Susie and Otto Collins from YourTango share how to get over the fear of a new relationship.
Telling the truth is harder than it looks.
We claim we want honesty and openness in our relationship or marriage, but sometimes, the idea of getting a completely truthful answer to the questions that come up is terrifying. "How does he truly feel about me?" "What's she really think?" "Do we actually want the same thing?"
We really want an honest answer to wonderings like these, but at the same time, we don't. Lurking is the fear that to know the complete truth would mark a point of no return. To be honest seems to threaten the assumed reality upon which everything is based.
What you (think you) know about your partner, yourself, your sense of your own worth, and even the very core of your relationship all rests upon the guesses and assumptions you've made. To test those guesses and assumptions could bring your whole relationship crashing down . . . or so it seems.
The questions that keep coming up for you may tap into fears that your partner doesn't find you as attractive/sexy/intelligent/interesting or another adjective that you'd like to be to him or her. You may worry that your partner isn't as serious as you are about your relationship and where you're headed.
This is what's so terrifying about honesty. You're liable to discover that all is not what you think it is in your relationship. That can cause you to ignore, avoid, and attempt to drown out the questions that arise.
To continue to live in the dark with your eyes tightly shut and to essentially live a lie is a miserable and relationship-killing choice to make. Isn't it time to shore up your courage and start communicating more openly with your partner?
Use this four-step process to overcome fear and begin to love in a more authentic and honest way:
1. Face your fears.
Stop pretending and start acknowledging the specifics of what you're worried and anxious about. Take the time to really face your fears, but note: there is a HUGE difference between recognizing that you're afraid your partner doesn't want to get married, have kids, or only date you (or that your partner DOES want these things) AND intensifying these fears.
Don't paralyze yourself by piling more fear and angst on top of what's already there. Do say something to yourself like, "I can see that I believe ____ about my partner (or relationship)," and then focus on how you feel and what will help you soothe yourself and return to clarity. Resist the urge to wallow in your worries or to dwell on worst-case scenarios that aren't rooted in the facts.
2. Fact check.
Observable and verifiable facts are the best answer for how to overcome fear and anxiety. Use deep breathing, meditation, relaxing music, physical movement, or whatever will help you calm down and see things clearly.
The more you can question your fears (instead of questioning your self-worth or your capacity to be happy and loved), the quicker you'll be able to free yourself from those limiting beliefs that keep you in the dark.
3. Turn on the light.
When you base your beliefs on facts, you can more easily invite more honesty into your relationship. No longer will your partner feel like he or she can't be open and completely honest, and no longer will either of you avoid certain topics (like commitment, for example) due to worries that a truthful response will set one of you off.
To "turn on the light" to honesty in your relationship isn't always comfortable. You might not like what you hear, but when you are responding to facts instead of reacting to anxiety-based (and usually false) beliefs, it's easier to create an environment in which telling the truth is safe, welcome, and expected for both of you.
When you develop a capacity to really listen and to respond from facts, the result is a strong and abiding trust and connection.
4. Choose a next step.
Making conscious choices in each moment of your relationship is the culmination of this (ongoing) process. Your next step may be to ask your partner the question that's been relentlessly running through your mind but to do so in a way that encourages him or her to answer you honestly.
No matter what the response, you can also choose to take that information and use it to learn and grow closer to one another. Or, your next step could be to let the question go.
If you have checked the facts of your present situation and realize that your worries and fears derive from the past or from insecurity, the wisest decision to make might be to provide yourself with the self-love needed to release that question and return to being here and now with the one you love.
Susie and Otto Collins are Certified Transformative Coaches who help awaken love and possibilities in your life.
Check out more great stories from YourTango:
- 30 Inspiring Life Quotes That Encourage You To Face Your Fears
- 13 Lies People Who Are Terrified Of Love Tell Themselves (And You!)
- How To Overcome Your Fear Of Rejection (So You Can Find A Healthy Relationship At Last)