Are you afraid to fall in love after divorce? Suffering the pain of divorce is never easy, no matter how long the marriage lasted. The fear after divorce of finding love can be tremendously challenging. Breakups of all kinds are emotional upheavals, but finding love after a divorce can seem the hardest. After being married and not having to even think about dipping your toes in the dating pool, you are again forced back into the field. Do you dread dating again after going through the agony of a divorce?
The fear after divorce is real and debilitating. You are trying to get a foothold in the dating game again, while your heart and mind might now have fresh barriers against love. Happily ever after seems too far-fetched and unrealistic for sure when a marriage you thought was going to last forever has crumbled. How will your heart and soul, having witnessed it fail, still believe in love?
And that’s where all sorts of fears after divorce that concern finding love stem from. Perhaps your past experience(s) have left you scarred and you are scared to find yourself hurt again. You are wary of commitment and intimacy. You simply could be scared to be single after divorce or be worried about jumping into relationships too quickly. Dating fears after divorce can have you clutched in their grip. You are unsure of finding love ever again. Though it is absolutely normal to be cautious about love the next time around, slipping into hopelessness can only add to the misery.
10 Real Fears About Love After Divorce
Having fears about love after divorce is justified. When you date someone, it is always scary. You are filled with anticipation, you have fears in your mind ranging from what will happen to how things will turn out. That does not change after a divorce. In fact, the fear after divorce, the fear of finding love after divorce to be precise, gets more real and serious. For the sake of a better perspective, let’s take a look at the 10 most real fears about love after divorce:
1. Fear of being single again after divorce
You were one-half of a couple for a long time. You’d started thinking and looking at everything from a couple’s perspective and now you are supposed to put yourself out there again as a single person. The fear of rejection after divorce can feel doubly difficult. The hemming and hawing over all the singlehood dilemmas are back.
People are so scared to be single after divorce that it may cause them to avoid getting a divorce. The prospect of singlehood may begin to mean only loneliness to you. Or this fear after divorce might be causing you to jump into rebound relationships too quickly when you could do with some time by yourself healing your old wounds.
You must, however, start looking at singlehood as the opportunity to live life on your own terms. With this attitude, you increase your chances of building healthier relationships with whomever you go out with in the future.
2. Fear of loving yourself after divorce
The first casualty after a major breakup is hating yourself. Your self-love will go down immensely, so the challenge is whether you will be able to love yourself again. You suddenly, for a while, won’t have anyone to assure you that you are loved in a romantic way. Self-love then often becomes the first challenge!
This feeling of handicap and fear after divorce is not only natural, it is expected from people who have recently turned single after a long committed relationship. You must become committed to finding ways to love yourself. Seek support from the other significant relationships in your life. Your loved ones can fill that gap and show you why you deserve to be loved.
3. Fear of being vulnerable
The fear of being hurt again is one of the biggest hurdles that one needs to overcome after a divorce and heartbreak. The security of a long-term committed relationship is comforting. The fear after divorce of putting yourself out there, exposed, and ready for the possibility to be hurt is tough.
It may help to look at vulnerability not as a weakness but as a strength. Brene Brown says in an amazing Ted Talk called The Power of Vulnerability, which has millions of views, that being vulnerable gives us the power. Vulnerability gives us the power to connect and find love.
The fear of rejection after divorce may be forcing you into a state of inertia. But learning to stimulate vulnerability in your relationships can help you put this fear behind you. Putting the broken pieces of you back together and then opening access to them for the dating and love world again can be daunting, but not impossible for sure.
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4. Fear of being let down
When a relationship that was supposed to last a lifetime fails halfway, it often takes away all your faith in happy endings and hopes that there is love and companionship aplenty in this world. You grow more suspicious of people’s motives when they try to get closer to you and often lose any hope of finding love or a durable relationship again.
It is important to remember that hope and faith are what keep our sanity intact in the face of the uncertainty and negativity all around us. The same holds true for relationships and love.
5. Fear of commitment after divorce
Post-divorce, of course, there are scars. Dating sites or the pressure to be with someone again can often pull down a divorced person. Re-entry into the dating world can begin as a daunting and unrewarding experience and you will be wary or skeptical of finding a compatible partner with matching interests.
Fear of commitment after divorce may be in relation to both yourself as well as the other person. You might be scared to commit as well as be doubtful of the other person’s commitment. But there is no other way around it. You will have to learn to trust the process. Moreover, this happens organically and much later. You will commit when it feels right. This shouldn’t put you off looking for love.
Related Reading: 12 Important Dating Tips For Divorcees
6. Fear after divorce: Am I good enough?
As we have heard ever since childhood, once a toy breaks we might join it again but the crack always shows. Don’t be disheartened. It is possible that the toy was not as sturdy, to begin with. But, if you are thinking of yourself as that toy, don’t! You are not a toy and are not broken. You are a complex individual with the capacity to learn from bad experiences.
The “cracks” give you character and make you who you are. You have the capacity to heal. The hurt may still come up at times and often lead you to question your self-confidence. But remind yourself that you are not the only one who has found themselves to be broken. The scars could also be healthy reminders to do better by your next relationship.
7. Fear of trusting someone all over again
Love is nothing without trust and respect, as they say. You might find the chemistry, the shared interests, the compatibility and everything else, but what about trust? After facing a betrayal, the one emotion that will feel completely depleted and that you will need to rebuild from the start will trust in a happy future, in the goodness of others and in your own self.
You might find the chemistry, the shared interests, the compatibility and everything else, but what about trust? If you find it challenging to trust someone ever again, it might help to visit a therapist to sort out these emotions. These issues are stemming from inside you because of your past experiences, and it is imperative to navigate through them and deal with them. This is important for your mental health and not just for your love life.
8. Fear of taking chances: Second time lucky or unlucky
Your logical mind will tell you that everyone has had their heart broken a few times. Second time lucky is a possibility still. And though the odds will look like they are in your favor, you will doubt it because of what your intuition will tell you. Your inherent instinct will be to protect yourself from any harm and hurt.
You will have to trust your own healing process to try this whole love thing all over again. Love is definitely not easy. But it is also easy! It is absolutely possible to find not only just one but many people with the same interests and values as you. After all, there are so many people in this world looking to be loved and give love in return. Be hopeful!
Related Reading: How Soon Can You Start Dating Again After a Breakup?
9. Fear of intimacy after divorce
We are not just all soul or all heart; we all know how the needs of the body are not just valid but equally important. Sex or even the thought of sex immediately after divorce might seem extremely weird and uncomfortable because being naked is showing another form of vulnerability once again to someone new.
This fear after divorce, the fear of intimacy, is an extremely understandable concern. Trusting someone to share the most intimate part of you is not easy. Trust that you will find someone who will understand this concern. With the right person, you will be able to communicate your need to take it slow.
10. Fear of being happy
Yes, you heard that right. After a divorce or a breakup, one might go into irrational guilt about being happy again. We feel we are supposed to be miserable or that we might be judged for being happy. This fear of judgment could be coming from children, from society or even from oneself.
We also subconsciously begin to feel comfortable in the role of the victim. Fear after divorce may be caused by the desire to guilt-trip our partner for our miserable condition. Feeling afraid to fall in love again could be a manifestation of the fear to end a chapter and begin something new. It could be the fear of letting go, forgiving and moving on.
The ancient Greeks described love as not just one emotion but multiple types: eros/erotic, philia/friendship, pragma/domestic, ludus/playful, agape/universal and philautia/self-esteem. You fear after divorce will tell you that you will not regain all of them. Or will you? That is the real intrigue.
But as the famous quote from The Wizard of Oz goes, “Hearts will never be practical until they are made unbreakable.” Remember, as long as there is life, there is a possibility and there is love! So ditch those fears of love after divorce and get back to loving yourself for all that you are – minus the negativity. You will do great.