My Heart’s Been Locked for So Long, I Don’t Even Know If There’s A Key

Like so many other women, I’ve had my heart broken badly. After it happened, I needed time to heal so I put up my guard, locked away my heart and I did my very best to protect it from ever experiencing heartbreak again. It’s been out of the game for years, locked in the cage I built to protect it, and it’s been that way for so long that I don’t even know if there’s a key for the right guy to use to open it again.

  1. I stopped looking for love and stopped wanting love to find me. I convinced myself that I’m better off alone. I didn’t want to make an effort when I knew a guy would never do the same for me. There’s no point in fighting a losing battle, so I just gave up. I stopped looking for love and I starting hoping that in return it would stop looking for me. It seemed safer that way.
  2. I’m afraid to love again. I’m afraid of how much I threw myself into love before and of how much it took out of me. I used to wear my heart on my sleeve. I used to be a romantic, but what do I have to show for that now? Nothing but a heart that’s been broken one too many times. I’m afraid of allowing myself to know the amazing feeling of love again just to have it ripped away. To me, there’s nothing scarier than that.
  3. I’m still not sure the risk is worth the reward. Is love really worth the potential pain? I’m not so sure that it is. I can take all the precautions in the world, but that still doesn’t mean love will work out, so I honestly don’t know if it’s worth trying. I feel like the odds are stacked against me. If half of marriages end in divorce, how can I know which half I’ll be? A broken heart is just too high of a price to pay for something with no guarantee.
  4. I’ve had my guard up for so many years. My closed heart is comfortable and at this point, I don’t think it even wants to open. My guard has been up for so long I don’t even know how I would go about bringing it down. I’ve spent so long learning how to properly protect myself and it’s not just a switch I can turn off. I could try to open up my defenses, but at this point, I just think it’s natural instinct to be guarded.
  5. I’m worried that all men are the same. I’ve lost at love more than once and I’m afraid of being taken advantage of again. My heart is fragile and many men would be anything but cautious with it. I’ve been wronged by so many guys that I’m starting to wonder if there really are any good guys left because I haven’t met a single one… and that’s saying something.
  6. I wouldn’t even know how to flirt again. Let alone start dating. I put that part of my life in the past and I have no idea how I would even begin to open up that chapter. My love life was a closed book, so how do I start over? How do you learn to flirt, date, and genuinely attract men when you’ve been single AF for years? Someone please answer that.
  7. I can’t remember the last time I felt a spark. I don’t know if I’m just not meeting any guys I actually like or if I’m just no longer capable of feeling something for another man. I don’t waste time on guys unless I feel something though which means I just continue spending my days alone, wondering if alone is all I’ll ever be.
  8. I don’t know how to let someone in. I closed myself of from the world and I don’t know how to open back up again. I don’t know how to let men see the real me. I’m afraid to let anyone get too close. The second I feel out of my comfort zone, I can’t help but run for the hills.
  9. I’m not sure I could ever trust another man. I’ve lost faith in all men because of the bad ones I’ve met. I don’t know if they’re capable of being trustworthy and I don’t know if I’m flexible enough to trust someone again. I’ve dated too many liars and put up with too much BS to put my faith in a guy again.
  10. I don’t know if I still believe in love. I’ve heard so many women speak about how they lost their belief in love until they found it, but what if I never do? What if I’ve somehow turned off an inner switch that allowed love to be possible? I’ve lost all faith in men and I’ve lost the confidence that love is real or at least that love lasts. Brief moments of love do exist, but loving one person forever? I’m not sure that’s realistic.
Kelsey Dykstra is a freelance writer based in Huntington Beach, CA. She has a bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing from Grand Valley State University and been writing professionally since graduating in 2013. In addition to writing about love and relationships for Bolde and lifestyle topics for Love to Know, she also writes about payment security and small business solutions for PaymentCloud.

Originally from Michigan, this warm weather seeker relocated to the OC just last summer. Kelsey enjoys writing her own fictional pieces, reading a variety of young adult novels, binging on Netflix, and of course soaking up the sun.

You can find more about Kelsey on her LinkedIn profile or on Twitter @dykstrakelsey.