How I got over a fear of relationships without ever being in one.


Writing something this personal upfront is always daunting, so stay with me. I don’t know where this is going and I know that’s not a promising introduction, but words help me put a pin in my mind and I feel like I’ve grown as a person this past week, so here’s to uncovering parts of ourselves.

I’ve always been terrified of dating and my reasoning was to find joy in myself first. While this was true, happiness isn’t a constant for me and I’ve come to terms with that. 

So what else was holding me back?

A lot.

I was scared of being let down. I was scared of accepting that I could be worthy of love and to top it all off, I had a lot of body image issues. ( shoutout to Kerala and my parents for the last one:) )

As you can see I’m still salty over one of them but that’s only because I was never hard on my body as a kid. It was always someone else that put the thought in my head. And I’m disappointed that we live in a world where kids learn to hate their own skin before they learn to think for themselves. I’ll keep the rest of my opinions on that at bay for now.

Despite being scared, I was and still am in the most wonderful friendships. I am surrounded by people with whom I can be vulnerable, topless, bottomless, you name it. And it took losing a friend to realize that a relationship isn’t the only way to feel heartbreak and grow. 

I lost a friend to misunderstandings, miscommunication, and neglect. I never saw it coming because we’ve had conversations of worst case scenarios. But we managed to split over something our imagination didn’t cover. Do I still believe in the other friendships I’ve fostered? Yes. 

I realized that I could have the best of intentions, the most love my heart could hold and still be caught off guard. But that’s the beauty in people. They’re beyond complex. It’s not just neurons, family and socio-cultural factors that define choices. Psychology doesn’t have the literature to describe the depth of ones thought process and neither do I.

Maybe it’s the fact that I still have people I’m in love with around me, maybe it’s the comfort they provide. But everyone makes a big deal of their first love. And mine is gone. And I’m okay. In fact, I can breathe easier than before. 

I now know that I deserve love, not just from people, but from myself. I came out of this knowing my worth. Those words hold such weight to the kid who couldn’t look in the mirror at her lowest weight. To the kid who would listen to everyone’s problems but would drown her thoughts in loud music because she couldn’t face herself. 

I don’t mean any ill will to my friend. Or to any future exs. If I’ve loved you, I’ll continue to wish only the best for you. Lifes too short for anything else. As time passed and my crippling fear of death subsided, I’ve let go of my fear of things ending. And that has given me so much peace.

At the end of the day, I’m standing up for myself. And I’ll continue to do so. I’m ready for the world.

I see myself. And I’m not wincing. Not anymore.

Love, ( Yes I still have lots of it. )



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