It’s all fun and games until they like you back, huh?
It seems a little counterproductive, right? You like someone, and yet feel sick to your stomach when they like you back. Why is that? Psychologists would say it’s due to a past trauma that has changed the way you view your interpersonal relationships in life. But not everyone has suffered trauma like that, so why do we sometimes suffer from feelings of repulsion and fear when someone shows interest in us?
You Fear Losing Your Autonomy
This is the big #1. I firmly believe that 9 times out of 10, this is the case. Autonomy is a powerful thing, especially in the age of the internet where being self centered means productivity means success means survival. It’s not entirely your fault. Look at the culture around you. We are encouraged to engage in frivolous flirting, casual sex, and shallow relationships. It seems that these days there are very few people who actually want to commit in a serious way. Well, there are people who want to commit, but, well…that’s why we’re here.
With technology advancing, we are being led to believe that dating is getting easier. Just go on an app like Tinder or Bumble, strike up a conversation, and meet the man of a lifetime. Or at least a night. These apps seldom encourage real interaction. Talking to someone through texting isn’t the same as sitting across from them, feeling their energy, hearing the tone of their voice, and seeing the slight dilation in their pupils. These things speak louder than any text message, because texts can be constructed. How long does it take you to write out a text message? How many times do you hit backspace? We are creating a false persona when we interact on the internet, an ego, if you will. An ego that grows in the most unhealthy way into something messy and confusing and easily hurt. Nothing substitutes real interaction with another human being. Just because they “like” something on your social media doesn’t mean anything. Do you know how easy it is to hit a “like” button? Hell, he could smash the “like” button while simultaneously smashing his ex at 2AM on a Friday night.
But I digress.
Autonomy is so precious to humans. It’s our individuality in an age where everyone seems to be on a special path of destiny. Instead of just working in a shop, having a family, and being, we are convinced that there is some dream out there that we should be chasing. And chasing a dream leaves little time for entertaining a real relationship. We often think our dreams are more important than other people, that we are more important. How pompous! No one is better than anyone else. No one is so special that they can’t carry on a decent interaction with another human being. But being in a relationship means you have to worry about all the boring shit like who has to buy the toothpaste. No one wants to deal with that. They only want a whirlwind romance full of steamy kink-fests and Hollywood banter. We were fed this narrative for so long that we have forgotten what real romance looks like. Real love isn’t Mr. Right. It’s Mr. Right Now.
Being with someone doesn’t mean you will lose your independence. You still have all your own likes, all your own hobbies. You don’t have to meld into the “we” monster. You know, like those girls on tv that always say things like “we are going to redecorate”, “we thought that was so funny”, and “what do we want to eat for dinner”. You can still hang out with your own group of friends. Where did we get this idea that being in a committed relationship means losing ourselves? If you lose yourself, chances are that is a very unhealthy relationship and you should run. Fast.
You Fear Being Vulnerable
Being vulnerable means opening up your beating heart, handing someone a lemon, and trusting they aren’t going to juice you. Who wants to willingly put themselves in that position? That is why most people are more attracted to relationships that they subconsciously know will fail. It’s much easier to screw someone’s brains out and be gone before dawn than it is to share your deepest darkest secrets with them. Sex does not a relationship make. Only vulnerability can make that distinction. When we allow our innermost feelings to be exposed, we open ourselves to pain. That can be a scary thing.
And I firmly believe in every relationship, there is always someone who cares more than the other. There is the one who innately cares, and the one that chooses to care. If you are the one who feels they innately care for the other, chances are good you’re the one who’s going to get hurt. If you’re the one who chooses to care, it’s usually you that will end up hurting the other person. If you choose to love someone, I firmly believe you also have a responsibility to not fucking hurt that person by being dishonest, shady, or dismissive.
It takes a lot of courage to be open about how you’re feeling. Appreciate their courage in telling you, and respect that. (I also have a theory that in D/s relationships, the submissive is usually the innate lover, while the Dom is usually the chooser, as submissives are often more open with their feelings, the ones who do the asking, the ones who lead the Dom. Because if you think the Dom is the one in control in a D/s relationship, you are sorely mistaken. But that is a topic for another post)
I think a lot of relationships fail because neither party wants to be the vulnerable one. Neither wants to be the one who gets hurt by sharing their feelings or saying “I love you” first.
Sometimes Commitment Means Sacrifice
We all know you’d rather sit there eating Doritos and watching episodes of The Office on Netflix for the 30th time in a row, but your partner has a family function to go to, and you are their other half, and therefore have an obligation to get up off your lazy ass and engage in some awkward family bonding. Yes, committing to love means making sacrifices. If you are unwilling to make those sacrifices, chances are good you are still single, and any offer of romance could be met by feelings of repulsion. This probably just means you’re not ready to be in a relationship yet, and those feelings of grossness in your stomach is just your instinctual desire to be free. And what happens when you have to go through the agonizing awkwardness of going to your partner’s family member’s former roommate’s funeral? You’ll have to do all sorts of socializing and talking to strangers! Gasp. The horror. In this case, I would say you are putting the cart way before the horse. Take it each day at a time.
You Care Too Much What Others Think
If you are still at that stage of basing your life choices on what others think, you are probably going to have some feelings of repulsion and fear when your friends go, “ew, you are NOT dating that loser” as if it means something. If this applies to you, then you will forever have the word LOSER attached to his dating profile and will avoid him like the plague even if you had feelings for him before. Don’t let others tell you how to think, my dear. You are your own person, after all.
You’re Just Not Attracted To Them
Sometimes we feel sick when someone shows interest in us because we are just not that interested in them back. That’s perfectly fine! It happens. Biology and all that genes stuff at play here can often leave you feeling a little repulsed by someone we are not compatible with. In this case, it’s probably pretty obvious that tangoing with them, if it happens at all, will be shortlived. Therefore, let’s move onto the next point.
You Fear Hurting Them
If you’re an empath and you know it, clap your hands. This one hits close to home. I am someone who is constantly worried about how others feel, oftentimes over how I am feeling. If I can avoid a situation where I might even cross the path of hurting someone, I will. I don’t like it. It’s a messy business. And someone having feelings is like one big pulsing nerve that the tiniest nick could damage. You may fear having that sort of responsibility for another person’s wellbeing. And as mentioned above, being vulnerable is a difficult thing. When presented with someone making a true show of their emotions, you might get your signals mixed and end up viewing it as a bad thing, because that person may come across as desperate, needy, or codependent. That is something you need to work out inside yourself. It doesn’t necessarily mean there’s anything wrong with them. Because being vulnerable does not equate to being desperate, needy, or codependent.
They Remind You Too Much Of Yourself
Ever hear the saying the reason you hate certain people is because you see something in them that reminds you of yourself? You may be projecting your own feelings of self loathing onto them, which isn’t entirely fair. Really try to pinpoint the cause of your negative feelings for those who show interest in you. Is it because they slouch? Chew with their mouths open? Interrupt? It’s possible these are things you hate about yourself, or from a past relationship that you are reminded of. That’s a whole lot of baggage that needs to be dealt with. This person isn’t your ex. This person isn’t you. Try to give them a fair chance instead of judging them based on things that remind you of the negative aspects of your own personality. And then, if you find that these habits or traits are completely theirs, then it would be appropriate to judge whether or not you would be compatible in a relationship. Just make sure you are basing this decision on the truth of the matter instead of your projected issues.
The Pity Party Of A Self Sabotage Just Feels Too Good
Ever met someone who seemed to be the victim protagonist in the dramatic story of their own lives? They play everything out like a Hollywood movie, where they are often the one who always gets hurt and must cope with the repercussions? Be careful you don’t become one of these drama queens. Be careful not to sabotage something just so you can get attention for being hurt or going through a difficult situation. Strange concept as it is, it’s ok to be happy in life. You don’t always have to create anxiety from situations that do not require it. Sometimes it’s ok just to allow someone to show you love.
You Fear Change
That pit in your stomach when you find out you have to pack everything up and leave your comfort zone? That’s what this point is about. Some people just really don’t like change, and someone coming in to your circle of life and trying to offer their way of doing things can be upsetting. If this is resonating on any level, you may want to evaluate your control tendencies. If you are someone who always likes to have things under their own control, being shown romantic advances from prospective partners might automatically make your blast doors close up. Again, it’s ok to accept something new into your life. Just because you enter into a relationship with someone doesn’t mean it’s going to change the fundamentals of who you are. Your life will still be your own, just changed.
You Don’t Do Well With Deep Emotional Displays
I get it. I’m an aquarius. Some people just don’t do well with deep displays of emotion. That doesn’t mean you aren’t a romantic! You might just be more logical than emotional, the yang to the yin. So of course, logically, the professing of feelings or romantic interest might strike you as overwhelming, but don’t forget that there are people that live their lives not by their logical mind, but by following their heart and passions. The simplest way of combatting this feeling of repulsion for someone who lives by their hearts instead of their minds is to communicate how you’re feeling. By expressing that you aren’t exactly comfortable with PDA or being super touchy with them, you create a bridge that they can either choose to cross, or burn. This way, you can both keep your boundaries and no one needs to feel like they were taken advantage of. It’s amazing what honest communication can do between humans in love.
Your Gut Is Picking Up On A Red Flag That You Should Probably Pay Attention To
Or lastly, we come to the golden rule. If your gut is telling you something feels off, trust it. If you feel sick to your stomach when someone asks you out, or won’t stop leaving lude comments on your social media profiles, then chances are good they are bad news bears. In this instance, it is perfectly acceptable to burn that bridge and leave them glowing in embers behind you. Sometimes our gut feelings are there for a reason. Just make sure you know the difference between actually being in danger and just being afraid to fuck with someone who wants to give you everything.
This was a long post, but I hope you read it all, and that it helped sort out some of those confusing feelings. I know I suffer from a lot of fear in the love department. I’m an empath, so I feel things like nervous energy heightened to over 9000. Eeek! I am trying to allow myself to be more open to being loved, and I hope you do too.
Take care, and don’t forget to take your medications.