It’s hard to train yourself to stop assuming you are going to get abandoned, heartbroken, screwed over, stepped on. It’s hard to trust someone — even someone you love with your whole heart — after you have been hurt in the past.

You are not used to opening your mouth without watching what you say, without peppering your stories with white lies, without answering questions with I’m fine — but you cannot keep a wall up when you are in a serious relationship. You need to lower your guard, to take a risk, to give yourself permission to be vulnerable.

When you love someone, you cannot shut them out. You cannot push them away emotionally. You cannot allow your baggage to create a wedge between the two of you.

You might not be used to wearing your heart on your sleeve, but when you love someone, you are going to have to learn how to communicate. You are going to have to practice speaking your emotions aloud. You are going to have to get comfortable with the idea of sharing your innermost thoughts with another human being. A human being who loves you, supports you, and only wants the best for you.

It’s scary to speak from the heart, but it’s a part of being in a serious relationship. When you love someone, you cannot get away with showing them the cute, quirky, exciting sides of you and leave out the dark, gritty, depressing pieces. You are going to see each other at your worst. You are going to delve into serious shit, shit you don’t like to think about, let alone talk about. You are going to open up about death, exes, childhood trauma, arguments, everything that has turned you into the person you are today.

There are going to be times when you hesitate, when you stumble over your words, when you worry about what they are going to think about you — but you cannot let your fears persuade you to keep quiet. If they are the right person for you, they are going to make it easier for you to deal with your stressors, not harder. They are going to make you feel better about yourself, not worse.

When you love someone, you give them complete access to your heart. You trust they are going to handle it with tenderness. You trust they are not going to hurt you like you have been hurt in the past.

It might take you a while to become comfortable with the idea of communicating every hope, every dream, every want and need to another person, but when you love someone, you put in the effort. You try to better yourself. You do not run away when things get serious — and you do not hide pieces of yourself in order to stop them from running away.

When you love someone, you should be able to talk to them about anything. When you love someone, you should be able to tear down your walls, at least for long enough to let them climb inside. TC mark


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