Leaping into the world of dating
Whether your chosen method is internet dating or being set up by friends, forming new relationships can seem like a scary task. It should be an exciting and positive time, but many people’s fear of rejection or commitment stops them from exploring new relationships. Here’s how to take those few steps toward being free of these feelings:
Committing to someone means that have to include someone else in your life, and be responsible for their emotions as well as your own. Many people find this overwhelming and protect themselves by simply having short, non-committal relationships, or by having no relationships at all. Remember that you may fear being left alone after putting your trust in someone, but without taking that leap of faith you’ll end up alone anyway. As Tennyson said, ‘Tis better to have loved and lost, than never to have loved at all…’
The key to fighting a fear of rejection is to embrace the fact that if you are rejected (and it’s likely you will be at some point), your feelings of hurt will fade over time. Focus on the feeling of moving on towards something new after rejection, and not the feelings of hurt and sadness of being rejected.
Don’t set yourself up for a fall either, but aiming for unobtainable people. Instead, go to an evening class to meet people with the same interests as you, or simply update your internet dating profile to reach out to more singles online.
Fear of intimacy usually stems from an underlying fear of getting close to someone only to be rejected. To avoid this, people simply put up barriers to stop anyone getting close. If you have a fear of intimacy, it’s not just going to go away when you meet someone you really care about. However, by discussing your feelings with your partner you should be able to overcome it in time, together. Internet dating is a great way to overcome this, as it helps you get to know someone, and feel more comfortable with them, before you even meet.
Unfortunately, none of us can see the future, and when we enter a relationship we do so not knowing how it’s going to turn out. Worrying that you will be abandoned at some point is a completely pointless (but understandable) emotion. All you can do is be clear about your expectations of the relationship from the start, and tackle issues as they appear, head on.
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