What are we scared of?

Why are people scared to tell someone that they love them? I believe it’s because they are afraid of the other person’s response. Of course, if the object of their affection immediately returns the sentiment, then it’s one of the happiest moment of their lives.

On the other hand, if there’s an awkward pause, or, even worse still, a negative response, then their whole world comes tumbling down. The close friendship they may have enjoyed previously, is now in jeopardy…all because one party decided to up the ante and take the relationship to a different level.

It’s that same type of awkwardness that strikes people who go on internet blind dates. Sure, online you get on like a house on fire. You’re both open and friendly, the banter flows smoothly, you laugh at each other’s jokes, you wonder if you’ve finally met your soulmate. So you push the envelope further out and wonder aloud if you should meet. Seeing as how you get on so well and all…

And then…the encounter in the flesh doesn’t go as well as you envisioned. Something’s not quite right, but you can’t place your finger on it. The spark’s not there. Face to face, there’s no chemistry between you, whereas online you were both smokin’.

And then comes the crunch. Exactly how does one disengage from an internet blind date, after a disastrous first date in person?

You can’t very well say “See you online” or “Catch you online later”, what would you even say to each other when next you meet in cyberspace? “Thanks for meeting me, but I think we’re better off as internet friends?” Awkward!!

It’s likewise with real life relationships that are looking to take it up a notch. How do you even go back to “the way things were”, with the spectre of one party having been rebuffed by the other looming large over the relationship? Perhaps for some this is entirely possible. But I reckon for many, it’s again that word – awkward.

Do you dare speak of love? You’re damned if you do, and you’re dammed if you don’t. If you do, you run the risk of being rejected and losing perhaps the love of your life. If you don’t you run the risk of a braver soul beating you to the grand prize. There’s even a word for that, I just found out…”Thantophobia”, or fear of losing someone you love. But the argument could be made that you never had that person before you went and opened that big mouth of yours, so how can you lose someone who was never yours to begin with?

What a conundrum! Perhaps this is why Romance is such a popular genre amongst those of us that still know how to read. The whole idea of Love Unrequited/Love Undeclared/Love Thwarted has been a recurring theme throughout the centuries. And even today, many of us are still terrified of the idea of declaring our love for someone.

Here are some of my favourite quotes about this subject. I’ve curated these from Google Images, please do respect the rights of the original copyright holders.

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