Ever wondered the reasons why people run away from love? The obvious answer would be ‘it’s not exactly easy and to prevent getting hurt’. Well, Is being in love really hard or does it just seem hard?
These were the thoughts that enveloped me as my roommate stumped out of the door looking melancholic saying “Love is hard, I just can’t love”. Can she really not or is she just running away from it?
She has literally been avoiding a guy she is beginning to like all because she believes love is hard and so she doesn’t want to fall in love. Hence, shy away from it.
Many of us can probably relate to this because we have the same mindset. I call it the philophobic mindset. Not everyone believes love is the most beautiful thing in the world like we usually hear.
Love isn’t just hearts, rainbow, soft pinks and reds, it is more like fireworks – thrilling, aggressive, surprising and frightening.
So I’m not here to tell you it is easy but still, I would not exclude the fact that it is indeed one of the most beautiful things in the world. Researchers suggest that love is indeed key to a happy and fulfilling life.
Love can simply be defined as a complex set of emotions, behaviours, and beliefs associated with strong feelings of affection, protectiveness, warmth, and respect for another person.
Merriam Webster defines it as a strong feeling of affection and concern toward another person, as that arising from kinship or close friendship. From a romantic point of view, It is a strong feeling accompanied by a strong desire for another person.
People run away from it because it sometimes poses as difficult depending on the perspective from which one is looking at it. Well, of course, it is an awesome feeling but who said it was a bed of roses.
But then again I ask myself, Is love really hard or Is loving the wrong person and being in the wrong relationship the real issue because a sad thing in life is when you meet someone who means a lot to you only to find out, in the end, it was never meant to be and you just have to let go. This alone makes love hard and scary.
Why People Run Away From Love
There are various factors or reasons that could make love seem hard and in turn make people run away from it. Some of these include:
1. Unrequited love
After much pondering, if I were to answer my question I would say loving is not hard but loving someone who doesn’t love you back could make love seem hard and when it gets difficult, people automatically end up shying away from it to avoid getting hurt.
The term for this is known as unrequited which is defined as something that is not shared or returned by someone else. Making it one of the understandable reasons why people run away from love
Unrequited love is one of the most painful things. Loving someone who doesn’t love you back is like hugging a cactus, the tighter you hold it the more it hurts.
Unfortunately for us, unrequited love is not exactly something we can choose to curb, its usually bound to happen to someone because as we know a good number of people can love one person but obviously that one person can’t love them all so someone is bound to get hurt one way or the other.
The puzzling part of it all is when we realize even those getting hurt by someone are probably hurting someone else as well. Funny huh? Well, That’s Love and That’s life.
It would have been a much better place if everyone could reciprocate feelings and just love someone who would love them back. Guess if it were always so loving wouldn’t seem so hard or would it.
This unrequited love often ignites a certain fear in us when it comes to love. These fear could come in either of these ways;
Fear of Rejection
“Emeka you like her so much why haven’t you made a move,” I asked
“What’s the point she would probably not like me back” he replied
But then what if she does?….
Technically there is really no way around it, Rejection hurts. Some people die in silence, keeping their love to themselves because of the fear of Rejection. Not everyone knows how to handle rejection properly and so they end up shying away from love and thus seeing it as hard even without trying. It hurts to love someone and not to be loved in return true but what is more painful is to love someone and never find the courage to let that person know how you feel
Fear of Heartbreak
The fear of heartbreak is often referred to as philophobia which is characterized by the fear of love or falling in love. The word originates from Greek “filos” which means ‘loving or beloved’. Individuals who suffer from this phobia fear romantic love or forming emotional attachments of any sort.
The fear of Heartbreak usually comes as a result of past experience. The fear of commitment due to a few failed relationships, constant negative thoughts, anxiety and panic disorder. Some people have probably gotten their heartbroken by someone else before and so they find it difficult to open up to another because they are scared it would all end in pieces, and even when they do open up and are in a relationship, they find it difficult to maintain it, hence they shy away from love. People with a deep fear of rejection often believe they have to give themselves up to avoid being rejected.
To be vulnerable means to be sensitive and liable, easily hurt, opened to attack or damage. Basically, Vulnerability involves losing yourself and this is some people’s fear, to be placed at a point where they can’t help themselves or be in control.
Often times this is the problem of people who always try to be in control of their feelings forgetting to love you have to be willing to embrace vulnerability because love is giving them the power to destroy you but trusting them not to.
Usually those with this fear, sometimes pose to be extreme lovers who are scared of losing themselves in the process of loving someone too much that they forget they are special. And So they have a fear of losing themselves in the relationship.
And from experience, the more you like the person, the bigger your fear of engulfment and commitment gets. Hence, you find yourself shying away from love not because you don’t love but you fear to love too much. People like this often find it difficult to maintain a relationship.
3. Trust Issues
I would like to marry trust issues and insecurity together in this context. Some people tend to have trust issues and get uneasily insecure for no just course. Suspecting without any sufficient basis and even when they do not have a reason to. Distrust and unnecessary suspiciousness are characteristics of people with a paranoid personality disorder.
People with a paranoid personality disorder characterized by distrust would often doubt everything about another person and this could be very disruptive in a relationship. People under this category often shy away from love because they find themselves always looking for the why, the patches and hidden motive because they are extra vigilant. And even when they are in a relationship they often destroy it or run away out of paranoia
Some persons probably do not have the fear of any of these and probably aren’t also victims of a horrible past but yet find themselves shying away from love and wonder.
We often fail to realize that our background, home, as well as upbringing also have a role in shaping us as an adult. Parents love & marriage life has its own way of affecting a child either positively or negatively.
Families influence values n expectation either directly or indirectly.parents can teach directly or can teach indirectly when children watch their actions as well as their love life.
Childhood development is crucial to our emotional development. When one grows from a setting that lacks love and togetherness, they can grow to become frightened about it and find themselves running away from it.
5. Low Self-esteem
this is one of the most self-inflicted reasons why people run away from love. Everyone suffers from low self-esteem at one point or the other. Nothing interferes with the ability to have an authentic, reciprocal relationship like low self-esteem.
If you can’t believe you’re good enough, how can you believe a loving partner could choose you? Low self-esteem can make you test or sabotage relationships that have potential, or settle for relationships in which you’re treated in a way that matches your beliefs about yourself. In fact, most times low self-esteem does not even allow you to try out on love.
People with low self-esteem automatically believe that someone else would not love them because they are not good enough and so they shut the doors to love
After looking at the reasons why people run away from love, let’s take a look at how to overcome the reasons why people run away from love
How to Overcome running away from love
1. Be Yourself
Being yourself not only entails being true to who.you really are but it goes further to accepting yourself for who you are. If you cannot and have not accepted yourself how do you expect someone else to accept you. Being yourself as well as accepting yourself involves accepting your imperfections because holding out for perfection is a direct path to unhappiness.
must read: how to be the best version of yourself
2. Love yourself
It’s not enough to be yourself and accept yourself but rather you have to, more importantly, love yourself. Self-love is one of the most important kinds of love.
Self-love brings confidence and confidence reduces the fear of rejection because you have come to an agreement with yourself that rejection doesn’t put a dent on your awesomeness. Self-love is what gets you to that level of confidence.
3. Redefine Rejection
Rejection they say is “pushing someone or something away” but what if we add ” into something much more better” to that definition.
What if we see it as an opportunity for self-discovery and growth and also understand that it is a universal experience that is bound to happen at one point or the other in the life of each and every one of us.
That person you are probably scared would reject you is probably scared about getting rejected by someone else. So Relax
4. Face your Fears
How long do you think you can keep running away from your fears. You think you can run away from love forever? Lol. Well, love is an unending circle that just brings you back to where you started from.
So why waste your time when you face your fears head-on and discover other ways you can handle love and relationships better. Why don’t you learn and get stronger because you can obviously not run forever
5. Create room for healing
Healing has to do with getting a hold of yourself and healing from past wounds as well as bad childhood experiences because when we have truly healed from past wounds and past negative experiences, we do not let it dictate, control and define us.
Always understand that people are different so do not suffer for the wrongdoings of another and do not also Instill pain on an innocent person either. Always keep in mind that maybe God wants you to meet a few wrong people before meeting the right one so that when you finally meet the right one you would know how to be grateful for that gift.
6. Change your mindset
Remember my friend who kept complaining about how difficult it is to love. She had already created a mindset that was already making her shy away from love and not wanting to even give it a try.
The kind of mindset you carry about love has a way of affecting you as well as your love life. When you change your mindset and carry a positively inclined mindset concerning love you would be able to Overcome whatever fear you might have for it.
7. Do not expect too much
Expectation births disappointment. Often times we are too expectant and pay so much attention to the love we want to receive rather than what we have to offer. When you condition yourself not to expect too much you reduce your chances of getting really hurt.
Of course, it could still hurt but then not as much. You have to understand that giving someone all your love is not an assurance that they would love you back, don’t expect love in return, just wait for it to grow in their hearts but if it doesn’t be content it grew in yours and with that you begin to love more healthily while slowly overcoming your fear.
“Expectation is the mother of Disappointment” – DollyMchottney
Finally, at this junction, I’m sure you know where you fall in and know what to do. There is really no need to run away from love, it’s not as hard as it seems after all.
feel free to air your suggestions if you feel I did not touch the major reasons why people run away from love