Skip to Content

How do I stop being scared of love?

Falling in love can be both exhilarating and terrifying. The intensity of emotions and vulnerability that comes with loving someone deeply can activate our fears around attachment, intimacy, commitment, and loss. It’s common to have some anxiety about opening your heart, but if fear is holding you back from experiencing love, there are ways to overcome it.

First, it’s helpful to understand where your fear is coming from. Were you hurt in a past relationship and now afraid of being hurt again? Do you fear losing your independence or sense of self in a committed partnership? Are you anxious about making the wrong choice or worried you don’t deserve love? Recognizing the root of your fears takes away some of their power.

Why am I afraid of falling in love?

There are several common reasons people may be afraid to fall in love:

  • Fear of intimacy – Growing close to someone requires vulnerability and openness, which can feel risky. If you have trouble opening up, you may be scared of the intimacy that comes with love.
  • Fear of commitment – If the idea of dedicating yourself solely to one partner frightens you, commitmentphobia could underlie your fear.
  • Fear of abandonment – If you’ve been abandoned, cheated on, or have had your trust broken in the past, you may be scared of being hurt again.
  • Fear of losing independence – Some people associate falling in love with losing their freedom or sense of self. The emotional dependency of love can feel threatening.
  • Fear of choosing the wrong person – Making the “wrong” choice and getting stuck in an unhappy relationship is a common fear.
  • Fear of not being worthy of love – Coping with low self-esteem and negative self-perception can make us feel unworthy and afraid we don’t deserve love.

Understanding what underlies your fear is an important first step in dealing with it constructively.

How do I overcome the fear of falling in love?

You can take several approaches to help calm your fears about love and relationships:

  • Challenge negative thoughts – The way we think about love has a huge impact on how we experience it. Notice self-sabotaging thoughts like “I’ll just end up hurt” and consciously replace them with more positive beliefs.
  • Take it slow – Don’t rush into intense commitment. Give a new relationship time to unfold gradually so you can adjust to growing intimacy.
  • Focus on compatibility – Don’t get swept up in attraction. Vet potential partners carefully to ensure your values, life goals and visions for the future are aligned.
  • Don’t lose yourself – Make regular time for self-care, hobbies, friends and personal goals. Maintain your identity as an individual within the relationship.
  • Communicate your fears – Confide in your partner about what scares you and work together to address concerns compassionately.
  • Get therapy – If past trauma, anxiety or abandonment issues underlie your fears, counseling can help you overcome barriers to intimacy.

How can I be less scared of getting hurt?

It’s impossible to entirely avoid getting hurt in intimate relationships. However, you can take certain precautions to minimize the chances of major heartbreak or trauma:

  • Don’t ignore red flags or compromise your core values to make a relationship work.
  • Develop strong boundaries and don’t tolerate disrespect, lies, controlling behavior or abuse.
  • Take time to heal and learn from past relationship wounds before rushing into something new.
  • Build trust slowly over time; don’t get overly attached too quickly.
  • Maintain a strong sense of self-worth outside the relationship.
  • Prioritize open, honest communication and emotional availability in a partner.
  • Accept that loss or pain is part of any authentic love. Focus on appreciating the good times rather than avoiding hurt.

While heartbreak is always a risk, being selective about who you open up to and not compromising your standards can minimize the chances of serious trauma.

How can I stop sabotaging my relationships?

If you chronically self-sabotage romantic relationships, here are some tips:

  • Get to the root of what you’re afraid of – dig into your fears with self-reflection, journaling or therapy.
  • Work on self-esteem and identifying distortions in your self-image.
  • Don’t make decisions based on fears (i.e. breaking up preemptively). Sit with discomfort and ride it out.
  • Commit to personal growth. Develop secure attachment and emotional regulation skills.
  • Communicate openly when you feel yourself withdrawing or acting out of fear.
  • Don’t make your partner responsible for your insecurities. Own your issues.
  • Build emotional intimacy slowly. Don’t flee when you start to feel close to someone.
  • Challenge negative thinking patterns before they become self-fulfilling prophecies.

The more you understand the root of your sabotaging behaviors, the better able you’ll be to catch them early and choose new ways of relating.

How can I learn to trust in relationships?

Learning to trust again after you’ve been betrayed or hurt takes time, but you can rebuild trust by:

  • Getting therapy to work through wounds from past relationships.
  • Not assuming every new partner will be the same as an ex who broke your trust.
  • Letting go of the need to control situations or other people.
  • Beginning new relationships slowly and watching for red flags.
  • Learning to be vulnerable in stages and monitoring how your trust is honored.
  • Communicating your triggers and fears related to trust.
  • Focusing on consistent actions over time, not just words.
  • Working on your own ability to be trusting – check insecurities.
  • Understanding occasional mistakes can exist alongside overall trustworthiness.

With time, openness and commitment to growth by both people, it is possible to develop healthy, trusting relationships after past betrayals.

How do I stop feeling unworthy of love?

If you feel unworthy of love, here are some ways to overcome it:

  • Get therapy and improve your self-esteem.
  • Identify and challenge inner voices telling you that you don’t deserve love.
  • Make a list of your positive qualities to show yourself why you can be loved.
  • Stop seeking validation from others and be your own cheerleader.
  • Identify any past experiences leading you to conclude you were unworthy of love.
  • Change your self talk – stop engaging in negative self criticism.
  • Practice self care – do nice things for yourself that reinforce your value.
  • Take social risks to disprove your inner critic – open up, be vulnerable, allow yourself to be loved.
  • Surround yourself with people who appreciate you for who you are.

The more you can shift your inner dialog to a healthier narrative and see yourself through loving eyes, the more worthy of love you’ll start to feel.

What are the signs you have a fear of intimacy?

Signs that you may have underlying fears of intimacy include:

  • Difficulty opening up emotionally to romantic partners
  • Sabotaging relationships once they start getting serious
  • Trouble sharing personal details and being vulnerable
  • Discomfort with too much closeness and pushing partners away
  • Issues with physical intimacy like sex
  • Keeping aspects of yourself compartmentalized from a partner
  • Inability to speak honestly about feelings
  • Preferring casual, shallow relationships over depth and commitment

If growing close to someone makes you feel extremely anxious, you may have an underlying fear of intimacy disrupting your relationships.


Being afraid to love and open yourself up to someone new is normal. However, severe fear that prevents you from experiencing attachment and close relationships often has roots in past hurts, low self-worth, trust issues or fear of vulnerability. Addressing the core fears that hold you back through self-reflection, communication with partners and professional mental health support can help you overcome barriers to intimacy. With courage and compassion for yourself, developing a willingness to risk your heart again is possible.