I want to be open when it comes to finding love, but it seems like my heart is caught in a vise these days. I’ve been single for so long that I can hardly access my romantic feelings anymore. I’d like to change this, but I’m not sure how.
1. IT DOESN’T FEEL WORTH IT TO OPEN UP.
Sure, I could go back to the way I used to be, wearing my heart on my sleeve, but that wasn’t healthy either. I gave all of myself to my partners and ended up miserable and unfulfilled in return. I don’t want to be like that again but I’m not sure I know how to love in a constructive manner.
2. I’M IN A HARDCORE COMFORT ZONE.
To be honest, it’s nice to live relatively drama-free and without any sadness. I don’t worry about things nearly as much as I would if I was in a relationship. It would take a lot at this point to drag me out of my easy lifestyle, which doesn’t make opening up any easier.
3. I’D RATHER HIDE IN MY HOUSE THAN VENTURE OUT AND MEET SOMEONE.
I love travel, culture, and adventure as much as anyone, but I also like to spend time at home alone. That’s when I get my best creative efforts out—it takes solo space to focus. Most of the time, the idea of going out and socializing seems exhausting.
4. NO MATTER HOW I TRY, I CAN’T SEEM TO BECOME SOFT AGAIN.
I didn’t intend for this to happen, but gradually, over years of single life, it just did. I somehow locked up my capacity for love and lost the key. I have no clue how to even begin breaking down the walls surrounding my ability to be emotionally vulnerable. I can feel when I’m getting defensive and closing off, but I also feel helpless to prevent it. I want to be able to love someone but I don’t ever feel like it’s worth it. I want to be sure that if I give my love it’ll pay off but that’s impossible to know.
5. IT SUCKS LESS TO FEEL NOTHING THAN TO HURT.
I don’t know that I believe that opening up regardless of the outcome is worth it. I used to be romantic enough to think it was, but now I’m a bit jaded. Giving love is indeed often more difficult and hurtful than not going there.
6. I LIKE MY FREEDOM MORE THAN I NEED AFFECTION.
I used to want love at any cost, but now I’m older and wiser and I know better. I don’t think that giving up certain things for love is a fair compromise because among those things are my autonomy and independence. I don’t want to be one half of a pair; I want my own life.
7. I CAN’T MEET A GUY WHO INSPIRES VULNERABILITY IN ME.
The only men I am comfortable showing my emotions around are my friends. It’s safer with them. The stakes don’t feel as high. When it comes to dating, I’m practically impenetrable unless someone is very special.
8. I CAN GET BY WITH THE LIFE I HAVE.
It’s not ideal and of course I get sad sometimes. Still, I look back at all the heartache I’ve felt in the past and it reminds me that I have it pretty good. I don’t feel an overwhelming need for a partner, and so I continue on without one. Plus, I know what I want from a man and from love. I’m not finding it so I refuse to reveal my heart to someone who isn’t right.
9. I FEEL NO URGENCY TO SETTLE DOWN ANYWAY.
I have no timeline on my life, which means I can put off love indefinitely. As someone with absolutely no desire for a traditional family and children, I’m free to go on alone forever if I so choose. This means I’m even more reluctant to change.
10. I DON’T TRUST MY OWN TASTE IN men.
I have a history of picking the wrong dudes and then falling hopelessly in love despite the warning signs. Now that I recognize this problem, it makes me quite leery of jumping back into the dating pool. I’m terrible at letting go, even when everything is wrong.
11. I’VE BASICALLY GIVEN UP ON LOVE UNLESS SOMETHING BIG HAPPENS.
It’ll basically take a love bomb to blast open my heart. I don’t know what else will do it after all this time. I don’t want to be closed up and cynical, but too many failed attempts at loving have done this to me and it’s so tough to go back.