Have you Built a Fortress Around your Heart?

Fear of dating after divorce

Fortress of Fear

“When a woman waits too long to get involved again, she may become overly self-sufficient and unknowingly push love away.  If needing love causes pain, she will just stop needing love to eliminate the pain.”  — Author and therapist John Gray

When a man offers you support, do you push it away? Are you avoiding dating or getting into a relationship in order to avoid the pain that you worry might surface and engulf you yet again?

What exactly causes us to pull back, fearful that daring to expose one corner of our trusting nature to the light is yet again the quick road to heartache?

I trusted in love once.

Like generations of women before me, like my mother and aunts all did, I looked toward a man for security and financial support as so many of my female college classmates chose to do as well.  In fact back then, it was called getting your M.R.S. degree (bonding with a suitable college sweetheart who you were certain held loads of ambition and financial potential and planning to marry them right after college).

It turned out to be the biggest gamble of my life.

I trusted in the promises and security of marriage once.

Who can even begin to know how their husband or wife will continue to change over the years? Instead of “until death do us part”, we may have well as pledged to  “love until your infidelities and mid-life crisis tears us both into shreds of our former selves” or “until the intense financial pressures to acquire a bigger house in a better neighborhood while also affording the kids’ college tuitions blows up our bonds of holy matrimony.”

I trusted my own heart to know what’s right for me once.

I even trusted my own judgment a few MORE times when I began dating again after divorce.

But then it just became easier to build a fortress around my heart. Not take the risk of letting a man too close again. Avoiding feeling too much because feeling too much for a man leads to pain. Especially if he were to find out just how much I really care about him.

As Robert Frost put it so well in his poem, Mending Wall, “Good fences make good neighbors.”

So now I find myself examining all of the gaps in the wall, desperately trying to fill in the broken areas stone by stone, all while fully expecting more parts of the wall to crumble without any advance warning.

Years of repairs to take apart…

Do I dare to tear down the fortress that surrounds my heart?







Please let me know your thoughts in the Comments Section below.


  1. I agree we all put walls up. I often remember times when I was single and think how lucky I was but then when I was single I felt lonely. The grass is always greener looking no matter where you go.

  2. Powerful statement, “What exactly causes us to pull back, fearful that daring to expose one corner of our trusting nature to the light is yet again the quick road to heartache?” I’m going to ponder this over the next few days – in reference to all my relationships! Thanks for helping me create new awareness!

  3. Some of us never expected or explicitly went for that M.R. S. degree, but… Trusting others and one’s own judgment is a process. Time helps, as does awareness.

  4. Its not only women who feel this way, men do as well. After the losses of family, finances, heart, body and soul, why bother going through it all again. All the counseling in the world cant make me want to take that chance of having my entire life destroyed again.

  5. Gary Campbell says:

    Once again a very well written article by an amazingly insightful author. However, all the best things in life require risk. Rewards without risk are a lottery ticket! Buy your ticket or take the risk….life without living is pointless.