I think I must have been born with my heart outside my chest. Open towards anyone and everyone.
The problem with being open to anyone, is that you let in all types of people. And in a heartbeat as well. Not setting up proper boundaries first. As you can probably guess, that can lead to problems…
My last post about how to deal with rejection had me thinking a lot. A whole lot. I’d just met this girl and after just a few hours, I felt such a strong connection with her that her telling me she just wanted to be friends really upset and hurt me.
And it shouldn’t have.
At least not as much as it did. I mean who’s to say she wasn’t just setting up a healthy boundary to protect herself? After all. She doesn’t know me neither.
That’s why I felt something nagging at me. My heart telling me to pay attention, there’s something here for you to see!
I’ve been pondering my head to figure out what it was. Meditating. Reflecting. And journalling to find the answer. And in the shower this morning, I realized what it was (funny how the best insights come in the shower)…
Now, I’m a foolish romantic. I fall in love hard and fast. And more than once that has gotten me into trouble. Because healthy people aren’t that quick to let someone into their life. They know better.
So most of the time I’d attract the unhealthy people instead. Either those, who were in desperate need of love, or those who wanted to manipulate the situation. That’s not healthy. And the lesson for me has been that if you’re going to wear your heart on your sleeve, then you better know how to keep it out of trouble.
Or live by the words: Get tough or die.
My father said it best…
“Your brother, he’s hard on the outside, but soft on the inside. With you, it’s just the opposite.”
I need a better way than that though.
My coach actually told me to stay away from the dating game until I’ve got this figured out. But I’m obviously not bright enough for that.
Then I thought about being in celibacy, which I’ve done before, but the truth is putting that kind of restriction on yourself isn’t very loving neither…
And so this morning while showering, the answer came to me…
I had to establish a new standard. A new rule in my life.
If I’m going to let anyone into my life, it’s friends first. At least for a month. After that time, the initial infatuation will have gone away and I’ll know whether I actually click with this person on a deeper level or not. In fact my best and most healthy relationship, which lasted 4.5 years, was built on top of an almost 1 year old friendship. That’s the answer.
Dating rule #1: Friends first.
With this rule I’ll know. That the next time I start to feel too much affection for someone, I’ve just met… It’s time to step back, take a deep breath and hit the brakes.
Remember the rule, friends first.
And this feels right. This feels like a healthy boundary to put up. This feels like something that will keep my foolish heart from running into trouble again. A first step in the way forward.