Hardening your heart for protection isn’t something that’s easily undone. Like even if you meet someone who makes you want to drop your guard, it still takes time. Sometimes you’re just not ready. And fear and practicality are other reasons to be hesitant, but you can’t soften your heart just because someone worthy of your love comes into your life. And that sounds negative, but if it’s not time, it’s not time. Softening your heart is not like unclenching your fist. There’s work to be done first. You have to process what happened, own your part, forgive yourself and the other person. Or you know what? Sometimes forgiving the other person is overrated. Like just don’t be bound by what they did to you. Don’t let what happened hold you back from life and love. And don’t be afraid to be practical. Practicality is not sexy. It isn’t romantic. But we can’t always associate love with these strong urges and great displays of emotion. You know the running-through-the-airport, boom-box-over-the-head-in-the-rain type of displays. And even before we get to love, your feelings should be measured. What is drawing me to this person? Why am I feeling this way now? Practicality can save you from heartbreak. It can save you from hardening your heart again and starting this process all over. And after measuring your feelings and cutting your losses if you have to, it’s okay to mourn what didn’t happen. That sounds dramatic but pretending we didn’t want to love someone doesn’t help us. Or at least it didn’t help me. And now after all that work, I feel like my heart is soft. Like it’s been soft and I’ve met someone. We’ve measured our feelings and now it’s on me. Because he wants me. Now I have to be brave and accept that this isn’t a foolish decision. This isn’t some grand display of emotion. It’s just me saying yes. It’s still a risk though. That’s the scary part. But I think he’s worth it. And if things don’t work out, I feel like I won’t have to harden my heart to move forward. And that’s comforting. But I don’t want to dwell on things not working out since things are just getting started.

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