The people we fall in love with attain the same authority of a sniper. They can attack at any time, without warning or the alarming sound of their approaching footsteps. You just stand there with a blissful smile and ignorant sense of safety. Your guard is down, your heart is open and just like that, you get hit.

It’s terrifying. Vulnerability is a beautiful and invigorating feeling of free falling into the unknown, watching the crumbling walls of defense descend around you. Being guarded doesn’t happen overnight. It’s a long process of disappointment and betrayal. It’s a wound that gets stronger every time it heals from being ripped back open.

Guarded people don’t hide the deeper parts of themselves because they want to create frustration, they hide them because they’ve shown them before and been hurt. Somewhere along the line, love let them down. They don’t love any less, they just love with caution. They make it challenging to get into their heart, because they know only the ones willing to fight for that are worth the risk. They’re remarkable people, hidden under a shield only penetrated by the love they want to believe in.

It isn’t easy for a guarded heart to fall in love with you. They’re strong. They’re comfortable on their own. A guarded person falls in love not with romantics or words, but with actions. They’ve been swayed by false promises far too many times, and don’t have a tolerance for manipulation. They aren’t going to show you every part of who they are until they trust you, and they aren’t going to trust you easily. Don’t be discouraged. Don’t blame them. They want to confide in you with every part of their being, but they’ve been rejected and let down enough to know that is the one way to be hurt.

If you only let someone see certain parts of you, when they leave it doesn’t sting as much as knowing they knew all of who you were and still decided to walk away. So a guarded person falls in love in steps. They start small and watch your reactions like a wide-eyed child. They start to believe you when you say you aren’t going to hurt them. They start to trust you, because you prove yourself to be loyal and kind. They start to confide in you, because each time they reveal something vulnerable, you open your arms and say, “I love you, and nothing could ever change that.”

They fall in love with you in the way that you want someone to love you. It isn’t frivolous or lustful. It isn’t selfish. It’s real. It’s real because you stayed long enough to see the heart of a person you knew was worth every step of the way. It’s real because they trust and appreciate you in a deep and fulfilling way that satisfies a part of your heart you never knew existed. It’s real because you were the person worth showing the naked, beautiful truth of a human-being who had been scared by those that didn’t deserve their trust. It’s real because you, and only you, are worth that free fall into the unknown.

More About the Author

Lexi Herrick
Lexi Herrick
Lexi is the founder of HerTrack.com. She is also a digital marketer and writer currently working for Seer Interactive in Philadelphia, PA as an SEO Associate. Lexi contributes to a number of global online publications and is always trying to get involved in the conversation. She's an advocate for equality, knowledge, healthy relationships, compassion, self-confidence, integrity and above all, love. She's addicted to caffeinated beverages and people who make her smile.
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15 comments

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This is beautiful. Love this post.

Lexi Herrick
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Thank you!

You are my most reliable commenter and I love your feedback. You rock! I look forward to it every time.

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This is beautiful. Love this post.

Lexi Herrick
Reply

Thank you!

You are my most reliable commenter and I love your feedback. You rock! I look forward to it every time.

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This is me. Exactly. This is perfect.

Lexi Herrick
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I’m glad you feel like you can relate, thanks for commenting!

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This is me. Exactly. This is perfect.

Lexi Herrick
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I’m glad you feel like you can relate, thanks for commenting!

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This is so well written! Love it!

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This is so well written! Love it!

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So true. Someone I really like recently rejected me and said “I am cautious with my heart”. She liked me but she was afraid to fall for me because she doesn’t want heart aches. I don’t feel like moving on. In fact I respect her more because of this and I know I’ll be lucky if she falls in love with me one day. I am giving her time and space. I want to stay and show her that she can trust me. I am right here and my intention is to only love and not hurt. I would have let go and moved on, if she didn’t like me for some other reason.

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So true. Someone I really like recently rejected me and said “I am cautious with my heart”. She liked me but she was afraid to fall for me because she doesn’t want heart aches. I don’t feel like moving on. In fact I respect her more because of this and I know I’ll be lucky if she falls in love with me one day. I am giving her time and space. I want to stay and show her that she can trust me. I am right here and my intention is to only love and not hurt. I would have let go and moved on, if she didn’t like me for some other reason.

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Couldn’t have been written more articulately…this resonates deeply and I relate to it well…I feel like I even understand myself and my behavior better after reading this…and hopefully that in itself will eventually lead me to this right person. Thank you!

Reply

Couldn’t have been written more articulately…this resonates deeply and I relate to it well…I feel like I even understand myself and my behavior better after reading this…and hopefully that in itself will eventually lead me to this right person. Thank you!

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