Are you afraid to fall in love again?

by singlemomseeking on July 31, 2013

Chris at pediatrician with CJ

When I first met Chris in 2009, I had a hole in my heart. It was like it had been taped over with duct tape after so many relationships gone bad. I wasn’t going to let anyone too close again. I knew how much it would hurt if that tape got ripped off.

The truth was, when Chris first started chatting with me that night at a friend’s book launch party, I didn’t feel explosive fireworks. Yes, he made me laugh. Yes, I felt so at ease as he asked me questions and listened intently. But I didn’t believe in instant connections anymore. After eight years of dating off and on as a single mom, I felt sure that love — a deep, healthy, sweet love — wasn’t going to happen for me. (Years earlier, I’d even turned down a friend’s offer to set up with Chris because he’d sounded too good to be true.)

It can feel terrifying to let someone in. Again.

Chris and I had only been dating for a month when my gynecologist found a huge cyst on my ovary during a routine exam.

I was afraid to tell him. Because telling him would’ve made me feel naked and vulnerable. He knew something was up, though, and after gently nudging me, I cracked open. A few days later, he was holding my hand in the waiting room before the ultrasound. He was saying, “I’m here.”

Trust takes time

“I have abandonment issues,” I told him. There I’d said it. I waited for Chris to turn around and walk away. Because what I said was very heavy. As heavy as saying something like, “I’m an alcoholic.”

Instead Chris took one step closer to me and said with a smile, “Let’s make a deal then? You’ll never leave me. And I’ll never leave you. Ok?”

The next day, he showed up with a bundle of sunflowers and violets and thistles, all wrapped in soft tissue paper.

Facing your fears is worth it

Single mom blogger Emma Johnson puts it so well: Your kids need to see someone loving you and treating you well.

It’s worth it, experiencing what your never had before: being in a relationship with a man who wants to be here, a man who comes home when he says he will, with a huge smile on his face as he walks through the door and asks, “How are my girls?”

It’s worth it, making dinner together. Like Taco Night on Tuesdays, as you hug in between the saffron rice and sour cream, then take turns feeding the baby refried beans.

Ready to eat. CJ

I’d love to know:

Are afraid to open up to love again? Do you feel like you’re holding yourself back?


Congrats to the winners of Amy Sue Nathan’s debut novel, The Glass Wives!... T and Bonnie!


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{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Muther January 11, 2015 at 6:37 am

The absolute worst thing is getting dumped by the one you foolishly thought was something special, but then figuring out it was all a total waste of precious time and energy!!!!


Divorced Kat August 28, 2014 at 9:51 am

I’m not a mom, but I am divorced. I am excited to love again… but very scared. I feel like if I see even the smallest hint of the things that caused my marriage to end, I’ll run for the hills. I’m trying my best to learn from my past so my eyes and heart will be open to the possibilities of loving again.


mari June 15, 2014 at 8:03 am

The true sense of love is not based on someone else’s perception of me. Been divorced four years but felt like a single parent for 20 years. My marriage was like a continuous burning building and I felt trapped with my kids. Now my kids and I are healing and we are loving ourselves and each other… thank God for everything!!!


Idalia Moreno January 24, 2014 at 10:20 pm

Im single mom with 2 girls im 22 and here the way I’ll put it I dont think love is for me!


Amy October 15, 2013 at 6:45 pm

Rachel – I think you are so right – but this is so hard 🙂 And congratulations on the baby…she is beautiful!


NotSaying September 13, 2013 at 9:29 pm

I am terrified of loving again and opening myself up. I tried to go on a date about a week ago. It was a disaster. I was so stressed it was exhausting. I finally relaxed as the day went on (it was a weird date…). I don’t know what to think. I came out of an abusive marriage and I’m starting over.


Mommy to the Monsters September 13, 2013 at 1:18 pm

I’m afraid to open up my heart again after recently having my heart broken by a best friend turn lover that then put me back in the friends zone after he realized I was not what he really wanted.

If I’m not good enough for my best friend and greatest advocate, who in the world is ever going to want me…

I don’t want to go through investing that much time and energy into a person just to have them then decide I am yet again NOT GOOD ENOUGH..


Marie May 26, 2014 at 6:10 am

God, I know how you feel… I loved my best friend more than I’ve ever loved anyone. I told him after a year of having a wonderful friendship with him – the best friendship either of us had ever had, in fact. He felt the same, but a month later, he decided I’m not what he wants. I still believe in some sort of love…. just not the one that I thought I had with him. That’s permanently broken.


Cj September 10, 2013 at 9:37 am

Thanks for giving me hope. I’ve been a single mom for over 8 years and just recently considered dating again but have run into more obstacles than I care to mention. Plus I’m not sure if investing my time is with it. However after reading this I’m going to keep my options open and see what happens. I hope to see more posts soon as I’m new to your blog.


Melissa August 7, 2013 at 8:35 am

Thanks so much for this, I actually had tears in eyes reading about the man you finally met. Chris.
I have been single now with my daughter for 2.5 years and seriously got through a spell where I actually considered my ex back, who doesn’t treat me nearly as good as I deserve, or treat him.
Thankfully I was reminded that I would be better off without him, but have tried dating, only to find I feel BLOCKED from even wanting to invest my time in a new relationship, new man, new date. The whole process of going through the motions of meeting someone, dating, getting to know them, my daughter meeting them…. seems so daunting.
Reading this was inspiring to me, to be patient, to be strong, and to be willing.


Holly August 20, 2016 at 10:22 am

Hi Melissa,

You couldn’t have said it better than I was thinking about this subject right now. Blocked is a great way to put it and I’ve also been a single mom for 10 years with one fantastic relationship that ended unfortunately. Last year I lost so many loved ones in life I don’t know if I’m now permanently “blocked” or are just numb to the feeling of love again. It’s honestly a little scary to watch others enjoy each other so much because I just don’t have the feelings to want to even give someone else a little part of me.


IndieMum August 2, 2013 at 4:34 am

I was single (and barely dating!) for close to four years after my baby’s dad left. I was both grieving and dealing with the day-to-day chaos of raising an infant-cum-toddler (oh, and working full time). But I was also scared sh’tless of a new relationship. My own father had walked out on our family (multiple times) for other women. My chosen partner had done the same to me. There was just a lot of family baggage I had to process before I felt strong and healthy enough to even contemplate dating again.

As the cliche goes, once I was finally that healthy/happy person content with my life, I met someone fabulous. It feels so strangely wonderful to be treated so well by someone after seeing so many BAD examples in my earlier life. But what is even more wonderful is my son’s reaction to my new partner. To Emma’s point, my son is absolutely LOVING seeing me happy and in a caring relationship. He takes such pride in introducing (dare I say ‘showing off’?) my boyfriend to others. And just having a male playmate around the house…

There are so many positive messages children of single parents receive. But it’s also nice for our kids to see that sometimes life doesn’t have to be so hard, that we can rely on others to help us out and care for us in return. …

I really hope we are able to model a healthy, happy relationship for my son. I never had that example set for me so it took me DECADES to even understand it existed….

I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately. Will blog about it in near future.


singlemomseeking August 2, 2013 at 5:51 am

Indie Mom: I’m thrilled for you! Thanks for sharing.


T August 1, 2013 at 12:39 pm

I love you. And I love your sweet loving family. That is all.


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