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The Fear Factor: 3 Tips to Overcoming Fears that Foil True Love

People often ask us, “What’s the one thing you have to do to find the right partner after having experienced a major heartbreak?” Our unequivocal answer is: Overcome fear. It’s the one critical factor that gets in the way of individuals venturing on the romantic recovery path.

In fact, it’s so formidable that it can crush any budding relationship before it takes bloom. If you feel yourself fall into that trap, think of this well-known acronym for FEAR: False Evidence Appearing Real.

Fear is an illusion. It’s important to acknowledge and accept this reality. Otherwise, fear morphs into a delusion that you hide behind to shy away from starting any promising new relationship. Go ahead. Confront those angst-inducing anxieties. We guarantee you’ll come out on top!

Follow these tips to take charge of common fears that prevent you from embarking on a new relationship.

1. Become better acquainted with…yourself.

The fear of being alone is nothing more than a lack of faith in one’s self. The irony with this one is that people deceived by it are seldom alone! They typically jump from one relationship to another without ever questioning why they can’t seem to find one that lasts. Yet, from one time to another, they expect different results.

When a relationship ends, take time to really assess your beliefs, values, priorities — and your gratitudes. Challenge your relationship patterns by asking: What am I really attracted to in a man/woman? What do I value most in a relationship?

Listen to your inner voice to know what really is best for you. Then, stop compromising. You should never settle because of the fear of being alone.

2. Focus on your “worthiness.”

We are all familiar with the fear of rejection. Remember when you first went into that new school as a child and how badly you wanted to be accepted? Well, many specialists say that if you once experienced rejection as a child, you’re very likely to try to avoid it at all costs in your adult relationships. It’s one of our deepest human fears.

Instead of falling victim to the fear of rejection by just giving up on finding a lifelong mate, take stock of your self-worth. Build a foundation of self-respect based on what makes you your unique self — your life experiences, your successes and disappointments, your personality and your passions.

Who you are as an individual makes up your self-worth, and self-worth increases “love-worth.”

3. Fly below the radar at first.

Another fear that gets in the way of finding love is an irrational fear of failure or defeat. Whenever those with this phobia confront any scenario in which they sense the possibility of failure, their brain automatically signals a fight or flight reaction and they run for the bushes.

But here’s our recommendation: Ease in slowly to any new relationship. It’s better to befriend a romantic interest first. Take the time to show who you are and to truly discover the other person before the stakes become too high. Then, if the chemistry isn’t there or your values don’t align, there’s no crash-and-burn defeat to recover from.


Authors and relationship coaches Diane and Mario Cloutier found each other in 1998 after they both had experienced unfulfilling relationships. Their new book, Relovenship™ – Look Within to Love Again (Xclamat!on Media, 2015) gives inspiration, hope and  a step-by-step methodology to people who have had romantic disappointments and are still looking to find “the one.” Mario Cloutier is founder and chief creative officer of Xclamat!ion Marketing. Diane Sawaya Cloutier enjoyed a successful career in managerial roles with Fortune 500 organizations before focusing fulltime on the couple’s ReLovenship™ book and seminars. Learn more at

Heart on the mend photo available from Shutterstock

The Fear Factor: 3 Tips to Overcoming Fears that Foil True Love

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Diane and Mario Cloutier

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APA Reference
Cloutier, D. (2018). The Fear Factor: 3 Tips to Overcoming Fears that Foil True Love. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 30, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 Jul 2018 (Originally: 15 Aug 2015)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 Jul 2018
Published on Psych All rights reserved.