perspective on why being ‘too afraid to love’ is such a widespread problem.
So who wants to give love to someone that doesn’t love them? Well, it seems that many of us would not want to be in that position through fear of feelings such rejection, feeling foolish, or fear they wouldn’t get the love back. I do understand these fears, but where my mind goes is does anyone really understand the implication to their relationship and themselves.
I will expand on this with some examples of what i’m seeing.
If a person feels they are not being loved in the moment, or a person expects to not be loved in the future then it’s highly likely they will move into a position where their actions will reflect their own thoughts. So they will probably hold back their love to defend themselves from pain.
Many accept this as normal, but what they might not be aware of consciously is their partner is likely to be thinking and doing the same thing.
So now imagine this. It’s highly likely that a person will be holding back their love waiting for their partner to give love to them. Their model is I’m only safe to give love once I have received it and I can connect to it.
If two people do this then no one is giving love and the relationship going to be dying fast.
The other possibility is a person will give to their partner with the expectation of love in return. This will be a source of frustration for both people because if they don’t get back the love after giving their loving act they will feel rejected and this creates fear.
If a person starts to feel their partner is becoming too detached and loss is a possibility they might feel they have to give an act of love to see if they get love back. If the couple have lost the trust in each others ability to love each other over time, then if love is given it’s likely it will be received with scepticism.
So the person in fear of losing their relationship trading their love to get it back, might see their quest is hopeless and revert back to deeper withdrawal, or become frustrated or angry.
The first problem with holding back your love is your partner is going to feel you withdraw and will at some point mirror you.
So if two people are choosing to hold back love then of course the relationship will suffer and for many die.
What many people are not aware of is the bigger problem this causes.
You may have heard some people communicate that they hate who they have become in their relationship. This is a message about a persons identity.
You see if a person is a naturally loving person and they hold back their love through fear of being hurt they will not only feel the pain of feeling they have to do this in their relationship, the bigger pain is they have to become someone they are NOT!
They become someone who doesn’t give love and this is a significant source of pain because this is not who they are. The side effects are they usually feel exhausted as they empty themselves emotionally.
So if a person has a history where trust could be a challenge, or trust in their relationship has been a problem then the whole concept of unconditional love for many becomes a significant challenge/impossible.
IMPORTANT: Of course unconditional love is the only way to truly experience the true depth of any intimate relationship. I have spoken to many in sessions that feel it’s impossible to love anyone unconditionally. These individuals are helped to understand how…
Conditional love means that the individuals are holding back and so the couple give a fraction of themselves to each other and so get a fraction back, if they are lucky.
What’s also interesting is couples will happily give unconditional love to their children, but not to their partner. If this is the case I wonder why their partner is not worthy of that level of love?
The answer of course is individuals are happy to engage with a SAFE LOVE from children, family, friends, but an intimate partner has the ability to cause real pain so best hold back their love to avoid that pain.
I hope you’re seeing the cycle this creates. Holding back love creates the problems and so creates their pain, but the person sees that pain as proof they were right to hold back their love. The truth is they are actually part of the problem, but they don’t see it.
People feel that making their love conditional will keep them safe from being hurt in their relationship. The reality is holding back your love is a fairly guaranteed route to a failed relationship.
I know many will see this as true, but struggle because their partner has been awful to them.
When a relationship goes into crisis, it’s so important to understand why, so both people can understand their part in the crisis.
I can’t stress enough how critical unconditional love is at an identity level as well as in your intimate relationships.
In my sessions I help couples understand the true cost of not understanding this. Most people I meet are fearful of this, but when they understand it and they practice it their relationships have grown to far deeper level than they ever expected.
So if you have had enough and you know you deserve more give us a call to find out more.