How To Protect Your Heart Without Closing It Off To Love Completely

Protecting your heart while it's open.

How To Protect Your Heart Without Closing It Off To Love Completely getty

No one wants to get their heart broken. And you know who really doesn’t want to get their heart broken? People that have already been through that pain. 

They say nothing hurts like your first heartbreak but the truth is, they’re all painful in their own way. 

Even if the relationship needed to end, it can be hard to move on from someone you love. 

So it makes sense that you wake up with the mindset that you must protect your heart at all costs. 


RELATED: You Can't Protect Your Heart By Acting Like You Don't Have One

Why wouldn’t we try to prevent it if we could? Well, I’m sure you know this but sometimes it hurts us even more to close off to love. 

Maybe you meet someone you really like but the trauma from your last breakup is holding you back. 


Did you ever think that this new someone could be the one? And how would you feel if you pushed them aside out of fear of getting hurt? You’d probably have some regret. 

I’m not saying it’s easy to stop yourself from being closed off after you’ve gone through a heartbreak, but surprisingly enough there are ways to still protect yourself.

It might take some work but it’s possible to be open to love while protecting your heart. 

The most important thing to remember is the most cliché line of them all: it’s better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all.

Our human nature is actually pushing us to give and receive love. It’s unfair to ourselves to stop that desire. 


You must stop being afraid of what might happen and let what’s going to happen just be.

Here are 6 ways to protect your heart without closing it off to love completely. 

1. Practice self-love. 

At the end of the day, single or taken, the only person you really have is yourself. There’s no one else who’s going to spend more time with you than yourself. 

By cultivating self-acceptance and love, you are strengthening your ability to be alone without feeling lonely. This acts as a sort of shield for your heart. 

If you know that no matter what happens in a potential relationship, you still have you, you’re not losing much. You are enough for you, and the more you believe that, the easier it will be to put yourself out there. 


2. Don’t reveal everything about yourself right away. 

Arguably so, the beginning of a relationship is the best part. It’s when you tell them about yourself and get to explain all the things you’ve experienced that made you who you are today. 

As a result of this high energy excitement, you might be inclined to lay it all out there. But if you’re worried about getting hurt, it might be better to keep some things private. 

Feel free to tell about the time in 2nd grade when you stabbed your leg with a pencil, but hold off on replaying the story of your grandmother’s passing. There’s no harm in keeping things to yourself while you’re trying to discover who he is.  

3. Be cautiously optimistic. 

I learned this term in one of my first counseling sessions and I like to revisit it from time to time. Life is all about balance — you don’t want to be too negative because it can be sad, but you also don’t want to be too positive because it can be unrealistic. 


The happy medium comes in with cautious optimism. Be hopeful that something will come out of your new relationship, but cautious with how much of yourself you give. 

It’s okay to question his decisions and feel him out before you unleash your heart completely. Just ride out the wave of not knowing, sometimes it’s a really nice place to be. 

RELATED: 5 Reasons Vulnerability Leads To A Long-Lasting Relationship (& 4 Ways To Turn It Into True Intimacy)

4. Have loved ones hold you accountable. 

There are just some people who can’t stop themselves from running into a new relationship at full speed. If you are one of these people, it might be a good idea to invest the help of some loved ones who know your dating patterns. 


By having someone who will make sure you don’t move too fast, you will be able to better protect your heart in the long run. Don’t be ashamed if you can’t do it entirely on your own. 

Occasionally, we all need help to stick to what’s best for us. There’s no right or wrong way to go about this, it’s whatever works for you. 

5. Check in with yourself if you ever feel overwhelmed. 

I know firsthand the damage that can come from past relationships. I’d be lying if I said they still don’t pop up every now and then. That being said, you might have bouts of fear, sadness, or anxiety. 


Although you’re trying to be open to love, it’s normal to want to close back up. It may be uncomfortable, but it's necessary to let yourself feel the emotions and continue on. 

Try journaling or talking to a friend in order to express your feelings but not let them consume you. The minute you let the negativity take over, you’ll start to close off to love. 

6. Remember that every relationship is different. 

Probably the most important way to protect your heart without closing it off completely is to remember that every person and situation is different. Just because you were cheated on in your last relationship doesn’t mean you will be in the next. 

There’s no way of knowing how someone will impact your life. We become better people by letting others in — trust in that. 


Shift the attention away from fear and focus on the great things about love. Butterflies in your stomach, a best friend with whom you hope to share your life, and someone to hold your hand during the good and bad times. It is pretty great isn’t it? 

RELATED: 12 Ways You Can Learn To Love Again After Having Your Heart Broken

Isabella Pacinelli is a writer who covers relationship, self-love, spirituality, and entertainment topics.