How do you feel about your relationship?
I’m not asking if you feel a sense of progress. Rather, I mean how does your relationship make you feel emotionally? When you’re around your partner do you feel safe and at ease or stressed, apprehensive, and afraid?
Of course, every relationship goes through fluctuations from frustration and sadness to joy and love. That’s perfectly normal.
However, if your relationship is based on fear then it’s an entirely different story. Both unhealthy and dangerous, a relationship based on fear is one where the fearful live with stifled potential and a suppressed spirit. It bleeds into every facet of your life and turns you into a shadow of your former self.
The only problem is when you’re in the thick of it, the tempest of emotion, effort to suffice your own needs, and the natural projection of one’s outlook onto our experiences make it very hard to tell the difference.
But your well-being, your sanity, and your future all depend on it. You owe it to yourself to seek real love and you deserve it as much as anyone.
Take responsibility and make a relationship the best it can be. We’re all afraid of being hurt. Get rid of that fear. Be in the moment and enjoy the relationship – or you’ll ruin it.
– Moran Atias
Here are five signs your relationship is based on fear rather than love.
1. You feel like you can’t be yourself
Possibly the clearest sign of acting in fear, when we feel as though we might lose the one we love– whether to someone else or simply because of a lack of self-worth– we don’t act like ourselves.
Everything we do is an act of preserving what we have because we’re always worried about losing them.
This is a tricky sign as it can come from our own previously existent low self-esteem or it can come as a result of the verbal and emotional abuse of our partner, so they may very well be the ones at fault.
If it’s your own low self-worth from before you got with your partner, you fear that you’re not good enough for them and seek to impress and cover up your flaws. If your actions are based on fear because of your partner’s own behavior, you’re a prisoner to their wish and preference and in a much more toxic situation.
2. You’re settling
Sometimes, it’s less about your actions within the relationship and more about the relationship itself.
Do you truly love the man or woman you’re with? Do you consider them the love of your life and that no one else in this world could be as amazing as them, particularly for you?
If you can’t say yes to both of those questions, you might be settling, a sign that your relationship is based on the fear that you’ll die alone and without having the chance to build a family.
3. You depend on their company to be happy
Clearly, you’re supposed to find happiness in the company of those you love. However, for some that joy of company is actually just an effort to cure a fear of loneliness.
Some of us have a hard time being alone. This is usually conditioned into us from a young age, a lonely or abuse-ridden childhood leaving us seeking love more than the average person.
If you find yourself solemn and empty when your partner isn’t around, to the point where you don’t believe you have the ability to be happy without them, that’s a sign your relationship is based on fear rather than love.
4. You get jealous easily
Another way for the fear of loss and our own inadequacy to rear its head is through intense jealousy.
Insecurities, whether related to our physical body or our self-worth in a more general sense, can cause us to become paranoid about losing our partner.
This kind of jealousy isn’t the natural jealousy of the average relationship. Rather, it’s a toxic jealousy that causes rifts between people and a possessive desire that causes our love pain.
Being a little jealous is normal. But becoming so jealous that you’re constantly spying on your partner’s phone, checking up on their location, and attempting to keep them from interacting with their sex of attraction is incredibly damaging to any relationship.
This kind of jealousy usually comes from within, often the result of being cheated on or watching a parent cheat growing up, so you need to identify the source of the issue before you end up self-sabotaging what may be a real, loving relationship.
5. You lash out easily towards your partner
When you live in fear of what will happen, anxiety accompanies you like a dark cloud. This makes you irritable and even dangerous.
If you anger easily, especially as it pertains to your relationship– from simple communication frustrations to your partner expressing certain feelings and concerns– that’s a sign there’s some sort of fear that is underlining the relationship and undermining your interactions.
Sometimes, stress over our job, family issues, or forthcoming commitments can induce this same kind of state. However, if you’re like this consistently within interactions with your partner, there’s a very good chance there’s more to it than simple stress.
There’s a reason family is often remarked as being our true home, unattached to any physical location: those we love act as a sanctuary for our heart and mind. If your relationship is the opposite, there’s something afoot.