[Guest Post by Krista Back] – What makes one afraid to date?
New relationships are wonderful; they are full of smiles, giggles, flirting, stomach flutters, and interesting conversations. However, even in the midst of embracing the excitement and newness of a dating relationship, in the back of my mind I also find myself apprehensive and worried.
“What if this will one will turn out like every other relationships?”
“What if he hurts me like the others?”
“There is no way this will work.”
I always end up dealing with this internal struggle between all the good and fun emotions of a new relationship, and the fear I might have my heart broken again.
Or he might end up being a jerk.
I mean, let’s be rational and honest here, my past relationships haven’t even been remotely close to all roses–no really I have never gotten flowers!
I have dated a lot of different types of men, funny, intelligent, apathetic, manipulative, self-destructive, angry at God (you get the idea), and each time I find myself caught between willing myself to be hopeful that this time he might just be “the one.”
And at the same time being scared that I will get hurt once more.
One time, while I was in the full-fledged feelings of a new relationship, I called my dad in tears–something that rarely occurs in my life, but when it does, it is usually while on the phone with my dad–I explained to him about the fear I had, all of my “what if’s,” and the dread I felt deep down that I was willingly walking into having my heart smashed once more. Ever the wise man, my dad listened carefully, empathetical, and when my word vomit had finally run its course, he said,
“You have nothing to gain by walking away, and you have nothing to lose by staying and seeing what happens.”
Then he was silent. My mind reeled, was he even listening to me?!
“I have nothing to lose by staying and seeing what happens?!”
Then why was I so afraid to date?
I tasted the words as they came out, and then I thought, I certainly did have something to lose! My heart was likely going to be broken.
When I finally was able to articulate my thoughts, he explained to me that having my heart broken definitely hurts, it is never fun, and it is immensely painful. However, it has also never killed me. I will survive and come out stronger regardless of how it turns out in the end.
And, he is right.
In every relationship I have ever had, I have always learned things that later I would never give back.
So then, ultimately, walking away from dating or being afraid to date purely out of fear adds nothing to my life, and in fact might mean that I am choosing to walk away from an amazing man that God may just have planned as my future husband.
Then my dad proceeded to explain to me that leaving a relationship out of fear of being hurt is a very poor decision, and that choosing to leave because of things such as true problems or red flags would be when leaving is a wise choice.
While the relationship that sparked the conversation with my dad ultimately ended due to a difference in our beliefs in God, it was that conversation that also caused me to realize that I had to make a choice:
Was I going to let fear make my decisions for me?
There were a few painful things associated with the relationship that sparked the revelation that I could not let fear choose for me, but I can confidently say that I am glad I did not bail on the relationship out of fear, but instead chose to let it go due to legitimate reasons later.
So now, no matter how afraid I am of getting hurt again, I don’t let fear choose, it makes a very poor guide.
Krista Back works for a church in the Metro Detroit area as Community Mobilizer, while also finishing a double masters program in Business Administration and a Masters of Science in Leadership. When she isn’t training or keeping an eye on her Great Dane puppy, she blogs at http://kristasheart.blogspot.com/, reads and pretty much survives off of coffee. Connect with Krista on Twitter at https://twitter.com/kpbback.