“I’m just scared to let my guard down because I really don’t want to get hurt.”

How many times have you heard (or said) that line? I would venture to guess that this is one of the most commonly used excuses when it comes to dating and relationships. Here’s the thing, though; if you don’t let your guard down, you might never know if this relationship has the potential to work.

I know, I know. It’s scary. It’s really scary to open up and be vulnerable. It’s a risk worth taking, though, and it can be more than worth it. Yes, it’s possible that you’ll end up getting hurt, but if you don’t try and you don’t open up, you’ll never know. And if you do end up getting hurt, at least you know it’s not the right relationship for you, and now you’re free to explore other relationships.

I hate to sound all preachy, but this might be the kick in the butt you need. The more you hold back and the more you stay closed off, it’ll be that much harder to move forward in a relationship. So use these tips to let your damn guard down and finally get a shot at something real.

1. Go For It

Honestly, sometimes you just gotta say “screw it” and open up. Share the story you’re scared to share. Answer his questions in a deeper way. Get to really know each other.

2. Listen

Let them take a bit of the lead by listening first. Sometimes, if you just listen to the other person and see how they’re opening up, it’ll help ease you into letting your guard down in return.

3. Be Realistic

Remind yourself that you don’t know what will happen. Of course, you hope for the best and you want it to work out, but if it doesn’t, you will be okay. And the only way to truly take a new relationship to the next level is to open up and be your most authentic self. So let down your guard with the knowledge that the risk you’re taking is worth it.

4. Share Your Fear

Tell this other person that this is hard for you, but that you’re doing it anyway. Let them know that although you don’t easily open up to people, you really want to do so with them.

5. Live In The Moment

Remind yourself to live in the moment. I know this might come across a bit cliché, but it’s true. This moment, this one right now, is the only moment that matters. So, just be present with this person you like and give it your all. If you do that, you won’t have regrets about the time you wasted with your guard still up.

Despite the fact that it’s okay to be scared and not want to get hurt, you still have to put yourself out there if you want the relationship of your dreams. If you don’t, how will you ever know if the relationship will work? Open up, be yourself and just forget about that guard altogether. It’ll be worth it in the end.

You may also be interested in Are You Sabotaging Your Love Life? 5 Dating Excuses To Avoid

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