Taking the Risk to Love Again and go out Dating

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Taking the Risk to Love AgainRuth Bridgewood Relationship Coach Sydney

© February, 2002
By: Ruth Bridgewood
Relationship Coach

Fans of the pop duo Savage Garden may remember some of the words from the hit song "Affirmations" Ė "I believe you canít appreciate real love till youíve been burnt".

Havenít we all been "burnt" by love at one time or another? At the time, it can feel like the worst thing that has ever happened to us. The feelings of loss, rejection or loneliness can be very difficult to cope with and we feel like weíre the only one who has ever felt this way. I think it can be a great help if we remember that most people in the world have experienced this feeling at some time in their lives (some more often than others!). Unfortunately, many put up emotional walls around themselves in the belief that by denying themselves love and a fulfilling relationship; they will never have to go through that pain again. But by doing so they are also denying themselves the joy and fulfilment that only comes from truly connecting with another person on an intimate level.

A person I met recently hasnít had a relationship for over 10 years. When I spoke to mutual friends, they say she was hurt so badly from a relationship many years ago that she refuses to go out and meet people. Her life is now so lacking in interest and excitement that she has actually said that she will kill herself if things donít improve by the time she is 50. Unfortunately she doesnít realise that she is the only person who can change her life for the better. She needs to get out of her comfort zone and take some risks before anything is likely to improve.

People, who are successful in life, whether in business, relationships, sport etc., are those who have been prepared to take a risk. It is the same with taking the risk to let down those walls and let love in again. There are no guarantees in life Ė thereís always a chance that the relationship wonít work and you may be hurt again, but there is a saying "That, which doesnít kill you, makes you stronger". Any adversity or painful experience gives us strength, because once we realise that we can handle it (after all, it didnít kill you) we can learn from the experience and go on to make positive changes. When we do get back on our feet (financially, romantically, in health or whatever), we have more appreciation of life and love and all the wonderful things in the world.

There are also a number of things you can do, or things to you need to remember, to ease the pain of a broken relationship and to break down those walls:

  • Donít look at a relationship that didnít work out as a failure. Often itís an imagined "failure" that fuels you to the success youíve always dreamed of. .
  • Donít dwell on the past Ė look toward your future. As Anthony Robbins said "Your past does not equal your future. Sometimes after a separation, we find ourselves dwelling on the past; our thoughts consumed with that other person. You will begin to heal when you start thinking and writing about what you want for your life".
  • Understand and acknowledge your part in the break up. It is easy to place all the blame on your "ex", but until you take responsibility for at least some part of the break up, you are unlikely to have fulfilling relationships in the future
  • Barbara De Angelis PHD, a US relationship expert, says "The emotions that you feel and express, you can heal. You canít heal feelings that you stuff inside you. We need to actually go back in there, say the things we never said, cry the tears we never cried, get angry about the things we never got angry about, so that we donít need to protect ourselves with those walls any more". So, have a good cry, rant and rave, punch the pillows and get it all out of you!
  • Read books, hire a coach or therapist, go to workshops and seminars, find articles on the internet that teach you about letting go of the past and be sure to apply the lessons.

It does take courage to take the risk to love again, but remember "Great love requires great courage". When you love deeply, with courage and commitment, your relationships and life will be filled with joy and happiness.

Ruth Bridgewood is a Life Coach specialising in relationships and working with people who are looking for a life partner. Ruth can be contacted on 02 9555 9978 or

ruth.bridgewood@bigpond.com.au