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I’m Afraid of Having My Heart Broken Again

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From Belgium: Long story short; had a tough breakup after 4,5 years of relationship last summer. Got over it pretty well thanks to self development and letting go.

This fall I fell head over heels for this girl I had a pretty long eye contact with. She’s totally my type physically, has confident body language, seems self-controlled and rather intelligent. She doesn’t bow or break under social pressure either. Pretty much my perfect match.

Issue number 1: I contacted her via Facebook over some event we both went to. She responded rather positively,  wrote pretty decently lengthy responses. At some point it was getting late so I let the conversation come to its natural end.
Because I didn’t want to come across rather aggressive, and to be fair also because I was rather scared I waited 2 weeks to message again. I didn’t want her to feel any pressure, just wanted to get to know her first.

I messaged her again and she responded quite well again, the conversation was getting pretty interesting until she suddenly didn’t reply to the last message. I didn’t want to seem too bothered, but didn’t want to give up either so I messaged her on new years saying “So can I say happy new year or too much of a hangover?”  she replied quite fast, just like before, but then again suddenly stopped replying.

I must say she wasn’t online a lot of the time while we were talking, but when she was she always replied rather quickly and positively, until she would suddenly just stop. It were only like 15 messages each spread over 3 conversations with a 1:1 ratio so I wasn’t being too much, which brings me to

Issue 2: So I’ve grown pretty strong feelings without actually really knowing her, but because these conversations gave positive signs (lengthy positive quick responses) as well as negative ones (stop replying) I don’t know whether I should proceed pursuing her. Even though I got over my last break up, the pain was really intense and I’m terrified of feeling that pain again if my heart were to be broken again.

Nevertheless, a good partner is worth the risk of pain. The real question is though, how do I deal with the fear of this intense emotional pain? Thanks in advance.

I’m Afraid of Having My Heart Broken Again

Answered by on -


Moving on from heartbreak requires doing exactly what you are doing – moving on.  Making contact with this young woman is a great start. But now you are letting your fear put too much stake in what has only been an intermittent online contact.  Her rate of response may be simply because she is busy. She may be cautious because she has suffered a similar heartbreak. She may not be looking for love and senses that you are. I don’t know. Neither do you.

Rather than playing a tortuous guessing game about her motives, why not ask her if she would like to meet for coffee at someplace where both of you would feel safe. Her response to the suggestion will settle your questions. In the meantime, I encourage you to take it slow. Healing takes time. It would be a good idea to make friends with a number of different women and to just hang out for awhile as a way to take the pressure off yourself – and the women you meet. If you do, a relationship is more likely to evolve naturally.

I wish you well.

Dr. Marie

I’m Afraid of Having My Heart Broken Again

Therapists live, online right now, from BetterHelp:

Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Dr. Marie is licensed as both a psychologist and marriage and family counselor. She specializes in couples and family therapy and parent education. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2019). I’m Afraid of Having My Heart Broken Again. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 24, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 15 Feb 2019 (Originally: 17 Feb 2019)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 15 Feb 2019
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