I’m Scared That I No Longer Have The Ability To Be Emotionally Available

I’ve been single for a long time, so it’s easy to avoid emotional vulnerability. Now I’m not sure I can even go there anymore—it’s much easier to go about my life without peeling away the layers. If I’m open, that means I can be hurt, and I’m really trying to avoid that.

  1. I have too many heart scars. At some point, I feel like I have to say enough is enough. I need a pause from all the heartache and confusion. It’s been a long break and I’m not ready to end it. Maybe it’ll stretch on indefinitely, I don’t know. All I know is I have accumulated plenty of heartache already.
  2. I always get burned, so why bother? I’m trying to make better choices about love but I still get hurt every time I put myself out there. It makes me cynical and jaded about even trying. I don’t feel like there’s any point—my life is perfectly happy and pleasant without romance.
  3. I’m tired of the dramaNo matter what, dating and relationships bring complication into my life. I find that when I’m single, I have more energy and less stress and misery. Until I meet someone who won’t bring unnecessary chaos and conflict, I’m not willing or able to open up my heart.
  4. I don’t trust men at all anymore. I’ve definitely had a few wonderful experiences but unfortunately, the bad always seem to outweigh the good. I don’t trust guys because they’re reckless with my heart most of the time. They don’t value or appreciate me enough.
  5. I feel safer keeping guys in the friend zoneI finally have a good group of male friends and I truly appreciate them. They allow me to get close to them and understand them better without any of the pressure or tension that goes along with dating. There are no emotional stakes and I like that.
  6. I’ve created too many walls. My walls have only grown stronger and taller with time. I think that I understand my hang-ups and fears better now but that doesn’t mean I’m over them. It’s simply too risky to let them down and let yet another undeserving man into my deepest darkest recesses.
  7. I attempt vulnerability and literally can’t make it happen. Something deep within me stops me from going there and I’m not sure how to get rid of that blockage. I used to at least be able to access my emotional depths if I really wanted to do so. Now that feels virtually impossible.
  8. I don’t even know how to let go at this point. My desire to protect myself from harm has taken over. Ironically, I’ve learned to face my fears in every other area of my life. It’s only love and dating where I seize up and defend my feelings from any possibility of hurt.
  9. I have way too much anxiety when it comes to love. It’s the one area where I haven’t been able to attack my fears and get over them. I’m still too afraid of getting my heart broken because I’m very sensitive and I know how it ruins me every single time. I’m not willing to experience that again.
  10. I literally cannot bring myself to go there. It ain’t happening. I preach openness and emotional vulnerability to other people but I’m a huge hypocrite. I want to be able to do it and I simply can’t. It’s a problem and I need to do some serious work if I’m ever going to open up again.
  11. I have an easier life when I feel emotionally safe. I have an amazing life and, honestly, if not having deep emotional intimacy with a man is the only drawback, that’s not so awful. I never fight with anyone and I never cry. Yes, I want love, but I’m willing to compromise to keep my sanity.
  12. I think I’m a nicer person when I’m protecting myself. Someday I hope I can be raw and dark and dirty with a partner and have them accept me as I am. Honestly, though, I think that when I am keeping myself safe, I tend to be a better human. I don’t lash out or react out of fear and anxiety.
  13. I am starting to believe that emotional intimacy is overratedI used to think that it was everything I wanted but I’m realizing that I have a lot more going on. I’m working on developing my sense of self, my career, and the way I relate to everyone around me. It feels pretty good.
  14. I like the idea of deep love but I’ve never had it. I’ve been in a lot of relationships, but not one of them was right even if I thought it was at the time. I didn’t know how to truly love deeply and neither did any of my exes. I couldn’t attract real emotional intimacy because I didn’t know what it was.
  15. I don’t think I’ll ever meet the right man for me. Yes, this sounds horribly depressing, but I don’t know if I believe he’s out there. I’ve been wrong so many times that I don’t trust my judgment and I’m tired of trying to be emotionally open with guys who leave me stranded high and dry. Maybe I have to accept that I’m on my own.
A former actress who has always loved the art of the written word, Amy is excited to be here sharing her stories! She just completed her first novel, and is also a contributor for Elite Daily, Dirty & Thirty, and Thought Catalog. Amy is the founder of What If Journey and can be found on Twitter @amyhorton18. You can also visit her website at amyhorton.net.