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8 Things To Remember When Dating Someone With A Guarded Heart

8 Things To Remember When Dating Someone With A Guarded Heart

A guarded heart is one that has been through one traumatic experience after another, leaving a person unable to open up to new friends and loved ones easily. However, this doesn’t mean it’s completely impossible. Those of us with guarded hearts are often incredibly caring individuals who have been hurt in the past and, because of this, will do their best to keep their shields up around most people. If you find yourself dating someone with a guarded heart, understand that:

1. We treasure alone time

People with guarded hears trust themselves more than any other person on the planet. Because of this, we enjoy being alone much more than others may. Meeting new people is a draining process because we have to keep our guard up at all times until we are sure we can trust somebody. When dating someone with a guarded heart, understand they would rather spend a quiet night on the couch with you than out with a group of friends.

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2. We take it slow

Since it’s incredibly hard for us to trust anyone, we don’t dive into relationships head first. In fact, we’re often scared when we find ourselves liking somebody enough to possibly begin a relationship with them. Unfortunately, having been hurt in the past has led us to be untrusting of ourselves, and we will always second guess ourselves when start to be attracted to a certain someone. But if you don’t mind wading into a relationship with us, it will show you’re able to accommodate to our needs.

3. We still fall easily

Just because we take it slow doesn’t mean we don’t fall easily. It’s what got us in trouble in the first place. Those of us with guarded hearts have most likely fallen in love too quickly in the past and ended up getting hurt. However, despite having learned from our bad experience, it’s in our nature to fall for anyone who treats us well from the get-go. Of course, this leads to conflicting feelings of whether or not we can trust the person we’re currently interested in.

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4. We have trust issues

It should be clear by now that people with guarded hearts have a tough time trusting others. If you’re dating someone with a guarded heart, it can be hard not to take this personally. But if you constantly show your mate you can be trusted, and your intentions are genuine, they will slowly but surely open their hearts to you.

5. We listen more than we talk

Having a guarded heart means we’re afraid to air out our business to just anyone. But we do listen to everything those close to us say. Because we’ve learned it’s hard to trust others, we listen intently to what you’re saying, at times looking for reasons to keep our guard up. If you notice us being quiet during a date, we just want to get to know you before opening up about ourselves.

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6. We’re sometimes mysterious

Along with being rather quiet, we might be hesitant to text or call you after a date, and probably come off as being distant. This doesn’t mean we’re not interested in you. In fact, it may be the exact opposite. Like I said, we’re afraid to let others in, especially if we see ourselves falling for them easily. We understand we’re sending mixed signals by being mysteriously distant, but we have to look out for ourselves before we pay attention to social dating conventions.

7. We love and hate to show affection

Just like how we fall easily but don’t want to, we often move too fast when we want to take it slow. This may have been part of our problem in the past: we fell in love too quickly, moved too fast emotionally and physically, and ended up absolutely heartbroken when the relationship came to an abrupt end. However, if you take it slow with us, we’re bound to shower you with love and affection when we’re ready.

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8. We truly care about those we let into our lives

If we’ve let you into our lives, you can be sure we truly care about you. This should be an incredible compliment to those who strive to be as genuine and trustworthy as possible. When we let you in, you’ll find the relationship to become much more smooth, and for us to be much more open with our feelings. Once this happens, be prepared for a long-lasting relationship full of love and trust.

Featured photo credit: Flickr via farm1.staticflickr.com

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Matt Duczeminski

A passionate writer who shares lifestlye tips on Lifehack

12 Self-Destructive Habits to Eliminate for a Positive Life 7 Public Speaking Techniques To Help Connect With Your Audience 20 Little Signs You’ve Found The One 8 Signs of a Man Who Will Never Ever Stop Loving You 8 Things To Remember When Dating Someone With A Guarded Heart

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Last Updated on August 6, 2020

6 Reasons Why You Should Think Before You Speak

6 Reasons Why You Should Think Before You Speak

We’ve all done it. That moment when a series of words slithers from your mouth and the instant regret manifests through blushing and profuse apologies. If you could just think before you speak! It doesn’t have to be like this, and with a bit of practice, it’s actually quite easy to prevent.

“Think twice before you speak, because your words and influence will plant the seed of either success or failure in the mind of another.” – Napolean Hill

Are we speaking the same language?

My mum recently left me a note thanking me for looking after her dog. She’d signed it with “LOL.” In my world, this means “laugh out loud,” and in her world it means “lots of love.” My kids tell me things are “sick” when they’re good, and ”manck” when they’re bad (when I say “bad,” I don’t mean good!). It’s amazing that we manage to communicate at all.

When speaking, we tend to color our language with words and phrases that have become personal to us, things we’ve picked up from our friends, families and even memes from the internet. These colloquialisms become normal, and we expect the listener (or reader) to understand “what we mean.” If you really want the listener to understand your meaning, try to use words and phrases that they might use.

Am I being lazy?

When you’ve been in a relationship for a while, a strange metamorphosis takes place. People tend to become lazier in the way that they communicate with each other, with less thought for the feelings of their partner. There’s no malice intended; we just reach a “comfort zone” and know that our partners “know what we mean.”

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Here’s an exchange from Psychology Today to demonstrate what I mean:

Early in the relationship:

“Honey, I don’t want you to take this wrong, but I’m noticing that your hair is getting a little thin on top. I know guys are sensitive about losing their hair, but I don’t want someone else to embarrass you without your expecting it.”

When the relationship is established:

“Did you know that you’re losing a lot of hair on the back of your head? You’re combing it funny and it doesn’t help. Wear a baseball cap or something if you feel weird about it. Lots of guys get thin on top. It’s no big deal.”

It’s pretty clear which of these statements is more empathetic and more likely to be received well. Recognizing when we do this can be tricky, but with a little practice it becomes easy.

Have I actually got anything to say?

When I was a kid, my gran used to say to me that if I didn’t have anything good to say, I shouldn’t say anything at all. My gran couldn’t stand gossip, so this makes total sense, but you can take this statement a little further and modify it: “If you don’t have anything to say, then don’t say anything at all.”

A lot of the time, people speak to fill “uncomfortable silences,” or because they believe that saying something, anything, is better than staying quiet. It can even be a cause of anxiety for some people.

When somebody else is speaking, listen. Don’t wait to speak. Listen. Actually hear what that person is saying, think about it, and respond if necessary.

Am I painting an accurate picture?

One of the most common forms of miscommunication is the lack of a “referential index,” a type of generalization that fails to refer to specific nouns. As an example, look at these two simple phrases: “Can you pass me that?” and “Pass me that thing over there!”. How often have you said something similar?

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How is the listener supposed to know what you mean? The person that you’re talking to will start to fill in the gaps with something that may very well be completely different to what you mean. You’re thinking “pass me the salt,” but you get passed the pepper. This can be infuriating for the listener, and more importantly, can create a lack of understanding and ultimately produce conflict.

Before you speak, try to label people, places and objects in a way that it is easy for any listeners to understand.

What words am I using?

It’s well known that our use of nouns and verbs (or lack of them) gives an insight into where we grew up, our education, our thoughts and our feelings.

Less well known is that the use of pronouns offers a critical insight into how we emotionally code our sentences. James Pennebaker’s research in the 1990’s concluded that function words are important keys to someone’s psychological state and reveal much more than content words do.

Starting a sentence with “I think…” demonstrates self-focus rather than empathy with the speaker, whereas asking the speaker to elaborate or quantify what they’re saying clearly shows that you’re listening and have respect even if you disagree.

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Is the map really the territory?

Before speaking, we sometimes construct a scenario that makes us act in a way that isn’t necessarily reflective of the actual situation.

A while ago, John promised to help me out in a big way with a project that I was working on. After an initial meeting and some big promises, we put together a plan and set off on its execution. A week or so went by, and I tried to get a hold of John to see how things were going. After voice mails and emails with no reply and general silence, I tried again a week later and still got no response.

I was frustrated and started to get more than a bit vexed. The project obviously meant more to me than it did to him, and I started to construct all manner of crazy scenarios. I finally got through to John and immediately started a mild rant about making promises you can’t keep. He stopped me in my tracks with the news that his brother had died. If I’d have just thought before I spoke…

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