In one word—Yes, of course it’s normal to be fearful of a relationship after having a divorce. Even the most amicable of divorces can still be painful. You’re breaking up with someone, and ending a relationship that you probably imagined would last forever.
That’s a big thing to get your head around, and recover from. So don’t be hard on yourself if you do have a fear of entering into a new relationship.
And maybe the divorce was a bad one. Maybe you were lied to or cheated on. Maybe someone abused you emotionally, or even physically; and you’re having a difficult time trusting again.
That’s okay. Be patient and loving with yourself.
Here are some of the most common fears you might have of relationships after divorce, and how to overcome them.
You’re afraid you won’t be able to spot the red flags soon enough.
Usually, red flags are pretty clear early on with people, the trouble is we choose to ignore them because we only want to see and acknowledge the good things we’re looking for.
If someone does something that goes against your values, then call them out on it just to be clear you didn’t misunderstand them.
And when you see the red flags, let them be a vital warning for you this time. For example, someone telling you white little lies, someone who’s flaky and bailing on plans, someone scrimping money off you, someone who’s cheated in the past, or someone who drinks too much. These are all things you can notice early on, but you have to pay attention to them and act on them.
Watch the other person’s actions carefully the next time you’re on a date, and you’ll be fine.
You’re afraid you’re not worthy of love.
You are worthy of love. We all are. But if you don’t believe that, you need to spend some time loving and dating yourself before you think about a new relationship.
Your past may have left you feeling like you’re undateable, or damaged goods, but this is simply fear talking. You’re staying focused on the negative experiences you’ve had, and thinking all your future experiences are going to be the same.
No matter what has happened in your past, you are worthy of love. And there is someone out there who is going to love you. While you’re waiting for them to show up, choose to love yourself.
You’re afraid there aren’t any good people to date.
Unfortunately, you’ve met a handful of bad eggs. The reality is, most people are good, and there are billions of awesome single people out there.
Not meeting any?
Well, are you actively seeking them out? Are you dating online? Are you asking friends to set you up? Are you open to meeting new people, and having new experiences? Are you getting out of your comfort zone and increasing your chances of meeting new people?
If you’re not, then quit complaining! There are a ton of good people out there to date. Go find them, and believe they’re out there.
You’re afraid you won’t get your confidence back again.
Your previous relationship might’ve given your confidence a proper bashing, and left you feeling all kinds of not good enough. You might feel like a shadow of the person you used to be, and feel like it’s impossible to get back to the real you, but it’s not.
Your light has simply dimmed a little, but it will never go out. It’s up to you to get it shining again. Getting out there and dating again (when you’re ready) will help a ton.
You’re afraid you’ll get hurt again.
You know what? Yes, you might get hurt again. That’s always a possibility when it comes to love. That’s the risk we take every day when we put our hearts out there.
But what’s the alternative?
You keep those walls up, your heart closed off, and you don’t fall in love again. What would you prefer? Anything worth having is worth taking a risk for.
This whole love thing is a journey of learning and practice. The more you do it, the better you get at it. So put your fears aside, and take a chance on love. This is how you’ll live your best life—not by sitting on the sofa downing ice cream.
Fears are normal—so don’t be hard on yourself.
We’ve already spoken a lot about fear, but it deserves its own section here because of how big of a role it plays in all our lives. Here’s the truth—nobody is fearless. We all have fears, and no matter how many we face, new fears just end up replacing the ones we overcome. Sounds great, doesn’t it?
But the moral of the story is, don’t judge yourself for those fears, because we all have them. The important thing is that you don’t allow them to stop you from living the life you came here to live.