Many people in this world are afraid to fall in love. Whether it is because they got hurt after a serious relationship and couldn’t figure out how to fall in love again, or because the idea of being in love makes them feel vulnerable, chances are that everyone has run away from love at some point.
But how to tell if you love someone if you are afraid of this feeling? We compiled a list of 5 signs you’re rejecting love to help you figure out how to deal with these feelings, shift the relationship dynamics, and eventually learn how to love someone without fear.
1. You Keep Withholding
At the beginning of a romantic relationship, everything seems easy and marvelous. But as things start to develop, you might start feeling like things are getting too serious, and this fear of proximity and intimacy can cause you to withhold.
As a result, you will stop performing the small gestures that your partner appreciates to help you keep a certain distance. You might do it unconsciously, but small things can make a huge difference.
Having an honest conversation with your partner about how you feel might just lift that weight out of your shoulders. Just pay attention to the changes in your attitude – your withholding can make the person your partner fell in love with disappear.
2. You Shut Down
A happy relationship requires a healthy level of communication, and that can’t happen if you keep shutting down. It might be the trauma from your previous experiences, or maybe you are simply not ready for a serious relationship.
Either way, if you keep acting cold as a mechanism to keep your partner apart, you should stop for a while and think about your motives. Is there a particular reason for your behavior, or are you simply afraid of the fact that things might be getting too serious, or is there something else?
Look for external reasons that might justify your lack of interest in your partner. Are these things that you can change? Or is it just your feelings of vulnerability getting the best of you?
3. You Keep Criticizing Your Partner
While some people shut down as a defense mechanism against their feelings and fears, others tend to become vocal in a negative way. Over criticizing your partner might be a way to sabotage the relationship.
Because you start picking at every little flaw your partner may have, your brain will start to perceive them as flawed people, thus creating a distorted picture of both your partner and the relationship. This can also be applied to conversations.
Because your brain is trying to find an excuse to leave the relationship, you might find yourself cherry-picking through everything your partner has to say.
As a result, you may end up forcing some distance between you and the person you are with. Don’t look at a relationship as if it were a math problem. Be more open and accepting of your partner’s love, and let things flow naturally instead of trying to put up a wall that can actually hurt the other person.
4. You Prioritize Form Over Substance
Saying you are in love and actually being in love is not the same thing. And if you claim to love someone, your actions should reflect just that.
Unfortunately, many people fall in love with the idea of being in a relationship, or with the picture said relationship paints of their lives. This leads to a fantasy bond that, over time, can become dangerous and toxic.
People tend to hide behind this façade relationships to keep themselves from getting hurt. How can things get serious if your feelings aren’t even real? However, being in a relationship just for being in a relationship can do more harm than good.
5. You keep starting fights
The whole point of being in a relationship is to be happy and to share your life with someone who adds value to it. Fights are part of any relationship, but constant fighting is not healthy nor normal.
And if you are the one who keeps picking fights for every little thing, then maybe this is a sign you might be trying to push your partner away. It can be a subconscious defense mechanism, but it can cost you your relationship if you don’t analyze it and do something about it.
Try to be more conscious of your choices and be more active regarding how you choose to behave towards your partner.
If you are starting fights out of fear for the future or fear of being in a long-term relationship, you can always give yourself a chance to rationalize your feelings and pick the other path: to be caring and loving.