Posted by: Shar & Mare | December 27, 2010

Opening Your Heart to Dating

I have dated a lot. Way too many dates over way too many years. I was out there. I was mixing and shaking it up. I was in the mix of the singles scene looking for love. I was open to meeting “the one.”

But was I? Why wasn’t I meeting someone? Was it who I was meeting? Places I was going .. or not going? Or, was I shut off from actually connecting to someone because I was in constant pursuit of the process?

Please, I welcome your comments whether you know me or not.

I would go to singles events with my friend and she would meet someone. Afterward, in speaking with my mother she would say, “why is it you did not meet anyone?” Yes, that was blundt. My mother was honest. But, she was right. Was I too picky? My friends tell me the perfect guy for me died 2000 years ago. And, if that is the case … I was in BIG Trouble!!

I concluded that I had higher expectations, values and parameters that someone had to meet. But, were my expectations too high? If they were was that a sure fire defense mechanism to protect a potential broken heart or hurt ego? After much thought, I knew that my expectations were not too high. I just wanted that right mix of connecting with someone on a physical, spiritual, interest, humor and value/character level. But, why did it seem so difficult?

I was at a business function a few months ago and a male co worker under the influence of a tremendous amount of alcohol said to me, “Mariann, you are shut off. I have made an effort to know you and find you great … but you are shut off to men.”

I was shocked. Hurt. Puzzled. Yes, I am reserved … refined … partly shy … partly inexperienced … partly afraid of committment … but I am an open and warm person. How could someone say I was “shut off.?” I like people and enjoy them and accept them for who and what they are. There was no way in hell I was shut off to people. And, this was business … I certainly was not going to be dancing seductively on the bar!!

But, on some level … I realized that I do put up walls and hurdles. I encountered a medium several months ago. She said to me … “you are the best, most open and loving friend a person can have. But, why when it comes to relationships do you put up hurdles and keep people at a distance?” I didn’t know how to answer. “Are you afraid to get hurt?” I said “No.” But, in retrospect I realized that I don’t like being vulnerable. And, yes, I guess if I do open myself up and that person rejects me then I will feel terrible and hurt and insecure … and so I go into protective mode.

So, I tried to get out of my over analyzing mind and decided to just let myself truly enjoy another person in a dating scenario. If I found myself putting up walls or thinking that if I opened my heart fully that I would get hurt … I brushed it aside and went with what I wanted on the inside without going into “self protect” mode.

What I discovered is that dating is fun … romance is fun … the potential of love is joyful and exciting … and while opening up on these levels is scary for me … I am forging through … listening to my heart … and finding peace and joy. This is an extroardinary breakthrough for me.

And, after way too many years of dating, I can honestly say that YES, now my heart is open to dating and love.

Do you put up hurdles or just fall in love to quickly?
We want to hear your story.




  1. I can somehow relate to what you say about putting up walls and hurdles, but can I help it if I am only 17? My defense mechanism was, “Hey I am too young for dating.” Like that was true, I’ve seen some people date at the age of 12.

    Well, not me. Anyways, I guess I should open up a little, right? But I am scared people might think it differently.

  2. @lotbuluran: You’re in a different place because you need to figure out what works for you as you learn how to protect your physical and emotional safety. It can be easy to be too open and that isn’t good. When you feel ready to try opening up, go very slow. Be only yourself and if people don’t appreciate you, you’ll know they aren’t right for you. It might hurt like hell, but it won’t kill you.

    Mariann: I’ve had a similar realization recently, but got there from another direction. I never dated much, stopped looking for a while in college and right after I did that I met the man who eventually became my husband. Fast-forward 15 years. We’ve been divorced a couple years and I’ve progressed from hook-ups with “safe” friends to getting up the guts to get onto a website and look for friends with benefits. I was aware that I wasn’t interested in commitment, and I had a lot of fun for a few very busy months.

    The last guy I met (a month ago), we chatted and texted for a week or so before we met up and I was really excited to meet him because we had such a great connection & it looked like we could have a great time together. Then we met. Over the course of the evening I became aware that not only had he set my mind on fire, but there was something else bubbling around in the background, something familiar but rare. It had happened twice before and one of the guys I married. I had to think about it a lot and I may have discovered the depth of my terror at being vulnerable with someone. This awareness enables me to be open and it feels really good. What’s going to happen with this guy? I don’t know. Maybe nothing more – that would be a bummer, but it wouldn’t ruin my life.

    What I discovered is true for me is that whatever I really believe on the deepest level that I want or deserve is where I will automatically point myself and all my actions and decisions will go that direction. I had to stop, figure out what I really do want and re-orient myself.

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