If you're going to "get scared" then you shouldn't date at all.
There comes a time in every young, budding relationship for one or both of the interested parties to get spooked, freaked out, and contemplate calling it quits, resulting in them throwing away what could have potentially become a great relationship. Usually, this happens at a time when things are still going great and it's seemingly out of nowhere.
Think about it: how many relationships have we seen start off so promising, and then suddenly, they crash and burn quickly before our eyes? Was it that one of the people in the relationship was great at hiding their true colors and revealed them a little too soon? Did someone end up falling for someone else? Was it just not a good match?
Ahhhh, the good old “scared” excuse. It's a super-convenient excuse for sh*tty relationship behavior, yet it wouldn't be a commonly used and abused excuse unless it was based upon some truth.
Let’s be honest: anyone who has been hurt is scared of being hurt again. As soon as you move on from that hurt, brave the dating world again, and start getting serious with someone, it feels the same way as it did in your past relationships. You feel excited and happy, yet vulnerable and terrified of a potentially bad outcome. Just as you felt before.
You can't help but ask yourself, “Where is this going?” “What if this ends badly?” “What if I end up hating them?” All of those questions are valid. Feeling similar to how you felt right before you got your heart torn out of your body and shattered into pieces will trigger a sense of “fight or flight” from deep within.
So when does this “fear” reach its peak? When does your internal protection mechanism get so loud it is impossible to ignore? Answer: Right when you realize that by losing them, you have something to lose.
As f*cked up as our logic is, right when we realize we have something to lose is exactly the time we want to let it go. We think that this is our last opportunity to get away and escape whole. One more date, one more sleepover, one more joke shared between the two of you and you risk being legitimately hurt if things don't work out. And you just can't handle the idea of that.
Enter the "being scared" excuse. Whether you are adult about it and have a “breakup” conversation facef-to-ace, or whether you sabotage your relationship by hurting the other person so they dump you, once you commit to this exit strategy, you’re committed for good.
But what about the other person? Do you stop to consider their feelings? Do you ever think that they might be just as susceptible to falling into the “scared excuse” trap, too? If they felt scared, they might have already trudged through that feeling because they liked you just that much.
When you’re about to pull the trigger on an exit strategy and sabotage your relationship, remember how great the person is that you’ve gotten to know over the past weeks, months, or however long it's been. Remember they're probably worried about the exact same outcomes that you’re worried about.
Try and remind yourself of why you’ve continued to see them for a period of time. Odds are that there are a lot of good things there and it could very well be worth the risk of getting hurt again.
If you’re going to dump someone with no solid foundation other than the fact that you don't want to get hurt, you shouldn’t have tried to date at all.