Of closed hearts & missed chances

X-Ray showing a broken heart

Last weekend, I spent an afternoon with a friend who has been single for a while and inevitably the conversation turned to her love life. She is a member of an online dating site and she regularly goes on dates. (Great start.) She told me about this guy, who according to her, was ticking all the boxes. I was ecstatic and urged her to tell me more. “So,” I said, “when are you meeting him again?” She started fidgeting and explained she’d texted him and was waiting for his response. Three days had already passed and yet, no answer. She couldn’t understand why, as things had been going really well and there was obvious chemistry between them.

This was an all too common scenario in her dating world, so I asked her to show me her text message.  After reading it, I couldn’t help but think that it was written rather dismissively and not very open-ended. He had no reason to respond to it. I told her how I felt it came across and she admitted she had been a bit dismissive during their dates, but ONLY – she said – to see if he was still interested and ONLY because she didn’t want to come across as desperate.

My friend is anything but desperate, I thought. No, the reason she was behaving this way was all down to having been hurt in the past. And I bet the poor guy felt exactly the same anxieties and worries she was feeling. He was probably just as afraid of being hurt. Why is it then, that we can’t overcome these hurdles and simply be honest and open with our feelings when we have met someone we like? Dating should be fun!

Is the fear of heartbreak so much more powerful than potentially losing the chance of finding a loving relationship? How can people find love again without opening their hearts, without taking a risk?

I find this problem rather frustrating, so I’m turning to you lovely readers to help me find answers. How do we overcome this perpetual cycle? What advice would you give to someone, perhaps a friend, in this situation?

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4 responses to “Of closed hearts & missed chances”

  1. Christopher Snell says :

    We have to face our fears like we have nothing to loose. Some of us have to get to that point to cross that threshold. Those of us on the outside looking in feel much lighter than those having the experience… they have to have this experience of lack before they can embrace abundance. We can tell them how it is until we’re blue in the face, they have to have this experience to move forward.
    Just because he’s compatible, doesn’t mean he’s the only one. We [most everyone] live from a place of lack… the opposite of abundance, and we have bought into this belief that there is only one compatible to each of us. This is an illusion, living in lack is what keeps us from winning the lottery. Boost your self-worth, make yourself your own best investment.
    My advice to you and everyone, he has 24 hours to respond after that keep moving [the slightest hint of resentment and you’ve slipped back into low self esteem]. Know who you are and what you desire, and you will know how to spot him.
    And the last thing I will advise you: on the first date, in casual conversation in you sharing your story, ask him how he ended his last relationship, “and you will know what kind of relationship he is capable of giving”. Did he walk out without saying a word, was there a lot of resentment, or did he take the time to verbally express his gratitude in all that was shared? How any of us end our last relationship is a flag of what we are truly capable of.


  2. My Nomad Life says :

    Good question. I don’t have any answers, but I think it can be really hard to see the person we are with as a completely new person. I think people (at least me!) tend to project others who have hurt them onto the new person, so they are guarded, scared and put up a front, etc. I think it helps when meeting new people to think of it as learning about someone, maybe making a new friend and, even if it’s not the person you’re going to end up with, you’re at least getting practice for future dates/relationships!

    • M@zz@ says :

      That’s very sensible and caring advice. Thank you My Nomad Life.

      I’m very much like you. Once burned, twice as shy. I guess it’s having the understanding within yourself that others feel the same and are just as scared is the first step, the second is having the patience to let that person (and oneself) come out of their shell. Perhaps in a world of instant gratification, this is getting harder and harder to do and we put pressure on ourselves.

      I agree with you on meeting people and keeping expectations down. Just because your date isn’t ‘The One’ doesn’t mean it wasn’t an opportunity to find a lovely person. 🙂

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