3 Common Fears that Might Be Holding Back Your Dating Life
Do you consider yourself to be pretty fearless? Even if you aren’t held back by fears in most areas of your life, most of us have insecurities that creep in when we least expect them.
Our dating lives are no different. Sometimes, fears can hold us back from finding a meaningful, lasting relationship.
All of us can benefit from taking a deep look inside ourselves to consider whether our own fears are keeping us from healthy relationships.
Here are three common areas of fear that can sneak up on Catholic singles. Are any of these fears preventing you from finding the kind of relationship you crave? Here’s what you can do about those fears.
1. Fears about past hurts
If you’ve ever been hurt in a romantic relationship, you know it’s not easy to trust someone again.
Maybe you were wounded in the past. But even with past wounds, you may wonder if you’re truly ready to move on. Sometimes time doesn’t heal all wounds, after all.
Pain from a past betrayal or letdown can keep on lingering. Just like scare tissue from a physical wound, it doesn’t always go away easily.
Emotional wounds like this can pop up to interfere just when you think your love life is about to get going again.
Fears about your past can make you hesitant to open up to someone new. You may worry that you’ll only get hurt again. Those past wounds can cause you to hold back your trust.
There are a lot of things you can do if you’re struggling with fears of being hurt again.
The first is to recognize that you’re struggling with these fears. Denial won’t get you anywhere. Recognizing those fears can help you find the healing you need.
Pray and ask God for the grace to let go of those fears. Your past hurts might be so deep that you need to consider counseling.
It might seem unpleasant to address your fear over past pain at all. But that might be the only way you’re able to move forward to a new, healthy relationship.
2. Being afraid of your past mistakes
You might not initially realize if the culprit sabotaging your love life is actually you. But the reality is that we’re all human, and we’ve all made mistakes. Sometimes, our past mistakes haunt us and just won’t leave us alone.
Most of us have messed up in a relationship at some point or another. Even those who haven’t made big mistakes in romantic relationships might be all too aware of missteps we’ve made in our friendships before.
When it comes to a new dating relationship with someone, fear that our own faults will cause things to go up in smoke can be a pretty big problem. Constantly being afraid that we’re going to mess it all up can really get in the way of getting to know someone.
This is one area that can be particularly troublesome for a good Catholic who is trying to live out their faith.
The more aware we are of our sins and our frequent shortcomings, the more we might be afraid of those shortcomings causing problems.
The good news is that God has given us something to combat this type of thing very specifically: the sacrament of Confession.
Whether we’re struggling with charity and empathy, with patience or even chastity, we can return again and again to be forgiven.
And each time we make a worthy confession, God gives us grace to continue overcoming the very sins we’ve confessed.
So if you’re finding yourself hung up on fear that you’re very real faults will ruin a dating relationship, try your best to let go and allow God’s grace to do the work here.
3. The fear of losing yourself
In today’s society, the fear of commitment is real. But when it comes to Catholic singles, this fear of commitment can take a slightly different form.
Maybe you understand the beauty of marriage and lifelong commitment to a spouse. But do you have a lingering fear that, once you’re married, you’ll start losing yourself?
Will being married and having kids someday mean you have to stop pursuing what you love in life? The short answer to this is a resounding no.
The good news here is that there are so many ways in our day and age that we can arrange things in a healthy family life to still find satisfaction in personal pursuits.
What does this mean concretely? It really depends on the preferences of the husband and wife. But rest assured that there really are a lot of possibilities to make things work and keep a healthy and holy home environment.
If you’re struggling to figure out what a family life might look like with you continuing to do whatever you’re passionate about, try to talk to others in your field or situation.
Do some research into what other faithful Catholic families look like in their day to day lives.
Try to open yourself up to possibilities you haven’t considered. Catholic radio host Jennifer Fulwiler wrote a book all about how she discovered she could be a good mom while still pursuing her passions (One Beautiful Dream – it’s also hilarious, and I highly recommend it!).
The key is to trust in God and allow Him to work out the details. He already has it planned out much better than anything we could try to figure out for ourselves.
Adrienne Thorne is a Catholic wife, mother, screenwriter, and blogger, as well as author of the Catholic YA romance novel SYDNEY AND CALVIN HAVE A BABY. She blogs about TV and Movies from Catholic perspective at Thorne in the Flesh: A Faithful Catholic's Guide to Netflix, Hulu, and More.