“I have a lot of fears that vary in intensity and rationalness. I’m scared of heights and big furry spiders and things that jump out at me in the dark. I’m also scared of trying new things in front of people. Lately, though, I’ve been realizing that I’m very afraid of not being in control and of making decisions in relationships. I usually want to have everything figured out before I move forward in almost anything, and I didn’t realize until recently that I tend to operate this way when it comes to dating. That philosophy sucks in dating, and life in general for that matter. Because unless you just want to live vicariously through Netflix and never actually love anyone yourself, you have to take some risks. But that’s really hard for me. I have a very high sensitivity to relational discomfort. And I’m really really scared that this fear of pain will keep me from a relationship that could be beautiful.
Obviously, fear like that doesn’t usually come out of nowhere. Divorce is kind of a family tradition where I come from. I feel lame giving that as a reason, because nowadays everybody and their dog is divorced, so it seems like it shouldn’t affect me that much. But I think it has. When I was fourteen, after my parents split, I wanted to get away from home. So I went to a conservative boarding academy that had a very strict philosophy on relationships and no-dating policy. I bought into it all pretty hardcore. I thought it would keep me safe. I promised myself I was going to do everything I could to make sure I didn’t go through what my mom did.
Now I’m at a point though where I’m realizing that I’ve probably been a little too careful. There’s a guy I’m talking with right now who is amazing- and has a jawline for days. I had a crush on him for the longest time. Man, I always felt like an idiot around him. But then, once he told me he liked me, I started panicking and shutting down. It’s been hard for us to move forward, partly because I didn’t realize how afraid I am. There are other factors involved, nothing is ever black and white I’m learning, so who knows what will happen? But I’m honestly really grateful to be in a place where I’m forced to be present for the scariness, to stay in a space where I don’t have it all figured out, and to see that it’s not the end of the world.”