While dating or being in a relationship can be fun and exciting, it can also be anxiety inducing. Think about it: You're opening yourself up to another person, who may or may not hurt you, without the slightest idea that everything will work out or not.
And sometimes, this idea of being vulnerable with another person can bring insecurities to the surface (which is completely normal, BTW). This is especially true if a previous relationship has caused pain and suffering and possibly even affected one's self-esteem.
And a lot of these responses are relatable, vulnerable, and completely honest. Here are some of their answers below.
1. "I'm short, flat as a board, and look like I'm 14. I've had people tell me: 'I don't want people thinking I'm some kind of pedophile' and not want to date me because of it. I try looking older, but it's really hard."
3. "That he doesn’t really want me around, and my presence bothers him. I grew up as a Jehovah's Witness and had it drilled into me that the only reason women exist is to be the support system for men."
"If I don’t have constant validation that he wants or needs me, I'll believe I’ve outlived my usefulness, and he will now see that I am worthless, which will end with me being discarded. I’ve never had a healthy relationship because of it."
5. "Being too much for someone. I deal with mental illness and it’s so overwhelming — even I don’t want to be near myself. I'm working on getting better through therapy, medication, and holding myself accountable, since I know mental illness is an explanation but not an excuse. I guess I’m scared that no one will want to deal with me or have the patience to. I know I shouldn’t expect anyone to accept my mental illness, but sometimes it feels like I simply can’t be loved."
7. "That secretly, I am with someone who will eventually reveal themselves to be a hateful, misogynistic, uncaring, and/or abusive person. I've been in a couple abusive relationships before and it's made me question my judgement a lot. I thought my most recent relationship was perfect, but after the breakup, I looked back and wondered if I'd ever really knew the man I was with."
"It's a hard balance to decide what is a red flag or not, what is worth bailing completely, and what is just not a big deal or not that serious."
9. "The fact that I will never be 'good enough' for somebody. This doesn’t come from a place of lack of confidence; it comes from the constant rejection I've experienced from men. And when it becomes a regular thing, you start to believe it’s true."
"I guess there’s no room in life for mediocrity (i.e. looks, jobs, housing, etc.). People are always looking for more."
13. "Losing my independence. It happened once. I crawled out of that relationship after two decades of being a stay-at-home mom (I always had a job of some sort, but my career was put on hold to give his a boost). I had absolutely no support network. I was alone and terrified. After when I left him, I quintupled the salary I was making within seven years by working my ass off — and now, with my new partner, we're buying a house with my name on the deeds. I'm nearly 50, and I'm buying my first home."
"I will NEVER willingly put myself in that situation again. Luckily, my new partner respects my craving to work and provide for myself. I will never again not have my own bank account or my own friends. I will never be a 'good wife' but I'll be a bloody amazing PARTNER."
16. "How my health will affect the relationship. I have a serious autoimmune disease. I don't look sick, but I structure every day around my symptoms, medications, and treatments. I've always talked to new partners about this as soon as they indicate they want to be exclusive. I talk about how it affects my life and would affect theirs and basically give them an out. No matter how thoroughly I explain it, reality doesn't seem to sink in until I'm hospitalized or preparing for surgery, etc."
"Most people in their 20s and 30s have no real concept of what being sick for the rest of your life is actually like. So they either sabotage by acting like an ass or bail. My health has contributed to ending every serious, adult relationship in my life."
18. "Being older. Im 72, active, and in shape, so I tend to date slightly younger men. I look much younger than my age and don't give my birthdate out. Ageism is a very real problem. I have a partner now, but I used to worry because it's easier for men to date much younger women. I was concerned about being used and dumped for a younger woman or meeting someone who just wanted to scam or use me for money."
"When men whistle or catcall, I can't tell if they mean it or if they're just making fun of me. I know I shouldn't care about what a catcaller thinks. But the truth is, in my position, I do."
22. "Waking up one day and being broken up with, with no warning and nothing 'being wrong.' It's happened to me twice in my life, both right at the one-year point. One day they both showed up, said, 'I'm done,' and left, and I was completely blindsided. We weren't fighting, we seemed to be happy, and everything seemed ok. Both men later told me it was nothing that I'd done; it was just something they hadn't really thought through very long about, and they regretted it."
"The possibility of someone just disappearing on me like that again gives me so much insecurity and anxiety, and I find it really hard to relax in a relationship now."