Sara asks: There is a guy who told me that he loves me. At first I didn’t care, but really I’m caring now. I’m sure that he really loves me, and he asked me for my response, but I couldn’t tell him that I almost feel that I love him. I feel that something is preventing me from saying it. I don’t know why. In the past, I loved a guy and he didn’t care. That guy I loved broke my heart, and it took me years to forget him, but now another guy has appeared in my life. I’m afraid of having a broken heart again, so I avoid him. I don’t know what I can do. What do you think? Do you think I really love him?
Well Sara, a lot of people have been in your situation. There are some great songs about it. A couple of very sweet sad ones come to my mind. Have you ever heard “The First Cut is the Deepest,” which describes what you’re probably feeling? Or “Cold Cold Heart,” which I imagine describes what this new guy is feeling about you?
The thing that’s “preventing” you from loving him is clearly Fear. When someone has broken your heart, of course it’s scary to let someone else in. But the truth is, letting yourself fall in love again is the best way to get over that other guy. Letting yourself know that his not-being-interested-in-you didn’t mean that you’re not lovable, just that you weren’t his type. Hey as I say on here so often, some people like miniature poodles, some like pit bulls, and some even like cats! The fact that they don’t want a dog like me doesn’t say ANYTHING wrong about me – they just don’t have taste as good as Handsome’s!!
But how do you let yourself feel? I remember hearing once that the key to success in dating is to have a very bad memory. And there’s a lot of truth to that. Remember, this new guy is NOT the one who broke your heart. It’s important to protect yourself by not dating someone who’s likely to do the same thing the other one did, but this guy clearly isn’t the same: The last one said he didn’t care. This one has told you he loves you.
So I think the trick is to put the responsibility onto him! If he loves you so much, then tell him you’ll go out with him, but you’re going to move very slowly, and it’s his job to earn your trust. (Then you have to be willing to let it happen; if you’re always looking for reasons not to trust him, I promise, you’ll succeed in finding them!).
So you ask me if you really love him. Of course, Sara, I don’t know. I know you’re interested – otherwise you wouldn’t have written this question. But the only one who can know what you feel is you. And as long as you’re too afraid to let yourself feel, even that can’t happen.
So here’s my suggestion. Tell him you’ll go out with him, tell him you still have trust issues because of that other guy, and then go off somewhere by yourself for a little while. Do you live by a beach, or a field, or a mountain, or a park? Just somewhere where you can sit for an hour or two and just be by yourself, and listen to your heart. Maybe meditate or pray. But mainly just connect to yourself. And tell yourself that it’s time to start feeling again. Whether you feel love or hate or anger or disinterest, just feel it. And then, no matter what happens with this guy, your life will be fuller and more open to romance and adventure than it was before.
And you’ll never ever again find yourself asking someone else what you feel. It’ll be the first thing you know!
Thanks, and Good Luck!