Are You Afraid of Getting Hurt?

Senior Dating

Are You Afraid of Getting Hurt?

Andrew Pais Andrew Pais • 12/16/14

On paper, Frank has it made. He’s in his early 60s, in fairly good shape, nice looking, semi-retired from a very successful business that runs itself, has a convertible sports car and a sailboat. He has the freedom, time and resources to travel.

Frank is recently divorced from a long-term marriage. His children are grown, educated, living independently and are financially self-sufficient.

Is it fear of getting hurt, or is it  just fear?

Yet, Frank is alone, depressed and unhappy. He doesn’t date and makes no effort to.

When he does meet someone, it usually ends in disappointment on his part. He then retreats back in his shell and wonders why he’s not having much luck.

One day Frank’s sister, Claire, was talking about Frank to a mutual friend and explained the reason Frank isn’t dating is because he’s in “fear of getting hurt.” She said he is afraid to open up and put his feelings out there only to have another woman crush them.

Is it fear of getting hurt, or is it  just fear?

In my experiences when with coaching clients who tell me they “fear getting hurt,” it turns out to be a catch-all excuse and defense strategy. It covers a whole gamut of fears:

  • Fear of self-examination and introspection
  • Fear of failing again
  • Fear of change

They’re afraid they’ll have to expose some deep hidden truth about themselves that they protect at all costs.

And the biggest fear of all is they might be the problem, not the other way around.

Here’s the coaching advice I’d give Frank:

  • Realize and accept the “fear of getting hurt” is an excuse and a defense strategy.
  • Realize and accept you might be at fault and that self-introspection, self-improvement and change are a good thing.
  • Address and work on that deep dark secret you’re afraid to have exposed.

Once he completed the above steps, I’d remind him that:

  • Dating is a process. Each experience should be a learning experience.
  • It’s not about chemistry. It’s about connections.
  • He should focus on what he truly wants and let the universe do the rest.

I can only hope Frank (and you!) follows my advice and finds a woman with whom he can share his life.

Photo sources:,