How To Let Your Guard Down Without Getting Hurt

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woman holding her arms wide open

In love, heartbreak is par for the course.

Still, its impact can be severe. Sometimes it even compromises a person's ability to find love.

While it may take time, it's worth taking those first steps to get on the path toward being the best version of yourself, where your strength comes from within instead of having everything shuttered up with armor.

Know that your feelings are valid and learn how to start how to accepting them.

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As uncomfortable as this process may be, it doesn't have to be — communicating your needs to your partner and other close loved ones can help motivate you and make you feel stronger and more empowered along the way.

You may be surprised by their understanding and desire to help.

Likewise, do your best to practice listening to them. Knocking down these walls is a two-way street.

While it may seem daunting, letting go of the past so you can fully be present and learning to love yourself completely are the most important steps to protect yourself, while keeping your heart and mind open to others.

As much as you will need to rely on your support system, you need to be there for them, too. Perhaps one way of thinking of it is that you must first love yourself the way you want others to love you.

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This is, of course, a difficult battle. For many women, the devastation of getting hurt goes back to childhood.

If you did not get the love and support you desired from your family, it can deeply affect your ability to openly love and trust a man. Even if the greatest guy in the world showed up on your doorstep you wouldn't allow him into your heart because of the emotional wall you have built.

This wall serves as a protective barrier designed to prevent you from having your heart broken again.

The wall serves its purpose of protecting you from the guys who will hurt you again but unfortunately, the wall makes it impossible for the good guys to find their way to your heart.

How to let your guard down

When I am working with a woman who has walls up, I do not recommend she knock them down. It would be foolish to remove any barrier which is protecting you from being hurt.

After all, there are a lot of guys out there who have ulterior motives and who will take advantage of women the first chance they get.

So, instead of knocking the wall down, I recommend you replace it with a fence.

A fence serves a healthier purpose. It is a filtration system. It keeps out unwanted visitors and allows those who are invited onto the premises.

A well-built fence allows you to open yourself up to the good guys while keeping the bad guys away. It's the best of both worlds.

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Unfortunately, even the best fence will allow the occasional, uninvited guest to sneak past it.

That's where a strategically-located security system comes in handy. It screens the intruders and helps you recognize who is worthy of staying and who should be kicked off the property.

This is the exact mindset I recommend for women who desire love but struggle because they were hurt in the past.

There is an inherent risk in dating that causes many women to put up a wall.

But, if you put up a well-placed fence instead, and you learn to monitor your security system, you will see that finding and having the man and relationship that you desire is much easier than you ever could have imagined.

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Joe Amoia is an international dating and relationship expert, and the founder and creator of GPS For Love.