Fear is toxic.
Do you know what the most powerfully toxic emotion is in a relationship?
Yep, you guessed it: fear. Fear is a threat to healthy relationships.
In order to have a healthy relationship, you have to overcome fear of love.
The problem with trying to get rid of fear once it’s taken root is that fear infects your behavior in a relationship like black mold in a wet basement. Once it’s already in you, it’s awfully hard to get rid of.
And feeling afraid leads to some of the most unattractive relationship behavior. Neediness, clinginess, and desperation are all fruits of fear.
If you’ve ever had someone cling to you like Saran wrap on a hot casserole, you know how unattractive fear is. But the seeds of fear were sown the moment that fear of loss was allowed to take hold and grow.
Here are eight ways to overcome fear and prevent it from taking over your love life.
1. Nip problems in the bud.
Author and life coach Tony Robbins likes to say, “Kill the monster while it’s little.” When it comes to fear, I wholeheartedly agree.
When you take the time to talk to your partner gently about the things that bother you, it’s easier to iron them out right away instead of letting them grow into huge issues later on.
2. Fill your own tank first.
You can’t operate well in a relationship if you’re neglecting your own needs. Your partner cannot be your only source of happiness.
If you’re looking to your significant other to be your source of happiness or ego fulfillment, when your partner is busy, distracted, or dealing with issues of their own, where does that leave you?
It leaves you lost. And that’s precisely what causes unhealthy relationships – neglecting your own needs.
3. Live in the moment.
I realize that living in the moment is easier said than done, but the benefits are worth it. Stop worrying about where your relationship is going and analyzing things that happened in the past.
You can’t change the past or control the future, so you might as well enjoy the present.
4. Avoid overthinking.
Little worries grow into big worries when left unchecked.
Our negative story clouds our judgment entirely. That’s why when we make an effort to enjoy the other person and not worry so much, we usually have a happier, more fulfilling relationship.
5. Let the relationship breathe.
You must allow you and your partner time to follow your bliss individually. If you both give up all of your passions in favor of the other person, you’re going to run into serious problems.
If you’re living for another person and the sun rises and sets with them, it puts a lot of pressure on your partner. They’re only human.
Over time, that all-consuming infatuation at the beginning of a relationship naturally wanes. If you’ve given up everything you care about besides the other person, boredom and contempt are going to grow.
6. Allow the other person the freedom to be who they really are.
Stop trying to change other people. Resolve to change your own mind. Accept your partner or exit the situation.
When you allow your significant other to just be who they are and accept them, you are left with the choice to joyfully allow a relationship with them or leave.
Trying to make your partner give up something they enjoy or reconfigure their life into what you want it to be is cruel and completely unfulfilling in the long run.
7. Stop forcing square pegs into round holes.
If you’re trying to have a relationship with someone who is inherently wrong for you, welcome to a life of fear and doubt.
If you know it’s wrong, it’s wrong. Being afraid to end the relationship is silly at that point. Give yourself the gift of change. It might be hard, but in the long run, acceptance will be better for both of you.
So often, we lead busy lives and sprint from one activity to another. This leaves us little time to enjoy our lives and nurture our relationship with someone else.
Relationships wither and die from neglect, so take this important piece of relationship advice: If you’ve been busy a lot, just relax.
A fear of love can destroy your relationship. But when you take yourself and your partner into account and give your relationship the care it needs, you’ll no longer be afraid.