Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Fear and want of a relationship

Hi, I'm not really sure if I have the right place for this, I've used this website on and off for a few years now just as a bit of a guide but I've never really touched on the forums, but I feel a bit lost with things and this seemed like it might be the right place to turn.


I'm a guy in my early 20’s and I've never had a girlfriend. Its not without trying though but whenever I do try it always ends up at a point where I get a response along the lines of "I just don't want to be in a relationship right now, but I’d like to be friends" or something more or less the same.

I'm not looking to make a bitter complaint about being "friendzoned", I don’t even like that term. I know that half the times I've gotten my normal response it is the truth, while the other half it has been a nice way of them saying they weren’t interested. In any case I understand and respect their views and wishes but after hearing it so many times and never anything else, I feel like I've more or less just come to a point where I can only expect that response regardless of what I do.

I've always tried to improve my relationship skills and learn from each experience but it seems to have little effect other than prolonging or hastening the same result.


It was my most recent attempt at trying to get to know someone better that brought me here. It took for more than a few months to work up the courage to ask her out and I couldn't believe it when she said yes, no one had ever said yes to an actual date with me before and it was the happiest I had felt in a long time, normally asking someone out would have been the point where I got the normal response and that would be the end of it. Still on the actual "date" I slowly realised that she probably just wanted to be friends. When I asked her a week later if she wanted to go out again I got the response I always get and that was the end of it. 

When I looked back between the moment of her saying yes to going out and the end of it, I realised that I had developed a genuine fear of hearing that same reasonable response again from women im attracted to and the worst part was that despite trying to rationalise and ignore it the whole way through, just trying to tell myself that "this time will be different" and "things are going better than before", I had that fear realised.

After this most recent event I'm now terrified to try and form a close relationship out of the fear that I develop feelings for that person and I'll have to deal with the fact that they aren’t interested and that no matter what it will all end the same as before.


I know compared to a lot of other things on these forums this is probably a pretty petty little thing but I just can't seem to rationalise my way out of it anymore. I feel like I'm cursed or being punished for something. Every time I go through the emotions of ending (or really not even starting) a deeper relationship my whole life takes an impact and it gets harder each time to deal with it all, especially since I seem to be at the age where I have to start taking on more and more in the way of everyday responsibilities.

I just don't know if I'm doing something wrong, maybe I'm attracted to the wrong people but I'm also not the sort of person who tries to go out with every girl I meet, it's often years between each experience and I develop feelings over a long time. 

I've said "end of it" a few times as well but often I have tried to maintain friendships with these girls, but it always becomes a lot more difficult after I've developed deeper feelings for them and tried to express that.


I guess in summary, I've developed a fear out of trying of being in a relationship (due to it always ending the same way) but at the same time I want to be in a relationship. 

I don’t really know what I'm seeking from this post either, advice, insight, anyone have something similar they want to share, I kinda feel a bit better just typing it all out but still a long way off being ok.

I don’t really know if I need any professional help or not but I wouldn’t even know where to begin to seek it. Most of my friends seem to come to me when they have a problem but so far I haven’t been successful seeking help in return, no one has really been able to help or seem to understand me.


Thanks in advance for any help.


Re: Fear and want of a relationship

Hey @Reachingout1 


Welcome to Reach Out!


It's a really hard situation too be in, when you feel eady to have an intimate relationship but the people you choose to have one with just won't play ball!!

It's also very understandable that you are now anticipating the moment when they pull the rug out from under you, which can then affect the way you interact.


One approach I've seen have some real success is to take relationships off the table for a little while. Tell yourself that you are no longer looking for a partner but are looking just to broaden your social circle. Stop yourself from pursuing a girlfriend and instead committ to making as many new friends as possible. This page has tips on how.


Even if you find someone really attractive, you still just focus on friendships. Basically you friendzone everyone else. Then, if a girl really likes you, she can let you know. She can work to convince you that she's more than just a friend!


Ask around, it's amazing how many people say they met their partner the minute they stopped looking for one. Smiley Happy


Re: Fear and want of a relationship


I can only offer you advice from my own experience and opinion. I hope I dont get in trouble giving you these advice but I think it may be helpful.

I suggest you do a bit of search on attraction and how it works. Love it or hate it, attraction is a game and not much you can do about it. I have heard many times from my female friends how some guys chase them and all I do is shake my head. 

There are books on attraction and you should check em out. Learn to play the game or else it really is an upwards battle. On top of that, having a really good solid social circle is my opinion more important than anything else. 


Good luck and remember its also a numbers game.


Re: Fear and want of a relationship

Hi @Reachingout1 Smiley Happy


Just wanted to second @NigioC 's suggestion of steering away from explicitly looking for a partner for a while, because that's more or less the situation I met my current partner in. I tried dating for a few years and it didn't seem to work much, because I was more worried about having a partner than meeting someone I could have a meaningful connection with. Eventually I decided it would be best to focus on other things for a while, and it was during that period that I met my partner!!


I found that I had to make a very clear and well thought out choice that I would no longer look for a partner, and instead occupied my time with other activities. I ended up learning many things I didn't anticipate I would learn and became somewhat more confident. You find that when you get rejected a lot you start to lose confidence in yourself because you start believing that noone wants you. That attitude can come out in your behaviour, consciously or otherwise, and affect the way you relate to people, including people you might be interested in. Increasing your social circle could also have the added benefit of making you a more socially confident person.


This isn't to say that being disinterested in dating is an absolutely foolproof method of landing a partner, but staying away from dating for a while can take the focus of your self-confidence off of your ability to attract romance into your life, which can help improve your confidence and help you in the long run. You'll probably make some new friends along the way too Smiley Happy


Re: Fear and want of a relationship

Hi there. Reading your post, has made me 'feel for you' . I can truly understand where your coming from and I'm a female. It's truly a shame that alot of our youth today view friendships as the new dating. By this I mean, that friendships have become the accepted form of relationships. They are free from commitment, obligation, and carry the 'freedoms' that people in 'comitted relationships' no longer have. Take heart, don't be too judgmental and don't lose your confidence or desire to have a partner that is 'just for you' so to speak. It will happen. My advice, behave normal, don't try too hard to impress a girl by conversation. Be humble and honest. You will click when you meet the right girl. Until that happens enjoy our life and be a proud, confident young man. Don't be bitter, girls can be superficial, judgmental, and immature. They just haven't reached your maturity level. Everyone's different have we all have different priorities at any one given time. Relax... Enjoy being you and don't be anxious. As they say, you never know what's waiting for you around the corner!!


Re: Fear and want of a relationship

Hey @Reachingout1 


Welcome to RO. This is definitely the right place for you to post, and there's nothing petty about what you're going through at all! I think that finding a partner is one of the toughest and emotionally challenging experiences we go through as we grow up. 


I'm currently in my 20's too and I haven't had many relationships at all, and my longest one was 8 months. I have had times where I wondered whether there was something wrong with me, but i've come to realize that this isn't the case. I'm quite confident that I will meet someone in time that I really click with - for now i'm just focusing on my studies, career and hobbies. 


You might not be able to see it right now, but your ability to put yourself out there to ask that girl out recently and have her agree is a big win. Even though it didn't play out as you'd planned, it's experience gained and i'm sure that there are plenty of other girls out there that would agree to go out with you.


I agree with @NigioC about considering taking relationships off the table for a while. It can be quite discouraging to be actively pursuing a partner and being turned down, but if you aren't really trying, you might be more relaxed and have a chance to build your confidence up again. 



Re: Fear and want of a relationship

Hi all, thanks for all the advice and support its been really helpfull over the last week.


Everything was still pretty fresh when I orignailly posted and after having a bit of time to think over things I already feel better about it all, and the advice about taking relationships off the table is definitly good and the right way to go. Its actualy what i did prior to meeting the last girl and she was definintly a better person than others i had met, even if it still didnt work out the way I wanted. I think its also why things hurt a bit more this time when it didnt work out, we were good friends before I asked her out and I was able to just be myself and be casual around her which was why I felt comfortable doing it. For the moment I guess I've lost her as a friend, or at the very least its awkward to try and talk to her now. Plus other circumstances changed and I went from seeing her every other day to not seeing her at all, again part of the reason why I asked her out, just so i could keep seeing her even if it was less often. I think im probably more upset now that i just dont get to talk to her face to face on a regular basis anymore.


Still, looking back I see i didnt do anything wrong so and not hunting for a relationship was the best thing to do last time and still the best thing to do this time. And at the end of it all I feel like the fact that I tried to be open about everything was better than keeping my feelings to myself like I normally do.


It's still a long road ahead i guess but i feel better about it this time, i hope others also get some benifit from this.

Thanks again for the inputs so far, this was definitly the right place to turn.