How to navigate fear of the future in relationships?
Fear of uncertainty in life
I believe this question about a fear of the future in relationships speaks to the reality that we all live with uncertainty about life in general.
We live with a lack of certainty about the future which will potentially undermine all aspects of the life we want. We try to manage many areas of life to increase our experience of stability, such as health, finances, where and how we live, and our relationships. But there is still so much we can’t be sure of as our lives still have an instability and fragility that can quickly undermine the illusion of a stable future.
This fear of the future in relationships is heightened by the fact that we also can’t control other human beings. We certainly can’t control our partner, even though many try.
As a couple, we may point our compass in a similar direction, however we can never be sure that both partners remain on that journey into the future. We simply can’t foresee the future for our relationships, and this can create fear for the future embedding an element of risk in relationships. For example, a partner may:
And if any of these factors occur, then partners need to deal with it. We can’t focus on warding off every possibility in life. Two of my best suggestions are:
Fear of something in the current relationship that is projected onto the future
I wonder if a fear of relationships in the future is actually a fear or concern being registered in the current couple experience that is being projected onto the future. Will the future work out with my partner if I feel anxious or sad about something now. For example:
Some of these examples may exist because we need to do our own internal work and understand how we really relate to our partner. We can create our own suffering if we haven’t explored why we become clingy, angry, sulky, silent or conflictual in our relationship. We also need to explore our triggers and why we become easily spooked with our partner.
We all have areas where we lack trust, safety, or security. We all need to ascertain whether we overlay these onto our partner due to our own relational history or whether it’s actually our partner rocking our couple boat, causing us to worry about the future of our couple relationship.
How do you do the work and be curious about how you operate? You can: