I Don’t Know How to Get Past the Fear of Getting Hurt. Any Advice?

Dr. Wendy Walsh Dr. Wendy Walsh • 9/25/14

Reader Question:

I am a 48-year-old full-time single dad. My daughters are 17 and 18 and don’t see their mother regularly. I remarried 10 years ago when they were younger and it was a disaster.

She was not interested in my children and was very immature, wanting it to be all about her. We have been divorced for three years now.

I have been interested in women that I have cancelled on, and I don’t know how to get past the fear of having my girls hurt again and getting myself hurt again.

Any advice?

-Rob (Indiana)

Dr. Wendy Walsh’s Answer:

Dear Rob,

I’m so sorry your second marriage may have hurt your teen daughters, but it sounds like your love and commitment to them may have been enough stability for them.

I applaud your desire to protect your daughters from any other bad choice you might make. The good news is they are getting older now and will be more resilient.

With that said, I still would keep your romantic life separate from them until a good woman has earned your full trust.

And move slowly. That’s really the only way to find out if someone has the morals, integrity and emotional maturity you desire.

I know it sounds old fashioned, but I would wait to have sex until you are darn sure any new gal is in it for the long haul.

Act exactly how you hope your daughters will act in a relationship. You are their model even when they can’t see you.

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