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What can I do to get better?

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I’ve only learned about the word “philophobia” a few hours ago and I can’t believe I finally have a precise term to describe how I feel.

The thing is, I grew up in a loving family. My parents are still together, there hasn’t been any divorce in our family as far as I know. I’m 21, I’ve only ever been with one guy and I’m the one who broke up with him. I don’t remember having my heart broken by anyone, or just my elementary school “boyfriend” who transfered school, came back years later, walked past 8 year-old-me and totally ignored me (yup, that was quite the first heartbreak, moving on).

My family is deeply kind, but they have a way of nicely making fun of you / teasing you that I’ve never liked. That one time I crushed on my bestfriend? Yup, my sisters thought it was hilarious that were videochatting on MSN. This one time during summer break that I crushed on a boy? Yup, my mom would try to know more and smile like what I feel is “cute” and it made me feel angry and so uncomfortable.

I’m very good at falling in love from afar. I do it everytime, but there’s a pattern. Either I barely know the guy, so the relationship won’t ever happen. Either I know he’s out of reach. Either he’s moving to another city / country. Either he’s from the internet and we never meet up. Either I do actually know him and love him but the second he reciprocates those feelings I run the hell away. As for today, I find myself crushing hard on one of my friends and it’s making me so sad.

I know the second someone loves me back, I run in the other direction. It just happens. On the one hand, I feel like I want them to love me back so badly. On the other hand, I desperately hope they don’t, because I will mess it up and stop feeling anything for them and I don’t want to hurt them.

I’d rather suck it up and handle my own grief than see them hurting and know it’s because of me. If I imagine myself in a relationship, honestly and truly, I feel like I’m going to have to take care of them. What if I don’t want to see them for a day? What if I can’t handle my feelings plus their feelings? What if suddenly I’m scared and I let them down? I know they deserve better.

I don’t know what to do anymore, I’m longing for more and I want to be able to flirt and talk and meet up like everyone else. It’s making me profoundly sad. I’m scared I won’t ever let anyone in and I can’t bear the thought of that.

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