5 Ways to Overcome Your Fear of Starting to Love Again
How can you beat the fear of abandonment to build a lasting relationship?
Do you feel like you have to be perfect or people will reject you? Do you allow people to criticise and abuse you emotionally to avoid being alone? Or do you avoid relationships because you fear the ultimate outcome — you will be left?
There are many people who are afraid of love. Love induces the feeling of helplessness we experience as a child. We place a great amount of trust in another person which makes us feel exposed and vulnerable.
You may have fallen in love once or twice. But life never gives you what you desire. It seems as though you are bound to fail several times before you find the right one.
Here, we will discuss the strategies you can implement if you decide to take the leap of faith to start loving again. But before we get to the fun stuff, let’s try to understand one factor that might explain why you are afraid of love — the fear of abandonment.
Understanding the Fear of Abandonment
Our childhood experiences create our story, and that story resonates throughout our lives. Michelle Skeen said in Love Me Don’t Leave Me, our core beliefs are formed during our earliest years either through nature or nurture.
Nature is about your inborn traits. In other words, your temperament. You may have a biological predisposition that makes you emotionally vulnerable.
Nurture, on the other hand, is about your relationship with your environment. It relates especially with your primary caregiver (e.g. your parents).
The combination of nature and nurture shape our fear of abandonment. Your attachment to your caregiver would set the stage for what you would expect from others and how you would cope with stressful situations.
While this fear may or may not be the main reason you are afraid to start loving again, let's explore the ways you can finally build a lasting, loving relationship.
1. Strengthen Your Self-Respect by Connection to Your Master
People generally divide self-care into physical, mental and spiritual. While the first two are very well discussed on the web, I’m giving extra emphasis on the spiritual bit.
Nothing makes us feel vulnerable as much as love. But love is a necessity. It’s the foundation of a healthy relationship which becomes the foundation of a family. In other words, love keeps our species going.
There are lucky people who found the love of their life at the first attempt. And then there are the rest of us. In the quest of finding the right one, we often experience heartbreaks.
Heartbreaks can be crushing at times, especially for those with poor self-esteem. To ensure a successful pursuit of true love, we need strength from within.
A strong spiritual connection to a Higher Power, or God, provides us with this strength. Although the awareness of God is always present inside of our nature, we need to strive to develop the connection.
As a specific takeaway, you should enhance your spiritual strength by learning and connecting to your Master before committing to a serious relationship.
2. Forgive His Faults, and Apologise For Yours
Forgiving someone who has ruined your life is hard. But holding a grudge is harder. There is a saying that we need to forgive others not because they deserve forgiveness, but because you deserve peace.
The mindset that you can implement is to see your previous partner as your teacher. You don’t necessarily have to like your teacher. But you gotta appreciate them. They’re there to teach you life lessons.
There is inevitably a pattern to the kind of person we are drawn to. Some people are addicted to a doomed relationship. We are simply recreating our past, often subconsciously.
Reaching our life partner is a journey that helps us better understand ourselves. Ultimately, we will find someone who is compatible to support us just as we support them.
As a takeaway point, be in peace with your previous partner before committing to a new relationship. Forgive his faults and apologise for yours too, if you have the chance. Life’s too short to live with resentments.
“ How do you know if she’s the right one?
She makes you fell in love with you, too.”
3. Think About Your Future Children
Your relationship is always about your children. Otherwise, you would not have the natural longing to have a life partner. Why bother going through the hardship of settling down with someone when you can live on your own?
But we are not created to live on our own.
To overcome your fear of falling in love again, you gotta start shifting your viewpoint into the future. Ask yourself, would I be okay if he/she becomes the parent of my child?
Looking at things in the long-run helps with addressing boundaries and setting expectations. You are not in for solely for the joy. You are in for the good of the future you.
So in short, communicate with your potential partner about what it means to grow together. If their way of thinking resonates with yours, then you should be in good hand. If it’s the complete opposite, then don’t waste your time.
4. Work on Your Biggest Projects as You Approach the Relationship.
I have to admit that when I fell in love during high school (we’re engaged now, about 8 years later), she became the sole reason for me to come to school and study. Whenever she was absent, I will be very passive and demotivated to do anything.
It took me a long time to understand the unsustainability of making my partner my sole motivation in life. One should not burden his partner to be the source of his happiness. True happiness is from inside.
While to fell in love with someone is often unintentional, committed relationship is a choice. When you choose to commit, you are putting your life in a vulnerable position. But you won’t be afraid to love if you know you have shoulders to back you up.
So work on your biggest projects before approaching the relationship. Be it your education, business idea or life callings — you don’t want to make the relationship the sole motivation in your life. Otherwise, you risk putting all egg in one basket.
5. Have Faith and Embrace Your Fear
The root of every fear is the thought that you can’t handle whatever that life may bring you, said the author Susan Jeffers. And truth be told, there is not much that you can do other than to embrace your fears.
But you don’t go there like five years old trying to ride a bike for the first time. You embrace your fear of love with the knowledge that you have accumulated from your previous experience.
To strengthen yourself more, read books and have conversations with long-married couples to understand the foundation that makes a relationship lasts.
Fun fact: You can visit pdfdrive.com to download eBooks for free! All the titles I cited in this article are available there.
In the book that I mentioned at the start, Michelle Skeen suggested practising mindfulness as the primary approach for those who endure the fear of abandonment. In essence, you want to be less reactive and more proactive as you embrace the relationship.
To simplify things, don’t be afraid to make the first move. Or even to accept it when someone approaches. Don’t let your fear be the reason you lose the best shot at finding a soulmate who will stay with you for the rest of your life.
Summing It All Up
A healthy relationship makes you grow, above all things. Love often presents an opportunity for us to be the best version of ourselves. Heartbreaks, however, are often inevitable. The quest of finding the ‘right one’ often takes more than a few attempts for many of us.
While I acknowledge that previous experience can be traumatising, I strongly believe that you should not deprive yourself of embracing love. To overcome the fear of starting to love again, you can implement these strategies:
- Develop a strong sense of self-respect by strengthening your connection to God.
- Forgive your previous partner(s) because they taught you invaluable life lessons.
- Think about your future children as the main driver of the relationship.
- Work on your big projects so that the relationship is not your sole life motivation.
- Have faith and embrace your fear of starting to love again.