8 Reasons I'm Afraid of Love as Someone With Anxiety

This piece was written by Heather Elizabeth, a Thought Catalog contributor.

1. Love is scary. It’s full of feelings I’m not sure how to handle. As an anxious person, I have a fear of unexpected things. I like control. I want to be able to prepare. When falling in love, you never know what’s going to happen or what you’re going to feel, and to me, that’s scary.

2. It can’t be controlled. As much as I’m would like to control everything I can to lessen the anxiety around me, love is something that is uncontrollable. Sometimes I’m able to just let go and feel all those warm-n-fuzzies, but other times, I’m left feeling as though my world has just turned upside down and I’m not sure what to do. That leaves me feeling anxious.

3. I worry my illness can become a burden. I have learned to hate this word — burden. The connotation it carries is unfair at times. But, I understand it. Anxiety has the ability to make me irritable, obsessive, sad, lonely and so many other feelings I’m not so great at handling. The last thing I want is to feel like I’m just making my new lover’s life harder on them.

4. I will pull away. At one point or another in a new relationship, my feelings will get the best of me, and I will retreat back into my turtle shell of loneliness. Why? Because sometimes the world just gets to be too much. And on a “too much day,” I just need to feel like I’m in control. Pulling back is one way to do that for a lot of people who live with anxiety. When I’m anxious, I feel I can do a lot better alone, even when I desperately want my new love there to calm me.

5. I worry about the future. This is a common thing for people in a new relationship, but those with anxiety often have an uncontrollable tendency think about those past, present and possible futures all at once and create a mess of thoughts. Sometimes I can dream of the best future possible and make myself happy. Other times, I also have the innate ability to prepare for the worst and make myself sad with overthinking the bad. Those things can be overwhelming.

6. The word “love” can make me cringe. I have self-esteem issues. Sometimes I feel like I’m just not worthy of such a major emotion. Everyone wants to feel love and be loved at one point or another in their life, but as someone with anxiety and self-esteem issues, this just doesn’t feel possible for me all the time.

7. I’m afraid to ask for help from a new partner. The relationship is new. It’s fresh. Why would I want to darken it with my secret mental illness? That term alone is enough to scare some away. Lets face it, “mental illness” isn’t exactly something I want to wear on my name tag.

8. If I do continue my journey into the big, scary world of “love” and someone wants to help me deal with my anxiety, great! Sadly, you will probably be asking the question, “how can I help you when it just gets to be too much?” Guess what my answer might be? “I have no idea.” That’s right. I often have absolutely no idea how to voice my thoughts and feelings. Over the years, I’ve learned to keep some ideas in my back pocket on how to help, but they don’t always work.

Basically, I’m just like everyone else when it comes to fears of love… Multiplied by one hundred. I want love. I believe everyone does. I’m just scared no one will put up with my daily battles and nervous behaviors.

But I believe — even as an anxious person — fighting and going through the journey of love, however scary it may be, is well worth the shot at it. Just to say I tried. 

This story is brought to you by Thought Catalog and Quote Catalog.

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

Unsplash photo via Sam Burriss

Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.

Related to Anxiety

woman in warehouse or tunnel with hand to head

Why We Need to Remember the Physical Symptoms of Anxiety

For about six months of my life, I had a constant lump in my throat. When I woke up in the morning it was there and it remained with me until I fell asleep at night. It impacted my ability to talk, swallow, eat and drink. I went to several ENT doctors and they told me [...]

Khalid From Logic's '1-800-273-8255' Gets Honest About Anxiety

Khalid, a singer-songwriter featured on Logic’s suicide prevention song, “1-800-273-8255,” recently opened up on Twitter about this own mental health, which started a conversation among his followers. “Mental health is so important man,” the 19-year-old wrote. “I’m not feeling the best rn and my anxiety is super bad, love u guys.” I’m not feeling the [...]
woman with sparkler looking into distance

The New Year's Resolution I'm Making for My Anxiety

Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s. This end-of-the-year holiday season can bring anxiety to many, for many reasons. For me, the anxiety of choosing a New Year’s resolution and then mentally preparing to stick with a goal brings additional anxiety. It’s a time I transfix on my regrets of the past year, and constantly analyze what I [...]
Watercolor portrait of a girl with blue hair - illustration for the card or banner

When Anxiety and Depression Gang Up on You

When people hear that I have both anxiety and depression, I’m often met with confusion. One day I’m running round, getting stuff done and the next I am unable to motivate myself to even brush my teeth. They are like bullies on the school playground. Two bullies — one named Anxiety and the other named [...]