Why Hold Back Your Heart?

I had a friend who broke up with her boyfriend of around three years. When they first started dating she held back her fears from him, though they were many. I told her to just break up with him. It was a waste of time. As time went, it sounded like she told him more and more, like she was willing to get past the issues, and I nodded in approval and said good job. More often than not love is not so much compatibility as the willingness to communicate and work things out.

Two weeks ago she informed me she was dumping him. I blinked in mild astonishment, she informed me he hadn’t taken a single word of advice to heart (though there were countless, and I knew from the get go he would never 100% hit her mark), and she had an old flame come back into her life who did hit all the marks. Why do we always need someone better to show up before we are willing to part ways with someone who isn’t right, and often is impeding our development? But that’s another topic.

She informed me yesterday she was never comfortable enough to share everything with her ex. She always held back. This astonished because my friend is a bundle of emotional energy, and I have no idea how she contained it. People can sense that. Significant others and people in general know when there is something you are holding back. When you hold back, they become skittish and sometimes hold back, and everyone in general is put in a bad way.

People often tell me to guard my heart. I wear it on my sleeve and in most cases, unless I think it will blow over on its own accord, I air what I think or feel. Life is too short. Love is too precious. I will pick to have my heart crushed because I was too open than to lose the one I loved because I didn’t say anything.

What baffles me more is how often someone who closes up will say, “Well it wasn’t meant to work.” No. You held back and expected someone to love you when you didn’t let them know you. You didn’t let it work.

I told my friend this, and she understood. I also told her the man she’s getting back together with is simply a better fit for her anyway, as he is way more emotionally open and demanding than her ex, which is something she requires. Hopefully she will be open with this guy, but I don’t think that’ll be a problem.

As for me, I will tuck away the heart, up the sleeve, until I meet someone I’m willing to show it to. And then I’ll accidentally bleed all over them like I always do and they’ll either prove a vampire and stick around, or they’ll flee in terror. I’m okay with this. Fuels the writing either way.

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8 responses to “Why Hold Back Your Heart?

  1. Often we wait to leave someone wrong for us because we don’t want to be alone. If she starts dating the previous ex again it might be a mistake and it’s also a sign that she broke up with her recent ex some time ago. I had mentally and emotionally broken up with at least one or two ex’s before we really split up for these reasons and I’ve seen others do it in reflection. It’s human nature. We don’t want to be alone. Pack mentality type stuff. Safety in numbers. That being single is a “bad thing”.

    I’d been in a similar position with an ex and when we split a good friend asked me out right away. I told him I needed time and he said ok and still talked with me. The best thing I did for myself was after a breakup with a terrible person for me was taking time for myself and to be single. It’s healthy.

    • I agree 100%. When my ex dumped me nearing three years, I could have dove into a few relationships. However, none of them were going to provide more than a warm body. I try to stick with if she’s not as good or better than the last one, there’s no point. So…did you end up dating the guy?

      • The friend who helped? Yeah. Also ended up being a rocky relationship though it was both parties at fault that time contributing to the inevitable implosion. It wasn’t until after that period of being single and not looking that my fiance and I found each other.

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