No one is born with a guard up. Walls are built when you’ve loved openly, with your heart on your sleeve, given free love unconditionally, and ended up being really hurt. Over time, through heartbreaks, rejections and trusts shattered, a subconscious, but very real guard can be put up.
It wasn’t deliberate, it wasn’t instant, just completely natural when you’re trying to avoid the pain and heartbreak.
All you’re trying to do is protect your heart from any further damage. You think: if you keep people out, then you can’t be hurt.
But that wall is causing you more harm than good.
This guard is what’s holding you back from fulfilling your potential, from connecting on a really deep level with someone new, from having a meaningful relationship. You end up tarring everyone with the same brush, and writing off those who may be great for you.
By keeping everyone out, and not risking letting anyone in, yeah, you’re not letting anyone hurt you again. But by keeping your distance, you end up being the person that no one really understands.
You allow others to see what you want them to see, but there is so much more to you than this. Our most precious possession, our hearts, need protecting, but if you’re genuinely looking for love: you have to love like there’s no such thing as a broken heart.
So how do you take down the wall? Brick by brick.
It means being vulnerable. It means exactly what you have been avoiding for so long.
What you always have to remember, is that hearts always mend themselves and bruises heal.
#1 Be yourself
Some people believe if they show people the ‘real’ version of themselves, then they won’t be accepted and will scare potential lovers off. Because of this, they disguise their true selves and simply show a mask.
By protecting yourself, you’re only denying yourself the chance to be completely open with someone. Be comfortable in being yourself. They’ll love you for who YOU are.
#2 Wear your heart on your sleeve
Be vulnerable. There is a difference between being vulnerable and being weak. Showing vulnerability is brave and courageous.
Embrace your feelings and wear your heart on your sleeve. Step out of your comfort zone: dating is risky, but when you get it right, there is nothing better.
#3 Communicate your needs
You don’t need to rush, you can just take things slow. Communicating this to someone you’re seeing can ease the situation greatly, and will help you feel confident in becoming gradually more vulnerable.
Bottling up your worries will just mean you overthink everything. Express your feelings and say what you’re thinking. Take your time and go at your own pace.
It may take time for your guard to be dropped, but it will be worth it. That guard is only denying you the possibility to love. Give yourself a chance and let the wall come down.