Do you have an unusual fear of losing loved ones? This can make it hard to develop a secure relationship. Check out these readers' questions to our dating coach for some advice.
Fear of Losing Loved Ones and Relationship Issues
Hey, I've been with my boyfriend for over a year now. We never use to have problems but now we get these awkward moments between us and a lot of nights end up with us crying. We don't argue or anything, just stuff bothers us then he fears of losing me and I fear the same. I trust him with my heart, but my mind makes me not trust him. I've never been the jealous type and I've always had walls built, but with him it's all different. I feel vulnerable to him and I feel as if nothing can last forever and be this good. He's the greatest thing to ever happen to me and he says the same about me. We've both said we wanted to spend the rest of our lives together and he said that he would never let me go that his whole life goal is to be with me and make me happy. But everything just seems too good to be true. We've discussed future plans and moving in, and a little about a wedding but mainly just joking around that area. I just don't know why I keep pushing him away when I know he'll never do me wrong. Is there anything that can make it all stop and all the fears of something bad happening stop? I hope you have some advice for me because I can't find an answer.-- Contributed by: Christine
I noticed that as you were describing how much you and your boyfriend care for each other, you never said anything about loving each other. I found it odd that two people who talk about spending the rest of their lives together don't say anything about being in love. Therefore, I'm guessing that the doubt you are expressing in your question is a fear that love does not last forever.
Life comes with no guarantees and that is what makes being in love with another person such a big risk. The alternative is living a life without having the experience of loving another person, which isn't any better. Part of the experience of being in love is living with feelings of being vulnerable. Vulnerability is not being able to control the other person or the outcome of a situation. When you give in to being vulnerable, you also give in to opening your heart to the most wonderful experience in the whole world: love.
Stop focusing on the future and the fear of what might happen; the bad things that could end your relationship, or that if the relationship ends it will hurt so desperately. Instead, direct your attention to living in the present. Right now, the two of you love each other deeply and passionately. Everyday that you give in to that experience your hearts expand. With every expansion, you experience a deeper and richer life. Instead of talking about your fears and crying over what might happen, try talking about how wonderful being in love is and ways that the two of you can continue to fall deeper in love.
By focusing your attention on creating something together, you also reassure yourselves of the actions you each are willing to take in order to be together. This is empowering because you're talking about how you will grow together, rather than how you might breakup.
New Relationship Fears
I've known this young man for a very long time. He is 20 years younger then I. We finally got the chance to get together and he was magnificent to me. We had a beautiful weekend together and we have been in contact with each other every since, reminding me that he really misses me a lot. He always tells me that he loves me. I would like to continue with him, but for some reason that age difference keeps nudging at me. I am afraid to say anything to him on the matter for fear that I may sound insecure and I don't want to give that impression, because I know that my competition is out there. I'm hoping he cares like he says and that this is just not some passing thing. I am delighted to have him in my life. How do I get passed it and accept what he tells me without doubting what could be.-- Contributed by: scaredstiff
It is normal to feel insecure in the beginning of a new relationship. New relationships are inherently uncertain. Each of us feels uncomfortable and vulnerable when we are not able to control the outcome or the other person. Although you have identified age as being the reason for your apprehension, if age wasn't the identifiable issue, then you would focus on something else, maybe your figure, his lack of job security, your religion, his weight and the list goes on and on. All new relationships have both excitement and fear. Welcome to the world of dating!
You are not the only woman to fall for a guy much younger than her. As a matter of fact you're in good company with such notably famous couples as; Goldie Hwan and Kurt Russell (5 years apart), Susan Sarandon and Tim Robbins (12 years apart), Gina Davis and Reza Jarrahy (15 years apart), Barbara Hershey and Naveen Andrews (21 years apart) and Joan Collins and Percy Gibson (32 years apart).
All dating women face competition. When you find yourself with a guy who makes you feel wonderful, focus on the fact that he selected you out of all the others. Do a victory dance; be exuberant and of course feel the fear. Fear is normal. While the emotion can paralyze us, when embraced, it lets us know we are out of our comfort zone. In other words, this little emotion lets us know we are alive and kicking.
For right now, just enjoy the new guy. Rather than focus on the age difference focus on all the things you have in common, hobbies, interests, tastes, values, sex, etc. Be open to discovering new things as well as learning about his world. Introduce him to your interests. Try as best you can to stay in the present. As the two of you get to know each other and develop trust, you can move from having an honest relationship to the next level, which is more intimate, being candid with each other. Then the two of you start to share your fears and vulnerabilities with each other. This is also a time to share your concern about age. You can discuss age by talking about the future through topics like children, career goals, and retirement plans.
When it comes to a successful relationship, age has very little to do with it. Successful relationships are built on many things including; having a lot in common, enjoying the companionship of your partner, and being able to disagree and work through issues with each other respectfully.