A history lesson: on being vulnerable in life and love

“My heart has a history of hurtin’ those who mean the most to me. Before you get to close to me, I think you oughta know. While other hearts are holdin’ on, while other loves are growin’ strong, my heart has a history of letting go.” –My Heart Has a History (Paul Brandt) This song played on my iPod yesterday, and I know it was not a coincidence. I had started dating someone about a month ago, and things were going great! He’s a very nice guy – kind, caring, compassionate, smart, funny, supportive, etc. – all the things I want in a partner.  And I wrecked it. About 2 weeks in, I felt the anxiety building. I felt like it was all too much, too soon, and I told him I needed space, which he gave me. During that time I figured out what the anxiety was (because anxiety in itself is not an emotion). I was afraid. Afraid of making a mistake. Afraid of getting hurt. Afraid of him seeing me (the real me) and not liking what he saw. Afraid I wasn’t good enough. I tried to be honest about my insecurity. It felt so vulnerable, and I shared my feelings anyway.  I knew that in order to deal with (and change) my patterns of behaviour in relationships, I had to face it. But old habits die hard, and even though I know better, I let my fears dictate me. I think I expected too much instead of just going with the flow. And in the end, I created the exact thing I feared and didn’t want...

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