If you’ve been hurt before, it can be hard to let your guard down and let the kind of love that’ll bring you happiness into your life.  

 

Tackle your fears head on with our top tips:

Communicate
Talking to someone is the best way to develop intimacy with them. Try to be honest when responding to the questions that they ask of you, even if you have to reply that you have your guard up but are interested in seeing where the relationship could go. Anyone who is worth your time will respect that you are being honest with them, and may well share their own fears with you too! As soon as you start to share your feelings, you’ll begin to let your guard down.

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Be patient

Always remember that there’s no need to rush things. You do need to push yourself out of your comfort zone from time to time, but you can do so at your own pace. Try to give potential dates the benefit of the doubt and go out with them a couple of times before deciding whether or not they’re completely right for you. By challenging yourself in this way, you’ll get stronger and start to trust your natural instincts. It’s easy to become guarded when you feel that you were hurt in the past because you were too naïve and trusting, but don’t let one bad experience take away your chance to love again.

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Be honest with yourself

When people are guarded, they worry about revealing their true selves to people. This often stems from low self-esteem, insecurity and a belief that they’re not lovable as they are. If you do feel this way, then this is something you may want to seek counselling to treat but, in the meantime, try to be as honest as possible in the way that you present yourself. Tell the truth in every conversation, speak your mind and have a ‘no taboo’ attitude – you’ll soon start to feel more relaxed with people and more comfortable being yourself.

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Be kind to yourself

It’s often said that you must love yourself before you can love someone else. We teach people how they should treat us, and the best way to show that you deserve to be treated well is to take good care of yourself. Always make your bed, buy yourself flowers, speak to yourself with kindness rather than criticism – in short, become your own best friend. When you value yourself, you’ll start to feel more secure and be less likely to allow others to treat you badly. If anyone does slip under your radar, you’ll have the strength and confidence to defend yourself.

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