Being in love is all about being vulnerable.
And you have to put yourself out there if you want to find a true connection with someone.
But putting yourself out there opens you up to being hurt.
Fearing rejection is a normal human emotion – especially when you’ve had your heart broken badly in the past.
And that fear of rejection can make you do self-destructive things – sometimes without even realizing you’re doing it.
Think some of your actions are holding you back from finding true love? Check out these 6 signs you’re missing out on love for fear of getting hurt.
1) You cut people off before feelings get involved
Having boundaries when dating is never a bad thing.
I remember when I was on the dating apps, I instantly knew when someone wasn’t for me – and I’d quickly unmatch or stop speaking to them.
But there’s a difference between cutting people off to protect your energy (and stave off a narcissist or toxic person!) – and cutting them off for fear of getting hurt.
If you cut people off because:
- You’re overthinking their replies
- You’re catching feelings and it scares you
- You’re cutting them off before they cut you off
- You’re worried they don’t like you like you like them (but you haven’t asked)
Then you could be missing out on something good for fear of getting hurt.
2) You avoid expressing your feelings
Not talking about your feelings is one of the most common signs that you’re holding back for fear of getting hurt.
When you like someone, they probably won’t know it – unless you tell them. But telling them means putting yourself out there and being vulnerable. It opens you up to rejection.
A fear of romantic rejection is a very normal thing to have, according to experts.
But letting it control your actions isn’t a good thing. And it can lead you to miss out on finding true love.
3) You hold back on being yourself on dates
On the first date I ever went on after a long-term relationship, I didn’t want the other person to think that I liked them.
My logic was that I didn’t want them to think I would be hurt if they rejected me after the date. When I think back to that now, it was pretty ridiculous.
It was also clear that I was so scared of getting hurt, I wasn’t even trying to make the date work.
Unsurprisingly, not being myself on dates wasn’t doing me any favors. It was the most obvious act of self-sabotage.
On later dates (when I had a different attitude towards dating) I was completely different. I was utterly myself – because what was the point in being anything otherwise?
I realized that if they didn’t like me for who I was, then it wasn’t right, and I could move on to the next date.
4) You don’t “go first”
Some people believe the man should make the first move. Others believe things should be equal.
But whatever you believe in, if you don’t express your feelings because you’re waiting for the other person to ask (or say something), this could be a bad sign.
If you like someone, you can tell them how you feel. Otherwise, they’ll never know.
Giving someone “subtle” signs doesn’t work with everyone. It can even lead some people to think you’re not interested at all.
Likewise, if you want to know how the other person is feeling, you can ask them.
If they don’t answer, you’ve got your answer. If it’s not the answer you want, you can move on and keep dating.
Asking someone where they are at should be a normal part of dating. And asking doesn’t mean you have to organize all the dates or “chase” after the other person.
It just means you’re thinking about it at a different time to them – or you’re both thinking about it but waiting for the moment to ask/say it.
And when you don’t “make the first move” in this context, you’re relinquishing your control over your dating life.
5) You withdraw when you get too close
Another sign you’re afraid of getting hurt (and it’s impacting you finding “the one”) is if you withdraw whenever you get too close to someone.
Clear signs you’re withdrawing are:
- You stop texting them as much
- You don’t stay the night after sleeping together
- You avoid the subject when feelings come up
- You don’t ask questions about where things are going
- You start seeing other people so you don’t get attached to them
Even when you want to do some of these things (like text them), you don’t. And there’s only one reason for it. It’s not because you don’t like them that much.
It’s because you do like them – and you’re just afraid that they don’t feel the same.
6) You compare everything to your past
Our past relationships can cause significant trauma within us.
They can cause severe trust issues and fear of abandonment. They can also badly impact our self-worth and inner confidence.
Healing from a breakup takes time and the process is different for everyone. Most people analyze what happened to decide what they will and won’t tolerate again.
And while it’s normal to be cautious when dating, it’s important to be aware of your triggers. Just because someone says something your ex used to say, that doesn’t mean they’re just like your ex.
If their behavior is the same then, by all means, cut them off if that’s not something you want to deal with again!
But saying a similar phrase or having similar interests doesn’t mean they’re going to hurt you like someone else hurt you.
And cutting them off because it’s triggered something in your past (sadly) isn’t going to lead you to love.
Dating is difficult in the modern world. Anyone who’s experienced it recently will tell you that.
And while many people have their opinions, there’s no right or wrong way to “find love”.
But there are, according to experts, things people do when they’re afraid of rejection. And the behaviors on this list are exactly that.
Things you’re doing when you’re afraid of getting hurt.
And if you want to find love and happiness, ditching these behaviors could be just what you need!