How to Overcome Fear of Relationships

Identify the source of your fears to work through commitment issues.Identify the source of your fears to work through commitment issues.

Healthy relationships are fueled by honesty, commitment and a desire to love; however, when fear takes over, the relationship can suffer or stall. Overcome your fear of relationships by acknowledging those fears, sharing your feelings and learning to trust yourself, as well as others.

Be Honest With Yourself

Honestly analyze how you would define a healthy partnership. Do you view relationships as suffocating, time-consuming or limiting? Are you likely to flee when others show affection or the desire to commit? Many times, partners who fear relationships feel afraid of being consumed, according to neurologist Srini Pillay in the Psychology Today article “Afraid to Love: 7 Fears And Ways To Overcome Them.” Identify your patterns and actions with past relationships to define the fears so you can overcome them.

Evaluate Fear of Rejection

A fear of disapproval from a potential partner often plays a part in your inability to commit, according to Pillay. Unconsciously, individuals often fear being rejected or ostracized when in a relationship, so they intentionally refrain from committing to another. If this is the case for you, confront your fear of disapproval by evaluating your priorities. For example, ask yourself if the thought of being rejected is more frightening than losing someone you love or missing out on a chance to be loved. When you evaluate the risks of what you could lose by denying yourself a relationship, the fear of committing will probably lessen.

Share Your Fears

In order to conquer your fear of relationships, it is necessary to share your fears with your partner or potential partner, according to family therapist Danielle Grossman in the Psych Central article “Don’t Let Fear Destroy Your Relationship.” Make yourself vulnerable and share own your fears by clearly communicating them to another person. Phrases such as “I’m afraid that my needs will not be met,” “I’m afraid of losing control of my finances” or “I’m afraid I will be judged” articulate your feelings without blaming the other person. When you vocalize these fears with a loved one, you allow yourself to dig into the fears and reach out for support.

Seek Professional Help

When fears inhibit your ability to maintain or launch a healthy relationship, enlist the help of a professional counselor or family therapist for strategies to confront your fears. Mind-and-body psychotherapy -- in which you mentally place yourself in the past and discuss experiences that have led to relationship fears -- can effectively help heal attachment wounds, according to clinical psychologist Nadine Winocur in the article “How to Overcome Relationship Abandonment Fears” on her website. Attachment wounds, or an inability to develop intimacy or deep relationships, may stem from childhood or adolescent experiences. Therapy sessions can focus on uncovering the reason for your fears, any negative beliefs you possess about yourself or relationships in general, and strategies for breaking unhealthy patterns.

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About the Author

Shannon Philpott has been a writer since 1999. She has experience as a newspaper reporter, magazine writer and online copywriter. Philpott has published articles in St. Louis metro newspapers, "Woman's World" magazine, "CollegeBound Teen" magazine and on e-commerce websites, and also teaches college journalism and English. She holds a Master of Arts in English from Southern Illinois University.

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