04.01.12 Love

A Young Woman’s Fear of Falling in Love

A Young Woman’s Fear of Falling in Love

BY Kelsey Meyer

Being a young woman on the cusp of life, I’m often faced with many decisions regarding the direction I want my life to take. A successful career and financial stability has always been an ultimate goal for me as an independent woman, but as I travel through the steps to reaching my goal, I am continuously confronted with the question of how love is going to fit into that equation.

Growing up, I had a mother who worked a part-time job to help support the family, but I was constantly reminded of her failed choices in love and career. She continuously reinforced the idea of placing my personal career goals above the conception of falling in love, so as to prevent me from ending up like her. As I grew and matured, I became self-aware of placing my goals above all else. I became hyper-vigilant of the effects of love on young women. All around me I was seeing young women my age falling in love and forgetting themselves in the presence of the possibility of attaining the ‘happily ever after’.

The allure of love seemed to have rendered them subjective to its whims and fancies. Often I saw friends giving up their educations to move across the country in order to be with their significant other. This shift in the goal of becoming a strong, independent woman could almost be seen over night. Seeing women give up who they are and what they want for someone else brought immense fear to the idea of finding myself one day in the presence of love.

I found myself avoiding the constraints and commitments of serious relationships in order to secure my own freedom of identity. Would I become another fatality of love? Would I forget everything I had worked so hard for and begin placing myself, and my needs, behind the needs and goals of another just so I could be loved? Seeing these fears manifest through the relationships I formed in my life, I began to wonder if a woman could truly have it all. As women, must we choose between career and love – or will we always become causalities of love? Have we truly come so far as to believe we are an independent gender? Aren’t the affections and desires of men an ever-present reality lying at the base of our many motivations?

From a young age, we are lead to believe that beauty, in the eyes of men, should be valued above personal intelligence. Has the media of the 21st century destroyed the works of feminist movements? Can women exist without needing the love of men to feel validation for the existence of their lives? Being in my twenties, these are all questions I am struggling to answer, and I think all young women should become aware of. My fear of love may be an unhealthy reaction to the world around me, but maybe women should begin to fear or question love, instead of search for it.

Kelsey Meyer is a college student in her mid-twenties living in Middle America. Growing up she was an inquisitive child and this nature has served to be an ever- present source of inspiration and motivation to question the world around her. Some of her ultimate goals in life are to raise awareness of domestic abuse as well as sexual abuse and women’s issues.


  • I’ve never been afraid of loving……only of not. You know, this topic is always confusing to me. I love rather easily and have no fear in doing so. For me, love and trust are two different things. One would hope they would go together but I have found myself loving people not worthy of trust or respect. I don’t mind loving and getting hurt. For me, love is certainly not something I am going to run out of. It is not something I was born with a finite amount of that I need to give it sparingly. The supply is endless.

  • Dearest Kelsey,
    I think it is wonderful that you want to be successful in your career, financially stable, and independent — and I know it takes courage to declare a goal so bold and powerful.
    As someone who hasn’t shared your background, though, (I’m referring to your growing up with a mom whose life served in part as a warning to you against the dangers of love) I don’t feel like success in a career and success in love are mutually exclusive.
    It might be helpful to ponder the idea that it isn’t our goals that make us who we are but rather… who we really are. What I mean to say is that a driven, succesful business woman can be insecure and fearful, dependent on acceptance as much as the next person, while a stay-at-home mom with no career can be independent, confident, loving and secure in her role. Regardless of the circumstances around you, the person you are is determined by things like your behavior, relationship with yourself, thoughts/feeelings, etc., in other words – things that are up to you!
    I can see why love might seem threatening, (it is indeed “dangerous,” if only to the extent that it is an “unknown” and something beyond our complete control) but as someone concerned with the issues you mention in your message, perhaps you should trust yourself, that you will be able to avoid the dangers of forgetting about “you” in hopes of becoming a “we.”
    I can say this about myself: I pride myself on being able to take care of myself and making it work no matter what, but I also know that I would feel spiritually and bodily undernourished without love. Of course love can come in various forms, not just romantic, but I have a pretty good feeling that true&worth-it love in any form won’t ever present you with the choice of sticking with it vs. killing off a part of yourself. So I’d say don’t worry, stick to your path, and keep your eyes open for love that helps move you towards your goals and not away from them.
    Best of luck!

  • I moved from my country to the US for love, only it turned out to be entirely different than what was planned. I wish I had your fear of love.

  • Cancunmiss

    My sister dropped out of college for a guy. And it hit me. She was never going
    to finish that college. If it wasn’t for him, there would be her. It just
    wasn’t about her stupidity born out of young love. It was about the fact; she
    wasn’t serious about her carrier in that sense. Ever. It was put upon her. It
    wasn’t her decision. That’s why she could throw it away so easily. It wasn’t
    her plan and it wasn’t her true path. It was forced upon her. But after years
    of being forced, you can’t feel the force anymore. And it’s normal to you. I
    think that no one can make you forget about the things YOU love, if YOU really
    love them. That’s why it all comes down to “know yourself” and
    “take time to know yourself”. And if you do discard certain behaviors
    after falling in love, maybe they weren’t “yours” after all.
    Relationships are a great way to get to know yourself but if you feel more
    comfortable being single, than be so. But closing yourself to love out of fear
    means you are not in control of your life. The fear is. The great thing about
    that is, it can be overcome. 

  • kroset

    I dont know how to love. Ive always been betrayed by guys so when it comes to live i back out easily or i run from it to the point where i dont even fall anymore. So for me im not even sure if i believe in love.

  • Anonymous

    I read somewhere, “You don’t choose to fall in love”. Basically, it just happens. I want to fall in love but I’m sceptical of love as well. But when you meet someone whom you feel, as imperfect as they are, you can’t help but love, … you have fallen.

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