Dating: Let go of your fear and get hurt

You might have to do some time on the couch, but getting hurt is worth it.
You might have to do some time on the couch, but getting hurt is worth it.

We make so many romantic decisions in the name of “not getting hurt,” as if we’re dainty pieces of china that can’t be put back together. God forbid we break a little.  This fear controls us, and we let it push us around.

Some people close themselves off completely, pretending they “don’t need a relationship,” and settle just for sex. Others get involved with people who are bad for them because they’re “safe” — figuring that as terrible as they are, at least they’d never leave. There are also the ones who sabotage potential relationships before they can get off the ground, thinking: “I’m going to hurt you before you get the chance to hurt me.”  And of course, many of us fear putting our feelings on the table because of what could happen  if they are not returned. (We could get hurt! Ahh!)

The problem with living this way is that we’re missing out. No one reaches their full potential living in fear. That’s just as true in romantic relationships as it is in the rest of our lives.

Why is getting hurt romantically so scary? Would it really be the worst thing in the world? Is it actually something worth guarding ourselves against at all costs?

I would argue no — for the simple reason that getting hurt is temporary. Much of our fear of heartbreak is attached to the notion that we’ll never be the same after it happens. We fear that we’ll be in the eating-ice-cream-out-of-the-container-in-pajamas stage indefinitely. But that’s simply not the case. We can’t stay heartbroken forever. After about six months, our bodies snap us out of it and we start to move on. Sure, there may be pangs here and there, but in the end you turn out OK. In that sense, there’s something empowering about getting hurt. It’s a test of our strength, and it lets us know we can  win against our fear.

You’re not the delicate flower you think you are. I’d never wish a broken heart on anyone — but if it happens, know it will heal eventually. It could be rough for a bit, but a few rough months certainly beat a lifetime of unfulfilling relationships.

— Amber Madison is a Manhattan-based relationship expert and dating coach. She is the author of ‘Are All Guys Assholes?’ for which she traveled the country, spoke to over 1,000 men and discovered that the answer to this question is no. You can follow her on Twitter
@ambermadi or online at www.ambermadisononline.com

Metro does not endorse the opinions of the author.



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