When you were in junior high, you had separate birthday parties for your camp friends and your school friends. You act one like one person at work and an entirely different one with your running club. You carefully gauge what you tell to your family, friends, and coworkers, sharing different information with different groups. Constantly trying to manage how others see you and control what they think of you, it’s hard for you to let down your guard. If you stopped compartmentalizing, you’re not sure you’d even know who the real you is, and you doubt that you would be accepted by everyone in your life just as you are.
To be truly available for a relationship, you have to be willing to let go of managing your image, hiding aspects of yourself, and working so hard to keep all the different parts of your life separate; you need to drop the control by showing another person all sides of yourself and fully inviting them into your life.