On Being Afraid (That the Other Person Will Stop Liking You)


I was having a conversation with a friend the other day. She’s dating a new guy and is still in the unsure stage. And it really made me (actually both of us) think about how we’re always afraid of other people’s feelings, but not really afraid of our own. Think about it.

When you first start dating someone new and they are making plans for something in the future. You generally stop and wonder what will happen if this person stops liking you. But it’s rare that you wonder if you’ll stop liking them. There is just as much of a chance of that happening. But we always seem more afraid of the other person’s feeling than our own (or I guess more afraid they will stop feeling what they’re feeling).

Now, let’s be clear here -- I don’t think this is weird or anything. I mean it’s totally understandable to be a little nervous about completely putting your faith and trust in another person. As long as you aren’t punishing them or sacrificing the potential because of that fear I think it’s completely fine. It’s just funny that we’re so quick to wonder about them, but not about ourselves.

As my friend pointed out, we think it’s partially because of control. You can’t control how the other person thinks and feels, but you have more control over your own. I also think it’s because the idea that you will stop liking them seems easier. I mean, if you stop liking a person you’re ready to end things and that’s less of a blow than if they suddenly end things with you.

So, yeah, there’s some food for thought. And one last thing -- I wonder if people fully stop this whole thing. Not that it’s an issue of believing or questioning if they truly care for you or anything like that. I think you reach a point where you know they like you, love you, want to be with you, etc. But I wonder if people still have moments like this even after they’ve been together for many years. Anyone want to weigh in?