I’ve Developed A Fear Of Relationships – Help Me Love Doctor

Why not send former Kingston-resident Love Doctor your relationship queries? Use the form to submit your question(s).


I’ve been happily single for almost a decade, but I’ve developed a phobia of relationships and dating – I’m unsure if it even has a name.

How do you suggest that I overcome this?


Juliet, UK

Love Doctor’s Answer:

fear of relationships and datingYou are referring to sarmassophobia, which is a social phobia dealing with dating, flirting, kissing and any romantic interaction.

I would imagine your phobia is the fearing of rejection from a potential suitor.

To overcome this you first have to have the desire to date, decide your goal of what dating will achieve and to stop worrying whether a man won’t like you for whatever reason.

You need to embrace what you can offer a relationship with your traits, which can be intellectual, physical or down to your personality.

As individuals we all have different tastes, so the key is to find someone compatible – a potential partner who will like you as a whole package. This is where romance starts, when there is a chemistry between the two of you – and it doesn’t have to be instant chemistry nor love at first sight, those are rare and generally appear in movies.


Once you appreciate the high values that you can bring to a romance then you can begin to lose any fear of not being good enough. You are probably holding back for this length of time because you are content in your safety zone of staying single.

By posing your question you realise that it is now time to consider a romance, yet you dread any setbacks if it doesn’t work out.

Get the ball rolling by joining a free online dating site (but don’t make your profile live to the public), where you can start looking at how men are presenting themselves with their sales pitch of a profile – concentrate on their words more than their photos. From the various descriptions you can use some of those adjectives to promote yourself at a later date and also discover what sort of potential partner you are truly seeking.

Armed with this information you can up the ante in the real world, although with lockdown this is tricky, by smiling at and trying to catch the eye of the type of men that you find attractive. When you receive smiles back this should boost your confidence.

You can then either delete your online profile, or be courageous and make it live. The advantage with online dating is that you can set up your account with one of your middle names so that you can remain pretty anonymous. You can also hone your flirting skills, and easily block any men.

Build up your confidence, slowly but surely, and when ready to dip your toe back in the world of dating mention to some of your work colleagues, family and/or friends that you would like them to keep their eyes peeled for a suitor. No doubt they will be pleasantly surprised, so be prepared for many to make a concerted effort to help you hunt down a good man.

As you are obviously extremely apprehensive in meeting a man, then explain to anyone who is helping you that you would prefer to find a suitor organically. Going to a dinner party or a picnic, once the lockdown is over, is your ideal path to a romantic future rather than a rather daunting one-to-one date.

In the meantime it is worth reading online about body language. If you can attain that skill you will learn how to give off the right signals when you meet a man who you find attractive, as well as understand what his body language really conveys.

But to meet compatible men you’ve got to be looking in the right ponds, and in the real world you will undoubtedly need to kiss some frogs before you can discover your very own prince charming.




Before the lockdown I met a cute guy in a bar and I asked him out for a walk near Government House.

It was going great, very flirty, until he asked me about my musical taste.

It was very different from his and he made the comment that his girlfriend had the same watch as me.

We have texted each other once a week ever since but I have held back because I don’t want to be his bit on the side.

What’s your advice as I really like him but I don’t want to break up his relationship? Please help.

Alvita – Kingston 5

Love Doctor’s Answer:


It sounds as though your big difference in musical taste has meant he perhaps invented the fact he has a girlfriend.

Would suggest that you try to find out from social media or anyone that knows him whether he actually has a girlfriend.

Once you are armed with that information then you will know what the next step is.

If it transpires that he indeed has a girlfriend then you are right to walk away and forget him as you don’t wish to break up his relationship.

However, if he made up his comment about a girlfriend then you can either challenge him or forget him.

If you challenge him you may not like his answer, so be prepared for rejection – whether it was to do with your differing musical tastes or something else that was discussed on your walk.

You are stuck in lockdown so he is on your mind. If necessary decide the reasons for you letting him know your feelings and the fact you would like to develop a romance.

A potential relationship doesn’t look promising nor healthy as either he has a girlfriend or he lied to you. Do you really want to build a romance with someone who was untruthful or untrustworthy on your first date.

My advice is steer clear of him and focus on the future with someone who will appreciate and complete you.



Before lockdown I dated a girl my own age (30s) three times. At the end of each date she didn’t give me the vibe to give her a kiss.


Now that the lockdown’s happened, I’m not going to be able to land my lips on hers and I am kicking myself for being too much of a gentleman.

We message each other daily and speak twice a week, I’m dying to tell her that I wished I had kissed her.

What can I do to stop driving myself crazy?

Winston, St. Catherine

Love Doctor’s Answer:

This is a common dilemma because we all fear rejection, so on dates we should be looking for signs to go for the smooch such as lingering eye contact, she fidgets or leans closer towards you.

You may have missed some of the classic tell-tale signs and now need to swiftly rectify the situation otherwise she could lose romantic interest in you.

There is obviously mutual attraction otherwise you wouldn’t have continued communication after three dates.

Many men never pass that friendship zone with a lady for the simple reason that they have lost respect for their hesitation to pucker up.

She is probably wondering why you didn’t kiss her, and unless you banish her doubts about you being future boyfriend material then you are very likely to end up as nothing more than friends.

I suggest you show some manly courage by admitting that you missed any clear hints to make your move to kiss her as you wanted your first kiss to be special.

By explaining that you were trying to be a gentleman by doing nothing, you now have the perfect opportunity to claw back her respect and with it her attraction for you.

Continue to bring up the subject of kissing to prove that you are interested in her romantically. 

After the lockdown is over there can be plenty of successful dates and your romance can blossom, but only if you have set the record straight to prove you are not clueless. 

Seize the opportunity during lockdown to discuss what sort of kisser she is and gradually find out where she likes to be kissed. But ensure you have the guts to follow up all the talk with actions and kiss her passionately for your memorable first kiss.



I started seeing a woman who I met at the Elephant & Castle market in London at the end of February, but it is worrying me now and I don’t know what to do next. She lives in nearby Brixton, and we had two dates before lockdown that were good.

We started talking daily at the start of lockdown in early March, but for the past two weeks we only text and no speaking.

The problem is that we had only exchanged texts in the evenings, and she had been flipping from being nice to nasty once she drank too many rum cocktails.

I’m no longer interested in her because of this and suggested we have a break. She wouldn’t accept no for an answer and started bombarding with with mean-worded texts. I blocked her for a couple of days but now I’m feeling guilty and considering unblocking her.

What do you think I should do?

Jermaine – London

Love Doctor’s Answer:


When people use alcohol excessively, which it sounds like she may be doing, then their innermost worries and concerns often get conveyed without thinking about the consequences.

You had a pair of successful dates, but due to the lockdown have had to resort to cellphone communication only.

It appears that you don’t wish to rekindle this relationship, which took a turn for the worse when it moved from speaking to only your exchange of texts. She wasn’t showing you any respect with her continuous mean-spirited messages, and these seem to have battered your self-esteem.

Had you wanted to try to save this relationship then you wouldn’t have blocked her, and that sounds as though it was your only viable solution as she refused to adhere to a break.
However, if you believe that this is only a blip and you could revive this relationship then unblock her and try to speak to her rather than text.

You may not find that she is receptive to you anymore. But if you manage to speak then explain your actions and your concerns. If she accepts that she made a mistake to send such messages you can plan to move forward.

Should you wish to move on then simply keep her blocked and forget her. You cannot be too accommodating towards her if this early in the relationship she has shown errors of judgement that mean a straightforward romantic future is out of the question.

There is no need to feel guilty as you haven’t done anything wrong.

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