I'm not, and here's why:
I spent the last few years building up an immunity to iocane powder.
I have a very good friend, and she lives her life with love. Always has. It's sort of like this: if you are never hurting anyone, never doing harm, then there is nothing to worry about.
This doesn't mean letting your guard down arbitrarily. It's better to stay in a state of neutral, and let trust build. Enough trust, you can let a little more out. Watch out for for feedback loops. Keep your intentions pure.
But I understand. Yes, it DOES hurt, and there's really no getting around that. I just let it hurt a couple days, and go about my business. Sometimes it comes back. The more you can focus on those around you during these times, the better you feel.
Love, like life, is rather like surfing. Ride the waves, and stay calm and above water between.
Sometimes we have no control over the way a perfect love story ends but I'm not afraid of loving someone again and I'm not afraid of getting hurt. You can't get hurt if you are able to realize something isn't meant to be. I could never purposefully hurt anyone or fall in love with someone who had that potential.
I'll admit I have been treated badly, but so badly I am glad they are gone, so a different sort of hurt. I do not understand the women I have been with, they seem to expect me to take them back at a later stage and feel they are the victim when I don't. I am very black and white in my approach, there are lines that you don't cross. I stayed out of relationships to raise kids, I tried blended families that does not work for me. So to answer your question, I don't think either of those is holding me back, more I am avoiding yet another major disruption to mmy life, I am too old for all that now. Can't do it again.
I am afraid of getting hurt again, but too often my misery has been the result of love unrequited or a chance not taken. Frankly, I'm open to making new mistakes, and have made it a point to be a little more assertive. Finally I realized that there are close to four billion women inhabiting our planet, not to mention close to a million who live within an hour of me. I have to think the odds favor meeting someone with whom I "click" again, dry spell be damned. (I was married previously, we're still good friends.)
When you really stop and think about it - what IS there to be afraid of really ?
I've had my heart ripped apart more than once, and in turn ripped the hearts of some others. While I certainly don't enjoy going through it ( I don't know of anyone that does) - and at times I thought I wanted to die to escape the pain, fact is, I DIDN'T die.
I struggled, I cried and screamed, I went a little crazy, I hid away, I ate too much sugar, I did all sorts of things to forget, to recover, to move on. The point is, I made it.
So all that has left me fearless. Love is too wonderful, and life too short, to not have some when the opportunity presents itself. If love comes along - I willingly jump ! I know the worst that can happen, and I know I can survive.
Fact is, we can't be close to any other living thing without eventual heartbreak. At some point all will end, be it by decision, by unforseen circumstances or illness and death. Life.
You don’t give us a background to your statement and questions, but there seems to be a back story to your fears. The answer to your question “are you afraid of love” is No in my case, but I have never had your experience of being hurt. I hope you do not let these fears prevent you from finding someone who you can commit to in a loving relationship. Love should not be feared but welcomed.
Yes,I think that is why after a 20 year marriage I have never sustained a relationship for more than a year or two.Also fear of losing my own identity.I tend to not stay true to myself for the sake of the relationship.That causes me to feel suffocated and I start pulling away which of course hurts my partner.
Yes. When I was still too much in love or the learning period afterwards where you spend all that time trying to see what there is to learn from having it or whatever it was that felt like love. Yes I have feared hurting others allowing them to get close to me when I know I won't get close back
Middle aged people usually have had some hard knocks in their romantic endeavors. It depends on one's need for a companion. Some people need to have someone in their lives, so they ignore panic, try not to over think it, and start slow..like with a friendship.
I have to do that anyway, since I'm a demisexual, meaning that I have no sexual attraction for anyone or any gender until after well over a year of close association, and then only for that one person. But I can always take physical love or leave it.
Without lust or loneliness, I have little motivation to pursue relationships, so I just coast along, enjoying my life. Still, I could use a good dance and hiking partner. Some day.
It would be a mistake to assume fear is the driving force behind people opting out of certain kinds of human interactions. It may simply be rational self-interest.
In my youth, which was as hubristic and naive as anyone's, I thought I was quite the catch, that any woman would be delighted to share my life. I was stable, responsible, kind, respectful and romantic -- and if not a body-double for Adonis, at least not bad looking. What's not to like? Well, eventually I figured out that not only am I not the man I used to be ... I never WAS the man I used to be. I'm just as imperfect as everyone else that I used to think I could float above the fray and feel superior to. People get just as tired of my bullshit as I do of theirs, in other words. So the feeling's mutual.
Given that the shared fantasy of romance is not something that's consistently sustainable between any two people, then so far as my tastes are concerned, it removes most of the motivation to engage in it. And the shared fiction gets creakier with age, I can tell you that.
So ... if you're not able to buckle up and take the pleasure WITH the pain, just don't do it. But don't whine about it either. I don't know that you're afraid so much as that you're adverse to the reality of what love actually is -- that vulnerability isn't evenly given at all times by both parties, that there are times they disappoint and frustrate as well as fill you with wonder and satisfaction. Any person you might be "in love" with is just an ordinary fallible human like yourself, who isn't going to unconditionally love and support you 100% of the time ... if you in any way, shape or form are pining for that not to be true, then don't even waste your valuable time on this earth trying to make reality into something it's not and simply refuses to be.
The world is not a friendly place for idealists. So you either have to disassociate yourself from the parts that don't conform to your needs and requirements, or you have to let go of your pointlessly high standards for love and lovers.
No, I'm not afraid of any of it. Pain is part of life.
I started to read the comments but had to stop. There are a lot of people who have so much fear of something they have no control over.
By avoiding anything that might bring you pain, you miss out on so many learning experiences on the journey to loving yourself and becoming a more whole person.