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Too Afraid To Love?

It’s important to know that pain is part of any relationship. In this week’s episode of LOVELife I take a question from Christine about being vulnerable. Christine had been using her past experience as reason to shut herself off from fully experiencing relationships that followed. I show you how to turn bad relationships on their head by taking lessons from them to be even more prepared for the next. Enjoy!

If you’re afraid to commit, take the lessons from your past relationship and know that in every relationship you are risking pain; but the outcome can still be wonderful!

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14 Replies to “Too Afraid To Love?”

  • By the way: VERY GOOD VIDEO

    One of your best, if not the best. And very helpful for me at the moment.

  • Hi Matt,

    It would be helpful to do a segment on dating with flaws and conditions (including illnesses, disability, other such conditions).

    I can relate to Christine’s story in that I am scared of being hurt and vulnerable both as a person and because I have autoimmune condition which affects my skin and makes me ‘hide’ sort of.

    I have been in two relationships in which I was appreciated wholeheartedly regardless of my skin but it has been 2 years since my last relationship and I am scared of being rejected even though I know (and have evidence) that it wont matter much to someone who was worth having me.

    I am facially attractive by societal standards, very fit and healthy and have a great figure to show for it ,and my personality shines through (everyone says I make people happy just being myself) so I get a lot of attention from men – but I turn them down. It has been alright because I didn’t like them anyway but now…

    There is this guy that has liked me for a fair while and we are insanely attracted to each other but I pull back because I am too scared to even give him a chance to get to know me. That boat might have sailed because I wasn’t returning his advances but I am worried I will keep doing this to men I would like to be with.

    On the whole, I am happy because I like who I am; only downside is my skin and I am getting treatment so it is a matter of time. But till then I am scared to love because in as much as I know I am enough as is I cannot translate that into my interactions with someone I am interested in :(

    1. As someone on the dating scene who has a chronic health condition (and who has a friend in the same position), I get you. I know first-hand how tough it is to put yourself out there and risk not being accepted by others when, ultimately .. you’re not accepting yourself.

      The more I accept my limitations and, more than that, embrace wholeheartedly the million other amazing things I am (including the lessons my health condition has bestowed upon me, guys have told me how courageous and inspiring I am), the more others accept me, too.

      (In fact, I went speed-dating recently; the only time my walking stick was commented on was by me, when I joked that it was to ‘beat away hordes of men’!)

      Perhaps any guy’s relationship with you reflects your relationship with yourself. If you don’t have a problem with something, they are more likely to adopt that behaviour. You lead by example.

      Sure, for me, some guys want a gal who can scale the north face of the Eiger and stuff and therefore aren’t interested, but they tend not to be the kind of guy I’m seeking anyway (if they want to go they can do so on their own and thrill me with their tales afterwards, I’m a loving and enthralled audience!)

      Anything of ourselves we feel uncomfortable about has the option to be owned by us and turned into an advantage. There’s a great chapter on insecurity in Matt’s book Get The Guy where a single mum says to a guy, ‘Your dimples look like my daughter’s. They are so cute.’ Rather than feeling ashamed of being a single mum, she owned it and the guy lapped it up :)

      Pain is inevitable, suffering perhaps less so. Which is greater? The enduring pain of not finding the relationship you long for, or the sharp pain of occasional rejection?

      Because, ultimately, what would you find more attractive in someone; the condition/disfigurement, or their insecurity about it which stops them from playing ‘full out’? :)


      1. Thank you for your comment Anna. The most awesome I know are those who don’t let life hold them back and own their situation.

        Glad to know I am not alone :). Totally on board with what you say about being comfortable in oneself and its implications on how people react to you.

        In fact – after hiding some parts of my body from my ex one time; I got over it and walked about in my naked glory and he said he’d never been prouder of me than in that moment. So yea I get it.

        Probably just been out of the game too long and get a bit anxious hearing how men are visual creatures all the time. I’ve never been kicked out of bed though so I will chuck it to dating performance anxiety – Lol.

        I still think it will be great to get that sort of perspective as there are many others who may not have your insight or my positive experience and feel left out by not being able to directly relate to some of the topics on here due to special conditions.

  • I’m so happy this episode was published. Because I feel like I’m Christine. I’m so afraid of getting hurt that I have shut down myself from relationships for years.
    Matthew’s advice was excellent!

  • That is all great, but I have a question…
    I’ve been hurt a lot and I always wanted to be in a relationship up until now.
    It’s been almost two years that I’m single and that’s a first for me. Before, I never wanted to be alone and always dreamed to grow old with someone. But I have learn to be by myself and I’m quite happy now. Really! I use to not believe those who said that they were happy alone. In my case, I’m truly happy. Ok sometimes I thing to myself ”it would be great to have a partner etc…” but I don’t feel the need.

    So my question is… How do I know that I don’t want a relationship versus I simply gave up the idea of ”love” because I’ve been hurt so many times???

    I can’t make up my mind about it…
    If you can enlighten me, that would be great!


    1. I understand what this gal is saying.
      I feel the same way and question myself too.
      What kinda response if any did you get ??

  • Matt – could you do a segment on dating when you have a condition? I agree with RedLippie. I would totally want some advice on that. I believe you are qualified to answer this question, and I trust you help us out. Please Matthew, it would mean a lot.

    It would be nice to have some concrete instructions on HOW to present illness (when it’s not visible at first sight too)? I would be really grateful…!

    My illness isn’t me, but it really affects the way I live my life. I love a good challenge, but I can’t get around the fact that illness brings a lot of pain. So I can’t hide it, and since I don’t know HOW to present it I start making a problem out of it. Because many men might just hear a problem when they hear conditions like CFS/fibromyalgia/autoimmune diseases, and instead of getting to know me, all they see M.E. (funny thing is that when I hear someone is ill, I really want to take care of them). But trying to “hide it” makes me feel ashamed of it, and I’m not. But I’m starting to, and that was not the situation before I started dating…

    Your tips would really help us feel more secure. Haven’t seen any good advice directly pointed to that on the internet, and you have met so many women on your Retreats++, so I know that you have encountered/made up some thoughts around illness and dating/lifestyle. Yours are the first advice I encountered out there that actually roots in dignity and standards. You leave us feeling empowered without being afraid of being vulnerable, and not manipulative/game playing at all.

    I have faith in you. We have so much love to give, and deserve to be seen for who we are<3 We just need a tool…

  • Wow… Im in EXACTLY the same situation as Christine right now – although I have reason to be afraid of being vulnerable as well as the fear of commitment (due to emotional abuse in a past relationship)… This video has been really useful in my current situation!!

  • Matthew,

    I have recently stumbled across your social media platforms and have enjoyed listening and learning to your videos and figuring out more things I thought I understood but discovered I never really did!

    I need advice or input regarding my own personal dating life and the struggles I have been facing. I am 21 years old and recently graduated from university. Obviously, university seems to be the hotspot of the dating scene and for three years of school, I had about three separate connections with guys that proved to each be about 2 months full of confusion and frustration. I have never been the type of woman to be seriously involved with anyone, but would love to get to that stage in my life, especially now that university is not taking up so much time. But every time I get involved with a guy, I find myself struggling through panic attacks and real fear to the point of me quickly backing out of anything to do with a relationship. I hate that this is my reaction and have worked hard to address it to the point of seeing counselors to work through my thought processes and even going on anti-anxiety medication. Anytime a guy and I make a connection, the first few flirty texts/interactions are fine and I think I want this, but when anything more serious happens (like defining a relationship), I lose all confidence and find myself dreading any interaction with him. I really don’t want to go through life feeling this way about anything beyond friendship with a guy.

    I feel so frustrated and discouraged and unfortunately it leads me to building walls to keep people from getting to know me. I just want to know what I’m doing wrong so I can move forward from all this, and hopefully towards finding the right guy to spend life with.


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