It would be nice if all of us treated every relationship as though it were a clean slate. But the reality is that most people—whether inadvertently or not—tend to bring issues and baggage to the table when they start seeing someone seriously.
Unless you’re falling in love and beginning a relationship with someone for the very first time, chances are you’ve been through pain and heartbreak at least once in your life. And you likely don’t want to repeat the experience; as humans, we all instinctively want to protect ourselves from pain. We learn how to be afraid of things that can hurt us, even if those fears aren’t rooted in anything rational.
Truly, that self-preservatory instinct can keep us from harm and from repeating mistakes. However, it can also be an obstacle to living life to the fullest and giving relationships that chance to flourish.
Whether your fear is rooted in a previous traumatic experience or some other reason entirely, the good news is that there are plenty of ways to overcome it. Couple coaching and grief counseling, for example, can help you identify the reasons that are fueling your anxieties about being in a relationship. Free yourself from the fears that are keeping you from having a productive and fulfilling partnership with someone else with the strategies below:
Attending Couples’ Coaching
A lot of couples may shy away from the idea of revealing sensitive details about their relationship to a complete stranger. It’s difficult enough to be vulnerable about personal subjects such as sex or money with your own partner or even to your friends and family, much less to a third-party observer. However, it is precisely this distance that allows a therapist to be an objective sounding board with whom you can have an honest and open conversation about your relationship. You can count on a professional to listen to your worries without any judgment.
Couples’ counseling can be right for you and your partner if you experience any number of issues in your relationship, from unresolved conflicts to feelings of disconnection. It can also be a good idea to seek professional couples’ therapy if you feel as though you are unable to communicate with your partner in an effective and meaningful way. This also applies if you are about to tackle a major life event such as a big move, a new job, or some other difficult decision. Couples’ coaching is also recommended if there has been a betrayal of trust in the relationship and you’d like to work through the fallout.
In couples’ coaching, you and your partner will be able to clarify the way you feel about each other and your relationship. A professional coach can also help you and your partner resolve any major roadblocks in your relationship, as well as untangle any gridlocks that may be causing you and your partner to be at odds with each other. Finally, couples’ coaching can also be good for you both as individuals as it can promote personal growth and better self-awareness.
Seeking Out a Professional Grief Counselor
The fear of being hurt can also come from having experienced loss and grief in the past. Those who have been through the death of someone close to them often find themselves having difficulties when faced with moving on and living life after such a tragic event. The same goes for people who may have just been through a breakup of a relationship that was significantly important to them. In these cases, going to a professional grief counselor can help assuage many of the anxieties that a person may feel when beginning to put themselves out there and be open for love again.
In particular, receiving grief counseling from a qualified mental health professional can help someone cope when grieving is preventing them from engaging in normal day-to-day activities. It’s an effective way of identifying the areas where coping is particularly challenging. Additionally, grief counseling can allow someone in mourning to re-integrate themselves into a productive daily routine by developing the right strategies and behaviors. Speaking to a grief counselor can also help the grieving person accept the loss and work through the process of mourning in a safe environment, all while recognizing that the feelings they are experiencing are valid and natural.
At the end of the day, people are going to fear being hurt for all sorts of reasons. Some of those reasons may not even be rational. However, having the strength to recognize that fear and the courage to move past it can be immensely helpful. Simply bringing more awareness to the situations that trigger these anxieties and knowing when to ask for help can go a long way.
If you need counseling or guidance on how to let go of your fear to be able to love to your fullest, contact Mary Jo today.