10 Ways Having Your Heart Broken Makes It Harder To Love Again

The first time you fall in love often feels just like a fairytale, but once you’ve been hurt  or betrayed by a guy, that dreamy feeling can turn into a nightmare. It’s still more than possible to fall in love and let yourself be vulnerable again after your heart’s been shattered, but that doesn’t mean you’ll be the same carefree woman you once were. Here are the ways heartbreak changes you:

  1. You’re terrified when you start feeling something real. The moment it becomes more than just a silly little crush, panic floods your chest. If experience has taught you anything, it’s that the more you feel for someone, the more it hurts when it all crashes and burns. Before you’d seen the painful side of love, you might have been excited to feel those butterflies in your stomach. When you feel them now, you know you’re in trouble.
  2. You wrestle with keeping your walls up and tearing them down. Getting to the point where you really trust someone is both beautiful and scary. After love has taken you to hell and back, it becomes that much harder to be vulnerable. At the same time, though, you WANT to let this guy see the real you. The result is a mental struggle that leaves you wondering which course of action is going to help your relationship progress without leaving your heart wide open.
  3. You stay distant for as long as possible. Some might call you emotionally unavailable, but the truth is that you’ve seen the disastrous results that can happen when you get too close to someone. It’s not that you want to be distant, especially if you really care about this guy. You just want to take things slowly so that if he doesn’t turn out to be who you think he is, you’re not left shattered like you were last time. If he’s really worth your time, you’ll eventually let yourself become more attached, but it’s going to take a lot longer than it used to.
  4. You’re constantly waiting for it to end. Even when things are as perfect as can be, you can’t stop wondering if the finish line is near. All it takes is one heartbreak to realize that even when things seem like they’re going well, you’re always just one “we need to talk” text away from feeling like your world is falling apart. You know you need to shake it off before it sabotages what you have going, but it’s just so damn hard.
  5. You worry that it’s too good to be true. Sure, he’s everything you’ve ever wanted in a guy, but you thought the same thing about your ex. Now you know that even a man who seems flawless can turn out to be a cheater or a ghoster or just a straight-up jerk. You try to give this one the benefit of the doubt, but you always keep your mind open to the fact that he’s just waiting to show his true colors.
  6. You’re way more paranoid. That text was short not because he’s busy but because he hates you. That pretty girl isn’t just his classmate but also his side chick. No matter how irrational these thoughts might be in real life, they don’t seem all that crazy in your head. After all, the last time you ignored things like this, you got seriously screwed over.
  7. You appreciate what you have but know it could be over in an instant. You try to live in the moment, especially when things are THIS good, but you never stop being prepared for the worst. In the same way we treasure moments with loved ones we know we might not see for a long time, you hold these happy times near to your heart just in case they don’t last much longer. You obviously hope that your concerns are invalid, but after what happened last time, you know that it never hurts to be overly cautious.
  8. You make more of an effort to make things work. Even if your ex was a lying, manipulative sack of crap, part of you can’t help but wonder if you had a hand in making things go so wrong. Now, you’re more focused on being someone your partner wants to hold on to. You go out of your way to make him happy, and you try everything you know to prove how great you are. In a way, all the crap you went through has helped you become a better partner for a guy who will really value what he has.
  9. You avoid fights at all costs. For you, a fight is no longer just a fight: it’s the beginning of the end. Even though you know that even the happiest couples fight every now and then, the pain you’ve gone through has made you feel like you’re always walking on eggshells. Deep down, you know that a worthwhile guy would use your disagreements to help you grow as both individuals and a couple, but after all you’ve been through, it’s hard to shake the feeling that even a silly squabble is enough to break you apart.
  10. Once you find real love, you never let go. The man who broke your heart made you all too aware of your flaws, and he might have even destroyed your trust in guys as a whole. So when you find someone who is patient and proves that he’s worthy of your love, you know better than to let that slip away. Despite all the misgivings you might have about falling in love again, you still know how amazing it can be when you find someone who helps put your broken pieces back together. Sure, it might mean taking a few risks, but you know that the right guy will make it all worth it.
Averi is a word nerd and Brazilian jiu jitsu brown belt. She's also a TEFL/TESOL-certified ESL teacher and an equine enthusiast. Originally from Pennsylvania, she lived in Costa Rica for a while before moving to Australia. In addition to her work as a writer and editor for Bolde, she also has bylines with Little Things and regularly writes for Jiu-Jitsu Times.

You can follow Averi on Instagram @bjjaveri or on Twitter under the same handle.