How to Face the Fear of Rejection After a Divorce

Forming relationships can be challenging for any person, but for those who are recovering from a divorce, developing new connections can be especially daunting. Here are some practical tips to help you face new possibilities.


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    Seek a support group. If you have the opportunity to connect with others who are experiencing the same things, you will find a valuable tool to help you maintain grounding while exploring the dating world again. While a support group may not be for everyone, many have found them to provide security and comfort that helps boost their confidence as individuals and as a group.
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    Spend time alone. Spending time alone allows you the ability to be comfortable with yourself. When you take the time to become content with your own company, you will be less likely to rely heavily on another person. You can learn to be alone, but not lonely, and to bring a sense of stability into a new relationship. Spending time alone allows you learn to value your own individuality and this results in being less needy of another individual.
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    Retrospect and reflect. Divorce can be grueling and painful. Sometimes, it is easy to put all the blame on one person, either yourself or your ex. However, most of the time the painful truth is that both people contributed to the relationship in both positive and negative ways. Even in the unfortunate case of being abused in different ways by an ex, you may be able to consider whether there was enabling also taking place and why. While abuse is always the abuser's fault and never the victim's fault, the victim should be able to discover healthy boundaries and learn to maintain them through building self-esteem. If you have been an abuser, there is hope. Finding out what causes the abusive tendencies is a great step for healing. It's worth it in to seek counsel in this area. Often times, people have areas in their lives that have been long buried and yet still somehow hurt them and interfere in their relationships. Discovering for yourself what ways you aided or damaged the relationship -and why- can help prepare you for a healthier future relationship and a healthier inner self.
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    Take your time. A common philosophy that is taught in divorce care classes is that an average person takes four years to heal from a divorce. This means that while you are pursuing new relationships, you may still be experiencing some mental feedback from your old one. This is okay. This is normal. Just take your time. If you are not ready for a full out relationship, aim to keep things casual, or take a step back altogether. There is nothing wrong with waiting until you are ready. Rushing can make you feel boxed in or scared, which can increase the abandonment fear you experience. Rushing can also have the unintended consequence of making emotional ties very strong very suddenly, which can make the fear of losing them spike quite suddenly, as well. Remember to enjoy your time getting to know another at a comfortable pace.
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    Build your self-esteem. Focus on loving yourself and understanding that your value is not decided by the notions of another being. Your value is inherent and beautiful, not tarnished because another could not recognize that. Be sure that you are developing your self-esteem before, during, and after building a new relationship.
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    Understand where your fear is stemming from. Not all fear is nonsensical. If you've lost a deep connection with another person, it is logical to be concerned about losing another connection. While you are working through the root of the fear, it is ok to acknowledge and discuss it with another prospective partner. While some people may be intimidated by that fear, others will understand and provide support. Learn to accept where you are while learning to keep stepping forward in recovery. If you are building up self-esteem and staying honest with yourself, a failed attempt with a new person will not mean ending your joy. It will be another chance to love yourself despite another. It will be another chance to grow as a person.
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    Focus on communication. The more you can develop healthy communication, the more you will be able to relate with yourself and others. This allows you to work through issues, discuss concerns, laugh with others, and explore new concepts. All, which will help you, develop as a person and become more stable. More stability, less scary relationships.
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    Have fun! Try new things, stay active, develop hobbies, take a class, or do anything. Everything you can think of to stay alive, not just breathing. In the end, our relationships are meant to enhance our lives, but to enhance our lives, we must already have lives. Part of living your own life means that you are able to share it with others, and that others can share their lives with you. Forming passions and hobbies helps prevent you from becoming dependent on others, because, hey! Your life is already pretty great!
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    Acknowledge that forever may not be the case, but self-discovery can be. Each failed attempt at forming a new relationship can be some of the best success stories of discovering what you like and don't like, and who you want to be and who you don't want to be. Don't let the fear of what may happen keep you from experiencing some of the most wonderful parts of living. The unknown is what makes us feel alive, isn't it? The difficult times are some of the best learning experiences, are they not? So be brave, be happy, and let things happen. Just make sure that you are building your own self-esteem and hobbies, and don't let your support group and other connections fade as you step into a new relationship. Life is short. You got hurt. Healing takes time. Take things slowly, enjoy the moments, and be strong enough in your own beliefs to let things pass on if they need to.


  • Try to keep your options open when you first re-enter the dating realm.
  • By not limiting yourself to a single person right away, you will be able to take things slowly and give yourself time to make a wise decision.


  • If something feels wrong, it probably is.
  • If your marriage took awhile to get out of, if you have ignored warning signs in the past, or if you have a tendency to want to fix things even when the other person doesn't, this can be one of the hardest things to address, but learning to trust your instincts is well worth the effort.
  • Recognize warning signs and respond right away.

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