So after writing about dread the other day I began to ponder about it further and realized just how much it consumes so many people’s lives. Friends often tell me that they are so happy with the people whom they are with that they are actually scared of it. What has happened to us that we are so conditioned to being miserable that we have become afraid of being content and blissful? We are so pessimistic and fearful in nature that we allow unfounded fears and misguided concerns rule our daily lives. I am no exception of course and I too now know the torture that is dread. And it’s true, while fear of being alone is bad, dread is just as as awful.
I am finally, for the first time in my life, happy with my relationship status. Sure it is still undefined and we aren’t at a level of calling one another boyfriend/girlfriend but we are having a great time and everything he does just makes me smile. Yet, I live in a space of fear…dread for the day it all ends and I go back to my state of cynical and unhappy. When we have plans and he texts me that day to say something sweet or confirm the time, I am afraid to read the text because I suspect it is a last minute cancellation because something better came along. That of course is never the case and he has never once backed out of plans we had or sent me a text that’s done anything short of lighting up my eyes and bringing a big smile to my face but what about the day when he does…if he does?
Dread is essentially a byproduct of doubt. We doubt our luck, our significant other’s feelings for us and/or faithfulness to us and it is this doubt that leads to problems. With doubt comes a lack of faith–a lack of trust which only breeds problems. Yet, it is inevitable to doubt something that seems to be going so well in our lives because we are raised to believe that if things are too good to be true, they probably are. Of course a part of relationships is disappointments because no one can be perfectly agreeable or acquiescent all the time and I wouldn’t want to be with someone who is devoid of his own opinions and desires. However, I have an irrational fear of getting hurt and losing anything in life that makes me happy because it seems to be all I’ve ever known. When something wonderful comes our way it is rational to be afraid of it being taken away from us but not to the point where we spend each day worrying about it, where each time a great guy texts us we wonder if this is the one where he tells us goodbye. Doubt is a slippery slope because once the first seed of fear is planted it seems to spread like wild fire and effect us each day, ruining the moments of happiness we do have.
Doubt is a dangerous monster because it can become difficult to discern our fears from reality and we can lose ourselves in a world of questions and worry. The trick is to stay as grounded as possible (easier said than done) and assure yourself of what you do know. Base your opinions, fears, suspicions, and feelings only on fact as much as possible and you can steer clear of much of the danger. If he is always being sweet and thoughtful, the sex is great, he seems to enjoy spending time with you, texts you back and communicates with you unprovoked by you then it is safe to say he is happy and isn’t going anywhere. Conversely, if he is being sneaky, getting lots of texts that he seems to be hiding, is bad about keeping in touch with you and seems to blow you off you should confront him with your concerns and see whether the relationship is salvageable or should be ended. By staying in tune with reality and halting these fears the moment they begin you can save yourself a lot of unnecessary heartache and fear–leaving you with more time to live in the moment and enjoy the great time you are having.