Have you ever heard of the Jonah Complex? You can think of it as a personal growth inhibitor. People who experience this have a fear of success or a fear of reaching their personal best in different areas of their lives. You wouldn’t necessarily experience this fear your entire life, it comes and goes as you are forced to make life changing decisions.
It’s triggered by things like making a career change, deciding to go back to school for another degree, auditioning for a role or trying out for a team, committing to a relationship or moving away from your hometown. On one hand you want to go for it because you know it’ll bring you a level of happiness and fulfillment that you crave but on the other hand, going for it comes with consequences as does everything in life. It’s like a protective mechanism that kicks in when you begin to think about the negative things that could come from pursuing an opportunity like failure, not living up to the expectations people have of you, doubting that what you want is even possible, etc.
In my case, I’m afraid of being in love.
Even though I’m almost two years shy of my 30th birthday, when it comes to being in love I am very “green.” I think there is a difference in loving someone and being in love with someone and I can honestly say that I’ve only been in love with two men. Like the kids in the interludes on Lauryn Hill’s album said, if you can fall in love, that means you can fall out of love…and that’s why I’m afraid of it.
I’ve been telling my closest friends that I was ready to settle down – not quite ready to be married yet but definitely ready to settle down with one person. My ideal guy would of course be attractive (I’m a little particular when it comes to what I’m attracted to..bad I know), connected to his spirit and have a relationship with God, hardworking, intelligent, sure of his role as a man, respectful, have a sense of humor and very attentive. Sounds like a lot but those are my non-negotiables. I can teach you how to be good in bed but I can’t force myself to be attracted to you. I can go to church with you, but I wanna be able to pray with you and have God as the head of our relationship…you get my point.
Well, I met my ideal guy. Actually I’ve known him for 10 years (and he’s pursued me consistently for all 10 of those years) but I never really took him seriously because of things I had going on and the things he had going on. The timing was never right for either of us but we had undeniable chemistry.
I finally gave him a chance and he has proven to be everything I could ever want or ask for in a man – everything. *wink* We still have some layers to peel back and a few arguments we need to have so the true colors can come out, but I’ve already found myself thinking of reasons why I can’t be in a relationship with him. I even told him I was afraid to continue seeing him because I know I’m going to fall in love. Crazy as hell, right?
I don’t want to fall in love because I don’t want to have to face losing him. As long as I’m not in love with him and he walks away or something happens between us, I won’t be heartbroken. I might be sad and I may even have some shoulda woulda couldas, but I won’t have to suffer from that agonizing heartbreak. Been there, done that twice…and I’m not interested in doing it again – ever.
I guess it’s up to me to face this fear but I’m not sure if I can or if I’m ready to go through with it. If he keeps up what he’s been doing for the last 10 years and definitely the last month or so, falling in love may be out of my control.