I’m afraid of the woods at night.
I’m afraid of being stuck on a plane, on a tarmac, for hours on end.
I’m afraid of getting diarrhea in a place where there’s no restroom.
I’m afraid of falling in the shower.
I was a fearful child and I am still a fearful adult.
I’ve always found ease in vocalizing my fears and insecurities, or, I did until I ended up in a long-term committed relationship.
For some reason I was afraid (see? even more fear) to say some things out loud. Particularly, my fears for our relationship. To physically release the thoughts, to sit and listen to them coming out of my mouth, felt dangerous. As if the words themselves would cling to the walls of our home, spawn, multiply, infect the very air we breath every day.
I am a firm believer in identifying areas of your life you want to improve, making a plan for how to approach these changes, then moving forward boldly. I believe change and positive growth is possible. We, as humans, have been given the gift of free will and dammit we better take advantage of that! Except, sometimes we can’t.
Maybe this makes me a control freak, but the things I can’t control in life scare me the most. As in, I can’t predict or control whether or not a tumor chooses to form in the body of a person I love. I can’t control the weather when we drive. I can’t control your heart.
I also know I can’t control another person, which becomes most illuminated when your dating someone.
I fear infidelity. Both on the part of my partner and in myself. The heart is such a mysterious and complex organ that I sometimes find myself worrying about scenarios down the road where it’s being tested.
For the longest time I couldn’t bring myself to talk about this with my partner. There was a part of me that felt even holding this fear spoke to something deeper and uglier. There was a part of me that didn’t want my boyfriend thinking I didn’t trust him. And there was a part of me that felt it conveyed a lack of faith, on my part, in the strength of our relationship.
So I carried the fear silently for a long time. Until one night I just started talking about it. And it ended up not being a big deal because, news flash, it’s not like my boyfriend doesn’t know infidelity exists in the world. We both know multiple couples who have dealt with it in various forms. It’s a realty of intimate relationships.
Speaking the fear out loud shrunk the size and weight of it; it gave me, and my significant other, the power back.
Vulnerability can be the scariest thing of all. But if you are pursuing a relationship with someone who genuinely wants the two of you to succeed, voicing your fears will only strengthen the connection. It shows faith in the other person, and in the relationship, to acknowledge that it won’t always be perfect.So identify what you’re afraid to talk about. Then, just start talking.