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Pistanthrophobia - The fear of trust.

Emese Taylor, 14 August 2017

One of the fundamental ways we learn and develop as individuals is by experience. Common sense and reason should be our driving force for development, but things that we go through are far more likely to stick with us and drive our actions and future choices.

As such, the end of a messy relationship or bad memories of a partner can prove to be inhibiting factors for future happiness. We can find it hard to trust others if we have experienced a traumatic relationship or an end to one and this can become a massive obstacle when it comes to allowing ourselves to be open to a new partner.

These feelings are know as Pistanthrophobia, which means the fear of trusting someone and is an entirely natural response to being hurt. However, It is something that needs to be overcome if we are to once again find happiness with a partner.

As with anything, this will take time and dedication, but here are a few words of advice that might help you find the strength to move on.

Learn from the past and then let it go

This is a phrase you will hear many times and whilst being one of the soundest, most important pieces of advice you will ever be told, it is also one of the most difficult to put into action!

As tough as it is, try not to judge people by the way you have been treated previously. Again, this sounds like perfectly rational thinking, but when we are hurt our rational thoughts have a habit of leaving us behind!

We need to apply more nuanced reasoning to our thinking though, rather than labeling people with a “All men are X” or “You can’t trust women because Y” based on our experiences which themselves will be heightened due to the time and emotional investments we have made.

Identify negative patterns and change behavior to avoid them

As we have discussed before on the London Love School advice blogs, it is very common for us to repeatedly gravitate towards a certain type of person. In some cases the very things that can be attractive to us in an individual can also be the things that eventually cause the harm. Someone’s wild and unpredictable personality can be alluring to begin with, but when that unpredictability leads to unreliable character traits and worse then it can eventually come back to haunt us.

If you keep on repeating the mistake of choosing a partner with these undesirable aspects then you will find yourself in a downward spiral of repeated experience.

It’s also worth considering your own behavior and working on any negative reactions of your own. If you tend to be distant and emotionally unavailable for example, this could lead to someone closing themselves off to you and eventually looking elsewhere for companionship. A vicious cycle for sure as this will only lead to further unwillingness on your part to open up to someone.

Take some time out

One of the most common pieces of advice our friends might give us after the end of a relationship is to “find someone else to take your mind off them”. It’s not to say that this strategy doesn’t work for some, but a rebound relationship has the possibility of re-enforcing bad memories. If you are yet to come to terms with your recent bad situation you will be bringing a lot of baggage into anything new and projecting your insecurities onto anyone new in your life.

Not only will this be a bad experience for them, but you could find yourself re-enforcing your negative biases. Many people will embark on a dating spree at the end of a relationship, needing to feel attractive and to take their minds off things, but again these dates are likely doomed to failure as not only will they involve you and someone else, but also the specter of the past who has yet to be properly addressed!

Allow yourself the time to heal and rebuild your faith. The past is another country and eventually you will be able to move on to new pastures.

Don’t give up on love

Your heart is a beautiful thing, a fragile treasure that needs to love and be loved. But it’s very fragility means that it needs to be looked after. Don’t allow an exes untrustworthiness to get in the way of your happiness and the joy of spending your life with someone who truly deserves your love and is able to offer you the love you cherish.

At the London Love School we are happy to talk through these issues with you and help you find a way to break these negative patterns. Get in touch to learn more about how we can help you.

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