Forming relationships in life can be a challenge in general, but when you’re recovering from divorce, it can be especially hard to forge new connections. Sometimes, it may seem almost impossible to go down that road again, but it’s actually completely worth trying. Try these nine tips to conquer your fear of rejection after divorce and move on to bigger and better things.
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1. Find A Support Group
Connecting with other people who are going through the same thing as you can help you stay grounded as you re-enter the dating world. A support group may not work for everyone, but many people have found they provide security and comfort that works as a confidence-booster for individuals and the whole group.
Check out divorce forums and resource websites to find local support groups in your area. Do make sure you’re comfortable with the group you’ve chosen. If you’re not, look around for another one.
2. Pass Some Time Alone
Spending time by yourself is how you get to be comfortable with who you are. When you become more content on your own, you also become less likely to rely heavily on someone else. Learn to be alone without feeling lonely so you can bring a sense of some stability into a new relationship.
Even if you start off by just binge-watching your favorite TV shows, you’re still learning how to be without someone else nearby all the time. As time goes on, you’ll become more comfortable being by yourself when doing a lot of things.
3. Take Time For Reflection And Retrospection
A divorce can be painful, grueling and emotionally taxing. It’s sometimes easy to lay all the blame on yourself or your ex-spouse, but the truth is that both of you added to the relationship in negative and positive ways. It’s vital you identify and accept as much of the truth as you can so you can move on, see what you need to work on and learn what you can let go.
Even if you were abused by your ex-spouse in different ways, you may consider if enabling was also happening and why. Abuse is always the fault of the abuser and never the victim, but the victim should discover his or her healthy boundaries and learn how to maintain them through building up self-esteem. Speak to a counselor to help you on this road to recovery.
If you have been a past abuser, remember there is still hope. You need to find out what is causing your abusive tendencies, and you must seek counseling in this area.
Regardless of what happened in the marriage, remember that the past issues can come back to haunt you in a future union if you don’t take the time to reflect on everything. Discovering how you damaged and aided your relationship, and why, is what can help prepare you for healthier relationships in the future and improve your inner self.
4. Work At Your Own Pace
According to Psychology Today, there is no set time limit to heal from a divorce, and it can take years. This means that while you are looking at new relationships, you may still be dealing with feedback from your old one in your mind, and this is totally fine.
Take the time you need. If you’re not ready for a full-on new relationship, focus on keeping it casual or take a step back. Rushing in might make you feel scared or trapped, and this can add to your abandonment fears. It might also amplify emotional ties, which in turns spikes your fear of losing someone.
Take your time and enjoy getting to know someone else at a pace you’re comfortable with to avoid these pitfalls. If you find yourself really struggling or just aren’t sure what to do, reach out for help by connecting with a counselor.
5. Develop Your Self-Esteem
Your value isn’t decided by the ideas of someone else, so you have to learn how to love yourself and that your worth is inherent and not affected by another person’s inability to recognize it. Work on developing your self-esteem before, during and even after you’ve built a new relationship. With solid self-esteem, you’ll fare better in a relationship no matter how it turns out, and you’ll also be happier!
6. Find The Root Of Your Fear
Not all fear is nonsense. If you’ve lost a connection with someone else that was once really strong, it’s only natural to fear losing another connection and having to go through all that again. Talk through this, acknowledge it and don’t be afraid to discuss it with a prospective new relationship partner. Some people may be intimidated, but others will understand and try to provide support.
Learn to accept where you’re at on your road to recovery so you can keep moving forward. If you are working on your self-esteem and being honest, a failed attempt at a new relationship won’t end your joy. It will be a new chance for you to grow as a person.
7. Work On Your Communication
Spend some time developing communication in a healthy way. The better you are at it, the better you’ll be able to relate with other people and yourself. Communication is what allows you to talk about concerns, share in laughter, work through things and explore new ideas, so it’s incredibly important when it comes to your own stability. With improved stability, you’ll also feel more confident in new relationships.
8. Enjoy Yourself Whenever You Can
Try some new things, be active, take on some new hobbies or whatever it is you want to do. Living is more than just breathing, and a relationship can’t enhance your life if it doesn’t stand on its own merits. Take this time to discover what you love to do so you’re ready to share it with someone else!
9. Acknowledge That Self-Discovery Never Ends
Every one of your failed relationship attempts can be a great way to discover what you like and who you really want to be. Don’t let your fear prevent you from experiencing great parts of life. Healing is going to take time, but you can get through it by working on your self-esteem and connecting with others as you move into this new phase of your life.
Remember that you should keep your options open when you first start dating again. You’ll never know what you’ll find, so you can think of it as a little adventure! Also, if you date more than one person, don’t feel bad about it. If you don’t limit yourself to one person right off the bat, you can take things slowly and give yourself the time you need to make the best decision. In the end, it’s going to be all about you for a while, so make sure your choices reflect what you want, need and are comfortable with.