I'm afraid to let anyone close

I feel like I want a relationship, but whenever I start thinking about getting closer to someone, I start to feel incredibly awkward, look for double meanings in their side of the conversation, or just put up defences and become aggressive. I hate flirting as well, thinking why would someone like me ever flirt.

In my last relationship, I would get so frustrated about small things but not want to say them to my partner, and would just go off and not speak to him at all. Not very mature I know.

Does anyone else put up barriers when it comes to potential relationships? Like self-sabotage.

11 Replies

  • All the time! Maybe you are thinking too far ahead rather than enjoying the closeness? Some relationships work out and some don't. Maybe the answer is to take things more slowly and work on being friends first?

    If you don't want to flirt or if it doesn't feel comfortable why do it? Not everyone does it and there is no reason why they should. But if you like flirting there is no age limit or attractiveness test you need to pass is there? Just be yourself and you won't go far wrong.

    Bev x

  • oh my god... I am exactly like this.. but I have never had a normal relation ever. I know that you have to love and be comfortable with yourself in order to have a healthy loving relation. but I can't

  • It's not easy. I'd never say I "love" myself, hardly. Maybe being comfortable is a more realistic goal.

  • Sometimes I can be my own worst enemy with doubtful thoughts filling my head but I have started realizing that that's all it is is just me putting those thoughts in my head.

    I guess all I'm saying is try to stop being so doubtful about things and put more positive thoughts in their place, or in place of them. ;-)

  • I know exactly what you mean. I used to be like that until I met someone and decided to take things one step at a time. I didn't think about the future I took it one date at a time until I was sure about him and myself. It was great and I've had lots of exciting experiences with him. He even made me like myself and my body more than I ever had before.

    Be nice to yourself and try and ignore that self doubting voice you have. I know it's hard as I have struggled with my negative voice for way too many years. Make sure you praise yourself for your achievements and remind yourself that not everyone is out to get you. This year I have found 2 statements that have helped me "Nobody is perfect" and "Don't be so hard o yourself". It's funny cause after I started reminding myself about the 2nd one I heard the Jessie Glynn song on the radio. So it's now on my playlist to remind me to clam all my negative thoughts and voices. :-D

    Take things one step at a time and just enjoy being you and being with someone.


  • Hi

    Building relationships takes time. It sounds as though you have been hurt in the past and are scared of being hurt again but it is important to remember that not all people are the same. Take time to get to know anyone you feel you might like a relationship with, try to be as open and straightforward as you can while at the same time not becoming involved until you know they sufficiently well to trust them enough to allow them to know you without your needing to defend yourself. Leaving the room or opting out of saying how you feel is a very hurtful and passive aggressive way of behaving as I think you know and I am wondering whether you are afraid of the conflict that might occur if you stay and say how you feel, whether you are afraid it will destroy things. However a degree of conflict is natural in all relationships. If you feel you cannot allow that then it may be worth talking through your fears with a counsellor, perhaps someone from Relate as they see people on their own about difficulties with relationships.


  • Maybe I was afraid of conflict, I didn't want to appear controlling or complaining all the time. I couldn't process what I felt, so I just said nothing.

    I have been very open in the past, even just with other people, and that has led to me being ridiculed, socially rejected and so on (even though that was when I was much younger, and it would be more helpful not to judge myself based on that). So now, I don't give very much away until I am comfortable during a one to one approach.

    I would like a relationship, but I find it very hard to imagine being someones' girlfriend again. I don't know why, but if I like someone, I'm instantly bogged down by thoughts that they are too good looking for me, too nice to be single, why would they go for me. An acquaintance told me very bluntly once I don't give off a "sexual vibe" at all so am unapproachable. This makes me sad, and I'm trying to improve that a bit.

  • Why not see a counsellor or therapist in order to discover why your self-esteem is low, why you feel you are not good enough for others and how to change that?


  • I have been seeing one, but I felt I didn't need it much after a few months. Although maybe I need it more than I think.

    Another issue is I also crave time alone at least once in the day. I like being independent and having my own space. So I am wondering if I am telling myself I want love, when I actually don't. Guess I just don't know myself well enough right now :(

  • It sounds like you experience the normal ambivalence most of us feel about relationships, you both do want them but also don't. That conflict is common, I guess the knack is recognising that you need others and that being in a relationship need not mean you losing your independence or your own space. Sometimes relationships can enable that e.g. if I was not in a relationship I would not have the money to be online nor would I have the time as I would need to be earning, so my husband enables me to do more of what I like - which is to have my own space now while he's sleeping! A simple example, but true. Few of us can enjoy life alone for long, but because you felt you didn't need the relationship you had doesn't necessarily mean you do not need or want a relationship, just that you didn't need or want that particular one. It sounds as if you are uncertain what you do want?


  • Yes I am uncertain. I can't picture the person I would be with at all (of course friends and family say that's just because i haven't met them) but I wonder if that's also because I am unable to see myself in a relationship. I sometimes perceive people as being "too interested" and immediately go on the defence and become suspicious. And then I am attracted to the ones who are not interested and end up kicking myself and withdrawing from the game entirely.

    It feels complicated to say the least! As you say, more common than I think though.

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