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

Dr. Wendy Walsh

Written by: Dr. Wendy Walsh

Dr. Wendy Walsh

Known as America's Relationship Expert, Dr. Wendy Walsh is an award-winning television journalist, radio host & podcaster, and the author of three books on relationships and thousands of print and digital articles. More than 1.5 million people follow her sage advice on social media. She holds a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology and teaches in the Psychology Department at California State University Channel Islands and has been the host of "The Dr. Wendy Walsh Show" on iHeart Radio's KFI AM 640 since 2015. Walsh is also a former Emmy-nominated co-host of "The Doctors," as well as former host of the nationally syndicated show "EXTRA." She was named a Time Magazine Person of the Year in 2017 after speaking out about harassment at a major news network.

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Edited by: Lillian Castro

Lillian Castro

Lillian Guevara-Castro brings more than 30 years of journalism experience to ensure DatingAdvice articles have been edited for overall clarity, accuracy, and reader engagement. She has worked at The Atlanta Journal and Constitution, The Gwinnett Daily News, and The Gainesville Sun covering lifestyle topics.

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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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