Today, two readers asked for tips on how to get rid of fear in relationships. Here, you’ll learn how to stop protecting yourself from falling in love, and maybe consider fresh new ideas for committing to a healthy relationship.
Here’s what one reader said:
“I’m scared to fall in love,” says Jilly on When You Love Someone Who is Scared to Love You Back. “I’m almost 60, and my mother was alcoholic. My dad was unsupportive and I had drug and drinking problems earlier in life, but I’ve been clean and sober for 12 years now. During my addiction, I had a 10 year relationship with an emotionally abusive man. I’m finally out of all that mess, but I have never had a healthy long term relationship. It seems I am always attracted to unavailable men…(married, unemployed, in debt, drug problems), probably because they are “safe.” There is no chance of a lasting union… With single guys, it seems, I always find something wrong with them immediately. I protect myself. I’ve been told I have “barbed wire” around me. I guess I’m so scared of “falling in love” and being hurt again. I’m not even aware of this fear. It’s unconscious. Can you offer any advice or tips?”
First, she’s not giving herself enough credit! She knows she’s protecting herself from falling in love — and I think you know the same thing about yourself. Otherwise, you wouldn’t be here! You’d be searching for tips on how to fall more in love, or how to protect yourself from loving too much in a relationship (if there is such a thing).
The first and most powerful tip on how to stop protecting yourself from falling in love is self-awareness. And, the following five Blossom Tips will help, too…
How to Stop Protecting Yourself From Falling in Love
My “She Blossoms” articles are broken up into five different categories. This ensures I cover the whole spectrum: Spirit, Heart, Soul, Body, and Brain. And, the separate Blossom Tips help you identify which works best for you.
1. Spirit Blossoms – Set your identity on things above
If your self-image and identity is based on your love relationship, then you’ll be scared to fall in love. You’ll fear getting hurt because it’ll cut to the core of your very self. You’ll fear losing your partner, boyfriend or husband because it negates who you are and what you stand for.
So, the first and most important way to stop protecting yourself from the fear of love is to set your identity in God. Know who you are in Jesus, and why He loves you. Establish a strong personal relationship with Him, and develop a core of peace, freedom, and love. If you have a loving relationship with God, your earthly love relationships won’t be the beginning and end of you.
way to stop protecting yourself from the fear of falling in love.
2. Heart Blossoms – Develop a strong sense of self-awareness
I grew up with a schizophrenic mother and no father, moving in and out of foster homes my whole childhood. As a result, I built a thick, thorny rock wall of protection around my heart. I had no idea how to be married, and I was scared of love relationships. I was scared of being known, vulnerable, and open to being hurt.
A year of counseling helped me see how and why I was protecting myself. Similar to my reader Jilly, I was attracted to unavailable men so I wouldn’t have a chance at a lasting relationship. Learning this about myself was one way I stopped protecting myself from the fear of falling in love. It helped…but the truth is, it was really my first Blossom Tip that helped me overcome fear and insecurity in my relationships.
3. Soul Blossoms – Expect to be hurt (but don’t fear it)
You’ll be hurt by your relationship. No matter how good and kind your boyfriend or husband is, he’ll hurt you. And you’ll hurt him. It’s just part of being in a relationship. The more you love, the more you risk being hurt. And when you lose him because of death or divorce or a long distance move, you’ll feel like your heart has been ripped out. Sort of unpleasant, that feeling.
Expect to experience pain in every relationship. The more relationships you have — with dogs, cats, coworkers, companions, friends, family, neighbors, fellow believers — the more you’ll get hurt. When you love people, you run the risk of getting hurt. One way to stop protecting yourself from the fear of falling of love is to simply prepare to get hurt. Don’t run scared from it…just expect it. Know that it’ll come, and it’ll go. And on you’ll move.
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4. Body Blossoms – Get physically healthy
How is your body doing? Are you getting enough exercise, sleep, nutritious food, affection? You don’t need to be in a relationship to take good care of yourself physically! In fact, if you’re single then you theoretically have more time and energy to take good care of your body.
Getting physically will increase those happy hormones, which will help you cope with fears and self-protective instincts. The better you feel in your body, the stronger and healthier you’ll be. And if you’re strong and healthy, then you’ll be better able to figure out how to stop protecting yourself from love, intimacy, and vulnerability in a new love relationship.
If you feel physically gross, read The Only Way to Stop Feeling Unlovable After a Breakup.
5. Brainy Blossoms – Deal with your past griefs
Are you carrying around unresolved griefs and heartaches because of past breakups or losses? Then of course you’re scared to fall in love! You haven’t grieved your past losses. Your heart, mind, and soul is blocked. You’re hung up on the past, protecting yourself from future hurts. You can’t take more pain or heartache.
Take time to think about your past losses, breakups, divorces, and deaths. It’s painful, and it’s a process. But it’s an incredibly important way to stop protecting yourself from the fear of falling in love. Yesterday’s pain is blocking today’s love. Your past losses are suffocating your future happiness.
Yes, it hurts to grieve loss and let go of the past. It may feel easier to protect yourself from a relationship by not falling in love, but that’s a short-term solution that won’t lead to long-term joy, peace, or freedom in your life. It’s time to stop protecting yourself, and start moving forward into a fresh love relationship with someone healthy and encouraging.
What is one step you can take in this direction? Your comments on how to stop protecting yourself from falling in love are welcome below! I read every comment, and would love to hear from you. And don’t worry: I won’t give advice or tell you what to do.
You have a source of wisdom that goes far beyond me, and you’ll listen to His voice when you’re ready. Then, your faith will give you the strength and courage you need to walk into the next season of life…and Blossom into who God created you to be.