A relationship is a journey and also a foundation that people build together. A journey that often takes people through their own personal field of emotional landmines.
Those things can be really scary to navigate, as there is no telling when one can so easily explode. And fear not--explode they will.
How do we navigate a field of emotional landmines? By owning up to it.
Here were some of those answers.
That they don't like me back, even if it is only a platonic relationship. I worry every day that my friends only hang out with me because they feel bad for me. If I don't get enough attention in a relationship then I start to panic and wonder if it's one-sided.
A Different Kind Of Me
That they'll meet someone better than me. It's happened far too often and I don't know if I could ever not have that thought in the back of my mind.
A sharp, sudden change in demeanor or attitude toward me, making me feel like I did something wrong.
I dated someone who is type-1 bipolar and for the first few months she was so fun, was enthusiastic, caring, good natured, selfless, etc...and suddenly she became withdrawn, wouldn't look at me, wouldn't smile or have anything to say. It destroyed me because I thought it was all my fault. Now I've learned not to own it personally, but it still hurts when someone's attitude changes toward you for no discernible reason.
No More Interest
That the tiny things that the other person does, the weird habits which you don't understand, which seem adorable or quirky initially, might start grating on you over time.
That you'll run out of things to say one day and you will not not want to know how their day went or what they're up to.
Going out on dates will just be a formality because it is a familiar and convenient ritual, and you have adjusted to it now even though you don't care about meeting.
One Day, Poof
I lost my partner 2 weeks ago. He was 36. Just went to sleep and never woke up. No idea why. The post mortem results won't be ready until after Christmas.
So I'm going to go with the fear of losing them unexpectedly.
Seeing Through The Fog
That they'll realise I'm not really that great once they really get to know me, or that they were bonked on the head and eventually will get their brains unscrambled and run for the hills.
I've got some unkind thoughts about myself thanks to abuse that I'm still working through, years later.
That I'll smother someone in affection and it'll turn them off from me. I've always felt emotions strongly, and sometimes I have to reign it back, but I worry that I'll fall for someone hard and they won't have the same reaction.
I worry that I've already met and lost the love of my life (which is something I didn't believe in before I met her). I worry that I'll never value any relationship enough as it will always feel like a consolation prize and that whoever I'm with will sense that and it will tear us apart. I crave intimacy like any human being but fear it will cause too much pain for everyone involved.
At first I feared growing apart. But then I learned to adapt and adjust to the changes without losing the connection with my loved one.
People tend to grow apart in relationships. Long term relationships are always under assault by people who want to take your partner away from you or vice versa.
They wait on the sidelines and will seize on any sign of weakness in your relationship. "Ignoring your wife? Well, golly gee whiz, do I have a solution for her!"
The best advice to avoid losing your partner to someone else's affection is to avoid taking them for granted.
If you want a long term relationship? Let them know you love them every day and show it in how you act toward them.
Every. Single. Day.
To Be Vulnerable
The biggest one of all, the idea of being so comfortable with someone that you could open up and show all of the skeletons in your closet, all of the fears and doubts.
And one day, maybe not now, maybe not later, maybe never, that information could be used to hurt you in a way that could never happen by chance.