Do you give your heart away too easily?
The dating process is an exciting journey – from getting those first few matches in your inbox; starting to chat online to eventually meeting up face to face. Like any other developing relationship it is a process we go through which has lots of different stages. Normally these stages help us get to the point where we decide if we want to take the relationship further.
Eventually, over time, we may fall in love. For most people this isn’t until they have got to know someone well enough to feel able to give them their heart – they want to know and trust the other person fully, and believe in a future for the relationship, before taking that big step. For some people those important, preliminary steps are missed out and they go straight from introductions to feeling like they are in love. This can often lead to a sad outcome because there are no firm foundations for a relationship. Here we look at some of the reasons why this happens and what you can do to protect yourself from being hurt in the same way again.
What is love?
When we talk about romantic love we tend to associate it with something that happens between two people – you experience it when you meet someone who you feel very attracted and connected to. If that person were to stop being in your life the feelings of being ‘in love’ would also eventually go although this is often a painful process.
But there are some theorists who say that being in love has as much to do with what is happening inside you as events that occur outside, like the people we meet. When you are in the state of love your heart and mind are more open so you are receptive to new people and experiences; you are more emotionally sensitive; your imagination is in full flight allowing you to see great happiness in the future and overlook flaws in the present; and your system is flooded with heady chemicals like oxytocin and endorphins.
Sometimes people fall ‘in love’ very easily, not because they meet lots of eligible partners – often they fall for people who are not eligible at all – but because this is the state of mind they are in most of the time. When someone comes along who is a potential match they don’t go through the normal filtering processes and can become attached very quickly believing that this person is the reason they feel so good.
The down side
Someone like this often needs very little encouragement to make a strong connection. Just a small amount of attention, kindness or affection can be enough to win their hearts. They want to find someone who feels the same way so the good feelings they have can be shared and prolonged.
These are not necessarily negative personality traits – these people are usually very engaged with life but there is a danger that they will repeatedly get hurt as they fall for people who are unavailable or who don’t reciprocate their feelings. Although they may find many people to fall in love with, they may not get past the initial phases to develop a healthy and lasting relationship.
Rejection is very painful for someone like this because they are sensitive and feel it at a deep level, even if they have only met someone for one or two dates, it can be as painful as the end of a long term relationship.
Getting more choosy
If you are a person who gives your heart away too easily you may not have much choice over how many people you feel strong feelings for but you do have some choice about whether you express it.
There is a distinct advantage to being this way when it comes to dating because your fears and defences are already down (something that can be an obstacle for people who are more closed) so you are more open to a relationship but what if you could only give your heart away one more time in your life? If this were the case you would probably be much more discerning about who you gave it to. The person would have to be very special and you would want to get to know them well to make sure they were worthy of such a precious gift.
Even if you don’t believe it is so, try to act as if it is and keep your declaration of love until you are certain you have met the one for you.
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