Why are we afraid of falling in love?


Paridhi Laddha

Psychology Associate

Why are relationships so hard today? Why do we fail at love, despite trying so hard? Why have humans suddenly become so inept at making relationships last? Have we forgotten how to love? Or worse, forgotten what love is?

We'd rather spend an hour each with a hundred people than spending a day with one. Meeting people is more important than getting to know them. We're greedy - We believe in having 'options' – too many of them. We don't want to bring out the best in that one person. Rather, we want them to be perfect. We date many people but rarely give any of them a real chance. We're disappointed in everyone. Apparently, nothing's worth our time and patience – not even love.

We're not ready to invest all that it takes to make a relationship work. We want everything easy. All it takes is a single hurdle to make us crumble to our feet. We don't let our love grow, we let go before time.

What Makes Modern-Day Relationships Fall Apart So Easily?

Technology has brought us closer, so close that it's impossible to breathe. Texts, voice messages, snapchats, and video calls have replaced our physical presence. We don't feel the need to spend time together anymore. We have too much of each other already. We boast about being a practical generation who run by logic alone. We don't know how to love madly and unconditionally anymore. We'd break up because, long distance.

We're too sensible for love. Too sensible for our own good. We despise permanence like it's some social evil. We let go of the most wonderful people for 'the other fish in the sea.' We don't consider love sacred anymore, because we are so busy being scared of it. We don’t want “Daal chawal for the rest of our lives?” right?

We're a scared generation – scared to fall in love, scared to commit, scared to fall, scared to get hurt, scared to get our hearts broken. We don't allow anyone in, nor do we step out. We lurk from behind walls we've created ourselves, looking for love and running away the moment we really find it. We suddenly 'cannot handle it'. We don't want to be vulnerable. We don't want to bare our souls to anyone. We're too guarded. When we start to ‘love’ someone, we’ll blatantly deny it for as long as we can. Attachment has become anxiety to us and it’s time we let our hearts have a little leeway.

There's nothing we couldn't conquer in this world, and yet, here we are ham-fisted at the game of love – the most basic of human instincts. Evolution, they call it. - Ankush Bahuguna

Why are we so scared of taking a chance?

I am part of a generation that, for some reason, is terrified of love. You may try to argue with me on this one. Having said "I love you" in our 6th-grade relationships, we cannot be afraid of love, right? Of course, there are exceptions. There are individuals who embrace love with open arms, who are truly excited and open to the idea of a real relationship. But we, as a whole, reject these ideals.

“We somehow end up restricting ourselves by over-rationalizing things. We deny ourselves of the love we deserve because of the fear we preserve.”

We've been called the "hook-up" generation time and time again. It's probably because we've killed romance. What happened to going on dates? To giving flowers just because? To openly telling people that you love them? When did we become so afraid to show that we care? Instead, we play games. We wait hours for the other person to text us, then take even more time to text back so that we feel like we’re in control. Instead of putting efforts in showing people that we are attached, we put efforts into showing that we are unattached. Whoever cares less wins. If we’re in control, we can’t get hurt, right?

What exactly are we afraid of? We call it “fear of commitment" or of being “tied down” to someone else. We have this perception that while in a relationship, we can’t grow as individuals. The truth is, though, if you’re in the right relationship, you can make it work in whatever period of your life.

What holds us back most is our fear of being hurt. Maybe we’ve had our hearts shattered before and we’re not willing to put ourselves out there again. We’re terrified of being vulnerable--of putting someone in a position where they can break our hearts.

So, we look at people who we know we could fall for and we try to keep them at an arm’s length. We hold back emotions that we should display. But is being hurt really the worst thing that could happen? Being hurt simply reminds us of our human capacity to feel. To feel is one of the most beautiful capabilities we possess. Why do we deny ourselves of that joy?

Don’t get me wrong. Sometimes, we don’t have feelings or we know that things can’t work out for whatever reasons. And that is OK. But when we’re afraid of real relationships, it creates problems, because much of the time, it keeps us from things that could be wonderful.

Sometimes, we’re just genuinely terrified of the possibility that we could be loved back. One of my favorite quotes by Stephen Chobsky is that “We accept the love we think we deserve.” Unfortunately, we often struggle to see our own good qualities, so we don’t believe we deserve someone who loves us, let alone a person we’re in love with. We push them away because it’s easier than changing our own views of ourselves.

To tell you the truth, I am guilty of many of the things I am talking about. I am by no means perfect; in fact, I actually exemplify—some of these mistakes. And I get it; not every relationship is a possibility. Some things just aren’t meant to be.

However, I think that we need to give love a chance again. We need to get rid of the stigma surrounding it. If we genuinely feel something for someone, I don’t think we should let our fear of love-—no matter in what capacity it is—dictate our future with that person.

What can we do about it?

There's a large possibility our generation will be seen as the generation that gave up on love. The generation that forgot how to love. Despite all the talk about love, most people have never had a good understanding of it, just poor interpretations of perhaps.

The question that remains is whether we'll be remembered as the generation for accepting an increasingly rational and logical stance at love, or for giving up on it altogether?

I guess you'll be the one to decide.

1. Patience > Instant gratification

The most common issue today is our need for instant gratification. The culture we grew up in and continue to thrive in provides us instant access to just about anything. But love needs more than just a swipe. The problem is instant gratification is addicting and often becomes a habit, a habit that seeps into our love lives. We should try being patient with love. It’s like a plant that grows flowers only after being nurtured.

Love cannot be experienced in an instance, but rather over the course of a lifetime.

2. Empathy > Ego

Every single individual in the world is egocentric; we all put ourselves and our needs first. The problem arises when our egocentricity overtakes our ability to feel empathy. Focusing only on ourselves and our needs leads to overlooking the needs of others. When this happens in a relationship, it all begins to fall apart. Let’s try to wait and understand people enough. Don’t make love a competition. Next time your partner is unable to meet your expectations, try to look at things from their perspective and learn to let go.

3. Don’t date for the sake of it

Dating has become a sport. We believe the best way to find the person we'll spend our lives with is to date as much as possible. We are never quite willing to give up the search. The never-ending journey becomes more exhilarating than the actual prize itself. But that is far from the truth, as with this backward logic, every time we date someone who isn't right for us, we are giving up our chance to meet someone who is. We are giving up on our ability to truly fall in love. We should spend quality time with people, know them enough to let love grow.

4. Compromises for the win

We like to have things our way, always. Why wouldn't we? If we can have it our way, why would we settle for anything less?

Our logic makes sense until we're in a relationship. But when we're involved in a relationship, we're only a part of a greater whole. Relationships often require you to compromise, and the moment we stop accepting that as a necessity, we will no longer be able to build a loving relationship.

5. Real > perfect

Most people our age grew up watching SRK movies and learned all about love through the stories they told -- or at least I did.

However, such movies create impossible expectations and do more harm than good. How could you not question your love for someone when your story doesn't line up with what you believe defines a happily ever after?

Social media and thousands of dating profiles shoved in our faces lead us to believe that we are entitled to fairy tale life that truly doesn’t exist?

No matter how unrealistic our expectations are, the disappointment we feel when they aren't achieved is very real. We are all looking for that perfect individual. We are all looking to become that perfect individual. To break the bubble, we're all going to fail, because perfection is unattainable. So let's not be influenced by unattainable and fictional relationships, and be more real with love.

6. Look at love with love

Love can be confusing. Our relationships have layers and are dynamic, changing over time and with each new partner we introduce into our lives. There is so much to love that most people are unable to comprehend.

Most of us put off finding someone to love until after we get the rest of our life together. Not sure why no one realizes finding a partner is one of the most important pieces of the puzzle.

In the end, the question is: Are we getting better at loving or worse at it? That's a difficult question for me to answer, but I fear it may be the latter.

Everyone's understanding is unique, but most people seem extremely confused. The issue is if we don't come to understand love better -- its purpose, its boundaries, and its shortcomings -- will we never be happy?

The truth of the moment is - Do we really want to be the generation who is afraid of falling in love?

View more content by Paridhi Laddha

Discussion Board

Do we really want to be the generation who is afraid of falling in love?

riya mundhra
Kritika Sharma
This is beautiful ❤️
Surbhi Sharda
Loved it ✨♥️
Thank you so much Surbhi 😄🙏
nice info