Dear Love-Cautious Girls,
If you are cautious about falling in love, then, perhaps, love has hurt you once or twice before. That’s the thing about love—it can be both a blessing and a curse. Fall in love with the right person, and you are blessed beyond measure. Fall in love with the wrong person, and every corner of your life seems tainted by a curse. If you’ve felt betrayed by love in the past, it makes perfect sense to shut out love.
I want to assure you that your caution is wise. I also want to advise you that taking chances is sometimes the only way to get an answer. But most of all, I want this letter to leave you encouraged and emboldened. You are strong, you are valuable, and you are worthy of love.
Perhaps you are nursing a wound and you are deep in that shutting-out place. Or perhaps you haven’t had your heart crushed, but you choose to shut love out as a defense against potential suffering. Whatever your story, I would like to encourage you, not to abandon your caution, but to bring it on the journey with you as you search for true love.
It can be found, you know. My own life is evidence of this. I once felt destroyed by a broken love. I marooned myself on an island of lovelessness because I wanted to avoid re-opening that deep wound. I found strength in the fact that no man could touch my heart. But I also found a longing.
Shutting out love may seem like a fortification for a time. But after a while it can become a prison. Not only do you bar others from loving you, you also bar yourself from giving love. And that’s a dangerous thing to do. If you isolate and withhold your heart for too long, your soul will wither.
I believe that the human soul survives on love. You were made to love and be loved.
I am not saying that you should get right back in the dating game after a failed relationship. But I am suggesting you embrace your ability to use caution. Learn from previous relationships. Watch for those signs that you should have seen but missed before. Don’t give yourself away, but do be willing to take a chance.
Don’t be reckless, but remember that every friendship and romantic relationship is a gamble if you really think about it. No matter how fabulous Mr. Right may be, he is still a mistake-making human—just like you. Our imperfections as humans means we will hurt each other, unintentionally, even though we love each other. Hurt, unfortunately, comes with the territory because no one is perfect.
But not all hurt is an enemy. Often, hurt that comes from loved ones teaches us something deeper about love. You cannot enjoy the proverbial vista without climbing the mountain. I believe the same is true of love. You cannot understand the deepest parts of this complicated emotion until you have learned to love above hurt.
I leave you with the charge to never underestimate love. It’s funny—I remember thinking that death itself must be less painful than the ache I was feeling from a broken heart. But the joy that my true love brought me has erased those pains. I’m glad I gave love another chance. I hope you do too.
All my best wishes for your search for love.