One thing you don’t want to risk after being broken is being broken again. So most of us end up building walls so high that no one can reach us. We crave love so much and at the same time, it’s the thing that scares us the most.
It’s no wonder that we are so afraid. Maybe we experienced difficult things in life, maybe we have been through a lot, yet nothing hurts in the way that love can hurt. In addition, if the reason for our broken heart is someone highly toxic, narcissistic, manipulative or even abusive, opening up to the idea of love becomes even harder.
It has to be harder but it most definitely is not impossible. While love can be the thing to break us, it can also be the very thing that can mend our wounds, make our walls tumble down and remind us why being in love with the right person is considered a blessing.
I was in the same situation after getting out of my narcissistic relationship. I was so scared of being vulnerable that I shut down completely. But my desire to love and be loved surpassed my fears, so I found ways to overcome the fear of falling in love, and I want to share them with you:
1. Don’t generalize, not all men are the same.
Even though we have all used the phrase ‘All men are the same’ at some point in our life, that phrase doesn’t apply to real life. There are men out there who get overlooked so easily because all the toxic ones are blocking our view. We convince ourself that one bad relationship or a streak of bad relationships is all that is out there, when in reality, good men are just more difficult to find.
So, the next time you go out on a date, give that potential boyfriend the benefit of the doubt and don’t look at him as a threat. He is not your ex. Don’t rush into things either, believing naively that he is a good guy because he made your heart skip a beat. Take things slowly. If he is somebody worthy of you, he will respect your tempo and wait for you to feel that he is somebody you can trust and feel safe with. And trust me, you will need more than a few dates to achieve that.
2. Silence your insecurities.
Yes, that is as difficult as it sounds. Having that inner critic telling you to be careful, that you will end up being hurt again if you open up again, that he is using you, he is manipulating you, he doesn’t really love you, etc. doesn’t make it any easier. If you have dealt with a narcissist like I did, that fear of not being enough will haunt you and make your insecurities bigger.
It’s not going to be easy but you have to regain your confidence to silence that awful inner critic. You have to remind yourself of who you were before that devastating relationship. You have to realize that the voice of your ex telling you that you are not enough has to do with his problems and issues and has nothing to do with you. Discover your self-love and when you find it, things will naturally fall into place.
3. Attack your walls.
Living inside those emotional walls is a place you feel most comfortable. You feel guarded and safe, so hurt and pain can’t reach you. On the other hand, love and happiness can’t reach you either. And although you feel safe now, there will come a day where you will feel empty and like you are missing out on life, even though you are missing out on pain too.
Attack and challenge those walls. Show them that your bad experience made you stronger. That your bad experience doesn’t define you and that it can’t stop you from experiencing a healthy kind of love. Falling in love again after being broken is scary, it’s risky but love is also worth the risk. Don’t miss out on your chance of true love because you feel too comfortable inside those emotional walls you have built.
4. Accept your feelings as they come.
Happiness and sadness, joy and pain will inevitably take turns in being a part of your life. You can’t shelter yourself from pain without the risk of missing out on happiness. You can’t experience true joy without the risk of experiencing pain.
Of course, nobody wants to get hurt, nobody wants to cry or experience any hardship in life but the pain is something that we can’t just skip. If you accept that sadness and pain are as inevitable as happiness and joy, you will become more open to the idea of letting love into your life again, no matter the risk.
5. Change your patterns.
If you feel like every relationship you have ever been in resembles the previous ones, maybe you should rethink the way in which you choose your partner. Try dating someone who is the complete opposite of your ex.
Don’t rush into things. Get to know the person you are dating before entering into a relationship. Chemistry is more than welcome but friendship should be first. Make your future boyfriend your best friend too, someone you can trust above all things because that will provide you with the safety you need to love again.
What inspired me to find these ways to overcome my fear of falling in love is this magnificent work that deals with this that you can download yourself in the link below: