In order for your heart to break again you will have to open it up. This takes a while. I think it took me 3 years from D to really let myself enjoy a budding relationship and become vulnerable again.
It was amazing! I enjoyed those "10" days immensely. But what goes up comes down. To enjoy your "9" and "10s" you need to be prepared for the "2s" and "3s". I had a ton of "2" days too. Is it worth it? It depends. But you cannot force it. It will come. Just give it time.
For me it was very surreal going from married to barely knowing someone. I tried to rush the getting to know you phase, but it was quite futile and possibly made me more anxious. It just takes time.
Try to relax into what you do know about him and go from there. Maybe it might ease your anxiety if you viewed him as a new friend rather than a new romantic partner with all the husbandly levels of expectations your subconscious might drag along.
we don't really know each other yet.
Relax and give it time...
I know when KD and I started "dating" I reminded her more than once that I'm not her ex...
The perceptions and thought processes affected by what we've been through have rewired us in some ways that are good and bad...
Then to have to start over at square one? It's no wonder it's not easy.
I know that my tendency, especially when I first started dating, was to sort of want to rush over the awkward getting-to-know-you stage. I didn't want to get to know someone; I wanted to know someone. I didn't want to become a couple, I wanted to be a couple. It was really frustrating for me, and counter-intuitive (sometimes I did better than others) to consciously pull myself back and actually take the time to get to know someone.
As you start to make small choices in moving forward with this person, choices like not running away, you have to be careful to keep your heart and expectations in check, to let them grow at an appropriate rate. I think that the desire and the fear to run in "with reckless abandon" as you put it come from the same place. You want to be fully invested, but you're also afraid of full investment, because you've seen how great it is and how much it can hurt.
We're not meant to go all in all at once like that though. The process has to be gradual, with eyes wide open and mind alert, to create a healthy relationship. You'll never just recklessly fall into something healthy, I promise. Something healthy and wonderful is crafted by two people putting in the work and melding their worlds together.
Give yourself time and grace! It sounds like you're doing fine to me!
Perhaps the potential custody issue is causing you to trigger a little bit. Maybe you have some minor PTSD.
Just a thought.
I think a lot of us post-D forget the amount of time and effort it took at the beginning of the relationship that became our marriage because for a time we had all the security, predictability, etc. of a marriage. If that makes sense.
"...gonna harden my heart ..."
This is exactly how I feel. Dating is exhausting... for this reason. The difference I notice now post A, and subsequent D is that I don't enjoy this part of a relationship, where in the past it was the best part. It is also true that I have never been a "butterflies" kinda girl... but I just thought that was because I hadn't met the right person yet... maybe it's just me. I am starting to "lighten up" in this relationship with this man.. I am working on getting to know him... and remaining open to the possibility that it may turn into something, without losing myself in it. We shall see what happens! Just the notion that I am ABLE to have these feelings after what EX put me through should be hope enough I suppose! Thanks for all the replies...
It also sounds like you're not in a good and comfortable placce right now to start a relationship let alone navigate the milefield that this sounds like!
Maybe take a break from dating for a while and focus on you?
"In life, unlike chess, the game continues after checkmate." - Asimov
"Be patient and tough; someday this pain will be useful to you." - Ovid