What is it? Why does it exist? How you can address it?
At Eligible — a community of Independent Indian Singles, we are talking about FEAR throughout October 2020. As a relationship coach for independent singles, I’m fielding a lot of calls and at the root cause of every delayed action is a deep-rooted fear. “What if I ask someone out and they turn me down?”, “What if I create that matrimonial profile and people reject me because I do not tick their boxes?”, “What if I end up in yet-another-toxic relationship?”.
I hear you. Reason enough for us to address Fear in Relationships as a subject throughout this month. As part of the Whiteboarding exercise, we visualised fear using different shapes and colours. The resultant is what you see above. Responses ranging from the fear of being forever alone, of hitting a speed breaker, of going in a downward spiral, to name a few.
Labelling it as completely irrational, we heard about the fear of being cheated upon, of all the conversation topics dying out one day and not having anything to talk about, of being ignored and being indifferent, of being complacent or not having the intent that matches the other person’s intent in the relationship.
Everyone has been through a journey before you met them. This may have had heartbreaks, a marriage not working out or somebody not having the spine to stand up for you and follow through their words. Those experiences shape us for who we are. Sometimes we unlearn and relearn and move on. On other occasions, it takes time to heal and to forgive. Know that somebody else’s actions of ghosting you or cancelling on you or walking out of a relationship does not define you. You are not broken. You need not be fixed.
Coping with fear
It’s easier to deal with something when you can visualise it, face it and embrace it. So we made three columns on a paper to address that one thing that people are really afraid of (it could vary for every individual). The first column had a specific worst-case scenario (say, you ask them out and they reject you), the second column contained the effort you can put in to minimise the likelihood of the worst-case scenario (being punctual, dressing up well, communicating properly etc), and the third column talked about what you can do to get back to where you are if the worst-case scenario happens (restarting with full vigour and not sulking for days or coming up with excuses while generalising that the whole world is like that).
P.S. We are going to discuss the risk-averse approach in arranged marriage, why entrepreneurs find it hard to navigate the arranged marriage route and how relatable journeys make us feel safe. To join us in these conversations, you can schedule an introductory call here.