Relationships are scary. At least that's what guys think until they find the one who ticks all their subconscious high-value woman boxes. Then they can't run fast enough to get her to choose him over all the other boys vying for her attention.
Wondering what changes in their mind overnight when they find the right woman? Well, in this special woman's presence all their fears about being in a long-term committed relationship suddenly seem hopelessly foolish and irrational. And if there's one thing about most men, it's that they pride themselves on being creatures of logic.
So what are these irrational fears that make perfectly good men drag their feet when it comes to taking a relationship to the next level?
To answer that question, we dug deep into the archives of AskMen on Reddit with hopes of striking gold. And strike gold we did (after sifting through copper, slime, and mold).
So here are 15 irrational fears all guys have in relationships narrated by real men on Reddit.
And while some of these fears are real mind-benders and others positively hilarious, all of the following are satisfying in their own right. So let's dive in.
15 She Will Use His Vulnerability Against Him
Men or women, we all have feared this aspect of being in a relationship before we got into our first one. After all, we all know at least one person who was part of a lovey-dovey couple and then broke up with their SO in a storm of rage one day and then spilled all their secrets in public, turning them into a veritable laughing stock.
And that's not even considering how vengeful some people are even when they haven't broken up yet!
No wonder Reddit user, KazanTheMan, posted this on the thread that was asking Redditors to share what their biggest fear in a romantic relationship was: "Having my vulnerability and trust used against me. It's taken a lot for me to learn to be more open, and I really, truly dread that being used against me."
We feel for you, @KazanTheMan. We truly do. After all, you can't be in a (legitimate) relationship until you are willing to trust your partner and open up to her fully. And while most people turn out to be deserving of your trust, some can really use that vulnerability against you, either during the relationship to manipulate you or after the relationship just because they can.
Nevertheless, that's not a good enough reason to distrust the 90% good women in this world!
14 She Will Change After Marriage
"One of my greatest fears is finding someone I click with, falling in love with them. Marrying them. Children. And then she gets fat. I honestly fear this. I work hard to take care of my body, and while I don't expect the same insane level of dedication in a partner I do expect her to take care of herself. I just don't want to wake up one day beside the woman I love and not find her physically attractive anymore."
Shared by a Reddit user who later deleted his account, this story is hilarious and somber at the same time.
Hilarious because...well, we don't need to spell it out. But being in a relationship with someone who has let themselves balloon out of complacency can be a nightmare, especially when they are otherwise a perfectly good partner.
It's because you know you are no longer attracted to them, but breaking up for this reason will immediately make you seem like a superficial villainous individual. And none of us what to face that! So can you really blame men to have this fear?
In fact, the more gorgeous the woman is, the bigger this fear tends to be because men don't want to go from dating a number 10 to being married to a number 3.
13 She'll Ask Him What He's Thinking...
If you watch a lot of stand-up comedies, you must have observed that a lot of the male comics, when talking about living with their wives or girlfriends, joke quite a lot about how they just cannot understand women.
From bringing up unrelated issues that occurred three years ago to telling their guy that they are "fine" when they are anything but, women definitely don't make it easy to throw out the stereotypes about them.
And Reddit user, tradingten, seems to feel the same way, based on what he wrote about his biggest fear in relationships:
"[When they ask:] 'What are you thinking about?'"
Because, honestly, when men zone out, they really could be thinking of anything!
No wonder @tradingten's post received some wildly hilarious replies, like this one:
"The only way to deal with this is to actually tell them whatever random [stuff] you were thinking about at the moment.
'What are you thinking about?'
'Wouldn't it be weird if whales had to migrate across land once a year? You know just drag themselves across the continent to the other side. We'd have to set up crossings and track their migratory patterns and...'
12 She Will Turn Out To Have Ulterior Motives
There are few things in this world that are as devastating as an unexpected breakup.
Finding out your partner cheated on you is one of them. The other is discovering quite late in the game that your SO only chose you because you were a means to an end.
They could have decided to date you just because you happen to take the same class as their ex and they wanted to make their ex jealous. Or they wanted you to fill up a void in their life until they found someone better. Or perhaps they just wanted to live a rich and comfortable life and so manipulated you into believing they were actually in love with you.
No wonder Reddit user, Syd35h0w wrote this about what he fears the most about being in a relationship:
"Discovering ulterior motives. The whole 'oh, that's why she's showing interest in me' scenario."
Because let's face it, anyone would be devastated if they found out that their girlfriend was dating them just because it would allow her to get closer to his best friend or older brother! Revelations of that kind have the potential to scar people for life.
11 She Will Blackmail Him Into Doing What She Wants By Threatening Divorce
Trust is the foundation of every good relationship. And trust exists between two people only when both know that they can be their most vulnerable self with the other and not be judged or taken advantage of.
Unfortunately, there are some people who do not understand this basic concept when they get into a relationship.
Either because they are too selfish to care about their partner's well-being and desires or because they have too low of self-esteem to see that their actions are dangerously manipulative and take away their partner's free will.
Whatever the reason might be, blackmail is unforgivable. And none of us ever want to find ourselves in a relationship with a person who enjoys employing such tactics regularly.
Reddit user, NoMistaeks echoed that sentiment in this post about his deepest fear in relationships:
"I think what I fear most is a woman someday using the threat of divorce in order to coerce me into living a life I don't want to live. Basically holding half my net worth hostage and demanding that I live according to her terms, or else she'll go see a lawyer and make me poor."
Even we would be scared if we found ourselves hitched to someone like this without a prenuptial agreement. Because let's face it, a manipulative person can very easily talk you out of a prenup when you are in one of your extremely happy and loving moods!
10 She Will Not Come Back Home One Day
There are some fears that seem silly when voiced out loud, like the fear that your partner will grow fat and attractive after marriage. But others seem to drive home a very somber truth about life. And Reddit user, Vivi_for_Vendetta really hits it home with this following post he shared regarding what he fears the most about being in a relationship:
"What scares me most about my wife is the thought of losing her. What if someday she goes to work and gets hit by a drunk driver or gets diagnosed with cancer. What if she gradually falls out of love with me or finds someone else. It's really terrifying to be so emotionally dependent on another person when humans are such fragile creatures. I try not to dwell on it though. We'll part ways one day, one way or another, and I'm going to do my best to cherish our time together while we have it."
And while @Vivi_for_Vendetta did try to sound realistic in the end by noting that we always part ways with the ones we love either because of life or because of death, it doesn't do much for the fear itself and the uncertainty it brings with it.
9 He Will Find Out That She Was Comparing Him To Her Last Boyfriend
Men are visual creatures. That's why you will never see a man dating an ugly woman while women have no such qualms if their man is a charismatic and kind individual on the inside.
No wonder gyms are packed to the rafters with men trying to buff up their bodies.
They think that's what women look for in men because that's what they see first in a woman they want to date!
Reddit user, PacSun300 echoed the same out-of-perspective sentiment when he confessed what he fears the most in relationships:
"What if she is comparing me to her last boyfriend? She is objectively incredibly gorgeous, and while I consider myself to be above average in attractiveness, I am not as muscular [...] as the previous boyfriend. At first glance, based just on looks, she would still be out of his league, but way out of mine."
On one hand, @PacSun300 is pleased that he managed to nick the it-girl from a guy who he considers more physically attractive than him, but on the other hand, he is afraid that his girl would realize the same thing one day and leave him for someone more attractive.
This fear primarily boils down to confidence issues, which is why a lot of men suffer from its irrationality!
8 He Will Wake Up And Realize He Doesn't Like Her Anymore
Falling in love can be a magical experience. The world suddenly appears rosier than yesterday, the air fresher, and the outlook brighter. You might as well be in your own private Disney movie the way it all feels!
But this rosy glow doesn't last too long. Because soon enough it dawns on us that there's no surety that we will remain together forever. After all, people change their minds all the time! And then you are left with a pile of shattered remains that once used to be a whole heart and a pain that astonishes you with its intensity and cruelty.
No wonder so many of us end up sabotaging our relationships before we get in too deep! And the following confession by Reddit user, Deandalecc highlights that very fear:
"[I am afraid] that I will wake up one day, look at her, and think 'Yeah I want none of that,' and I'll be stuck between dealing with it or hurting an otherwise perfectly good woman because I changed my mind."
Because, honestly, you can't escape heartbreak just because you were the one who fell out of love and decided to move on. The guilt of hurting someone so deeply ends up causing you the same amount of pain!
7 He Will Be Financially Ruined By Divorce
Alimony laws were historically created to prevent men from abandoning their wives and children because they wanted to run off with another woman. And while most women of the 21st century don't really need an alimony to support them (after all, they aren't housewives like women of the past centuries), they still fight tooth and nail for it in court at the time of separation.
It's like a court-sanctioned method of extracting vengeance one last time.
And that scares men a lot because while alimony laws in most countries have been reformed against gender bias, they often still fall prey to it in most cases.
That's the sentiment echoed by Reddit user, Exodiafinder687 in the following:
"[I am afraid of] losing half my stuff and being forced to pay a ton of money in alimony in addition to more likely than not, losing custody of the kids to my wife and having to pay more money through child support on top of what I lose in the divorce and alimony."
And while prenups can save you from such grievances, what if your fiancee refuses to sign one because she thinks pre-nuptials are a stamp of distrust? And so you are forced to choose between her or common sense? It's enough to scare anyone!
6 She Will Leave Him For Someone Richer
"A big fear I have is that she leaves me for someone who makes more money/offers her more than I can. On one hand, it shows she's a materialistic [girl], on the other, it's just a huge blow to my ego. A huge insecurity of mine is how I perceive my success, which is due to what I see my parents going through. In my last relationship, I was really down in the dumps professionally and thought my ex deserved someone better. I had a lot of problems due to my employment issues."
Shared by Reddit user, JewJutsu, this confession reflects another common fear most men have in relationships. And you can't really blame them. Mass media has always stereotyped women as people who look for only three things in relationships: money, security, and status.
That's why men, to this day, think that they need a house, a car, and a good job to finally get a good woman!
Is that a healthy way of approaching relationships? Absolutely not! Because while a comfortable house and ability to afford good things in life does increase your chances of exposing you and your partner to many incredible experiences in life, fixating on just that to the detriment of everything else will soon turn you into a one-dimensional boring individual.
And nothing kills attraction faster than boredom!
5 They Will Have A Child Who Needs Extra Special Care
There are a few stages we all go through when we fall in love with someone.
The first stage is that of pair-bonding. Here we test our compatibility and decide to become exclusive. The next stage is that of marriage where we test our ability to stick around for a lifetime. And the one after that is the stage of bringing up the next generation. Here we test our ability to be responsible parents who can raise children who would one day contribute to the betterment of society.
Unfortunately, not every parent gets to witness their child grow up on the playground, run away from cooties, and go on their first date. Some become parents to children with either special needs, like autism or Down's syndrome, or physical disabilities, like blindness and brittle bone disease.
And you can never predict if your child will be born with something that will impact all your lives forever.
That's why when asked what his biggest fear in relationships is, Reddit user, birlik54 wrote the following:
"Probably having a child with some sort of cognitive disability. I don't know how I would handle having to take care of a child that would need specialized care for the rest of my life. It just would feel like a life sentence to me as bad as that sounds."
4 He Will Go From Happily Single To Unhappily Committed
"I am afraid that in an attempt to make myself a happier person by finding a significant other I will, in fact, be making myself unhappy. I don't like small talk, I don't like having to think about how my actions will make someone else feel and I avoid at all costs petty [silly] drama that has no purpose. Mostly I am afraid that I am happier single without the roller coaster of a relationship. I don't want anyone else to be the reason I am unhappy."
Shared by Reddit user, lifelesslies, this confession highlights a very important thing – some men have irrational fears about being in a relationship because psychologically they are still stuck in their teenage or early childhood years. (Read: they think like immature children.)
Why do we say that? Let us break it down for you:
Number one: small talk is reserved for strangers, not for the ones who are close to you.
Number two: if you don't want to think how your actions affect someone else, you will fail in life, not just in relationships. It's because human society functions on transactional relationships where both get something out of an endeavor. And this is most apparent in workplaces.
Number three: conflicts might seem dramatic at first, but that's because you still don't understand why something hit your partner so hard. The minute you see things from their perspective, that's when you can really start finding a solution.
3 She Will End Up Pregnant Unexpectedly
"Not trying to be [selfish] here but my biggest fear is [an] unplanned pregnancy. I am afraid that she would want to keep the child, knowing that I'm not in a place where I can handle that now. I'm afraid of what I might feel I have to do to preserve my own freedom and future. Like, I can't imagine myself taking the cowards way out and leaving her high and dry for a few years while I moved away. But you never know what you're capable of until the situation is forced on you.It would be a huge mess that would almost definitely ruin things with the mother. Best case scenario is that I marry her and became a young father full of bitterness and resentment."
Shared by Reddit user, RicoSavageLAER, this confession hits home a very important fear guys have in relationships where they are not married to their partner yet but doing everything a married couple traditionally does.
After all, you can use protection but every tool has a small scope of failure.
And when a pregnancy is sprung upon you unexpectedly, it immediately highlights your financial inadequacies and other insecurities you had no idea were buried inside of you.
2 She Will Turn Out To Be A Worn Out Shell
"My greatest fear is being with a woman who gave the best years of her life to others who chewed her up inside and spit her out. Speaking emotionally and psychologically she's merely a burned-out shell of what she was in her youth and can give me only a fraction of what others received. Even though I hear soulmate come out of her mouth I am truly anything but. Her actions belie those meaningless words."
Shared by Reddit user, drlove57, this confession highlights a fear that most men never have; only the ones who are more introspective in nature and so understand human nature very deeply.
Because the truth is, most of us are not fortunate enough to find true and lasting love on our first try at a relationship. We often have to go through a few heartbreaks before we finally find the one in whose presence we, at last, understand why we had to go through so much pain in our past. It was because the lessons were leading us to this person!
Unfortunately, everyone does not think and grow that way. Some of us harden our heart after a particularly harsh heartbreak and vow never to go in that deep with anyone else ever again. And that cheats our future partners out of the warmth and vulnerability required to strengthen a romantic relationship.
1 They Will Be The Family The Neighbors Gossip About
You might say gossiping is bad. But human society would have never outgrown its monkey ancestors if we did not develop this skill by some fluke in evolution.
It's because gossiping allows us to trust a stranger or stay away from them because we heard a lot about them from a trusted other.
That's why people have no problem with "positive" gossip where others talk good things about them when they are not present, but become seriously offended when they find out they are not talked about favorably behind their back. The latter is very damaging to one's reputation and can often turn one into an outcast!
No wonder most people around the world would rather choose to conform to society's idea of right and wrong than take a stand against views they feel is damaging their lives and the lives of those around them.
And relationships are often put through these exacting societal standards more than anything else, which is why Reddit user, CaptainJonesStampe wrote this:
"[I am afraid of] being that family that everyone knows isn't truly happy but are still together because of the kids or the pressure to conform. I have too many friends or family members that are in that situation and I feel sorry for them. It's a running theme on sitcoms and it annoys the [heck] out of me."