1. Fear of the unknown. If your partner has had a “bad” incident occur in the past and were hurt when they opened up to an ex-partner, reliving this agonizing time could now be holding them back from opening up again to you. It’s nothing personal on your part. But it is more of a “fool me once, shame on you: fool me twice, shame on me” kind of feeling. They were hurt once when they opened on their own up: they aren’t in a hurry to chance repeating that kind of pain.
2. A lack of trust. Relationships are built on trust. If trust was eroded away by someone else – then your partner might now have their guard up. Again, it’s not about you, but more about wanting to make sure they do not relive history. Once trust is gone, it’s easy for some to classify all future partners in the same light.
3. Feeling they might not be good enough. Some people allow their feelings of inadequacy to filter into all parts of what could be a romantic relationship. By thinking they are not good enough for you; they are hoping to prevent the chance of being hurt before it happens. They feel if they just accept the relationship doesn’t really have that good of a chance of following, they are stopping the pain they feel is unavoidable before it has a chance to occur.
How do you overcome these limitations? By realizing them and working on them instead of neglecting them. You have to be willing to confront your fears and label them for what they really are. Trying to hide behind them or not being truthful about their intensity will get you nowhere. If your partner feels forced, then give them space. If they feel as if they might not be able to trust you, show them acts of unconditional goodness to prove to them you are there to be with them and not to hurt them in any way.