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Love is a beautiful thing. But it can also be a scary thing.
If you’ve been burned before or have had other experiences that have closed your heart off to love, it can seem impossible to open yourself up to the possibility of it, ever again.
Giving your love to someone is one thing, but allowing someone else to love you can be too much for some people.
Too many people struggle to find lasting love because they’re incapable of letting their guard down and allowing someone else in.
After all, when you give your heart to someone, you’re vulnerable.
That can be a very big thing to accept if you’re trying to protect yourself from potential hurt.
How can you open up to love?
How can you accept someone else’s love?
How can you accept that you’re worthy of that love?
Here are some tips for adjusting your mindset, and opening your heart.
It’ll be tough, but it’ll be worth it.
1. Work on your self-love.
I’m sure you’ve heard this one a million times…
You can’t expect anyone to love you if you don’t love yourself.
It might be a cliché, but clichés are normally clichés because they’re true.
The first step to opening yourself up to receiving love from someone else is showing yourself the love you deserve.
You need to forgive yourself for past mistakes.
You need to accept yourself for exactly who you are.
You need to start treating yourself as well as you treat your family or your best friends.
All those harsh things you think to yourself when you look in the mirror or make a mistake – would you say them to your best friend?
I thought not.
You shouldn’t say them to yourself either.
We’re our own worst critics, when we should be our own biggest fans.
Embrace self-care. Do more of the things that make you feel happy and healthy. Nourish your body and soul.
Start a love affair with yourself, and you’ll soon come to believe that you’re worthy of a love affair with the partner of your dreams.
2. Give more love to others.
Romantic love is fantastic. There’s no denying that.
It can be magical, and most human beings crave romantic partnerships.
But it’s not the be all and end all of life.
There are so many other wonderful kinds of love that can be totally transformative.
If you want more love of any kind in your life, the best way to start is by showing more love to other people.
You get what you give.
Do things for others, simply out of the goodness of your heart, expecting nothing in return.
Make a point of spending more quality time with the people who are most important to you and doing things that you know will make them happy, just because you can.
Or why not volunteer for a good cause and spread the love that way.
The more love you give to the world and the people around you, the more worthy you’ll feel of receiving it.
3. Refuse to let fear be in the driver’s seat.
I get it, love is scary.
Love is about letting your guard down, and it’s always risky.
The person you fall in love with could leave you, or something could happen to them.
Love is, more than likely, going to involve loss at some point, and we can never predict what’s going to happen in the future.
And that can be frightening. Really frightening.
But fear is not a good enough reason to reject love entirely.
The wonder of love outweighs the risks and heartache that come with it, a million times over.
Fear is a healthy emotion to have and listen to in some respects, but you can’t allow it to make the big decisions in life for you.
Acknowledge your fear, and then put it firmly to the back of your mind and follow your heart.
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4. Work on your vulnerability.
A big part of learning to accept love is learning to be vulnerable.
Vulnerability can be a tough thing to develop if you’re practiced at keeping your walls up high so that no one can get through and hurt you.
The first step is being vulnerable with yourself.
Admit your fears, and ask why it is you find it so hard to let people in.
Journaling can be a great way of getting to grips with your feelings.
Once you’ve been honest with yourself, opening up to your trusted friends and family is great for working on being vulnerable with others.
Share your secrets and fears with people you trust, and who you know won’t judge you for them.
See that when you are totally honest with them, the world doesn’t come tumbling down. This is good practice for opening up in a relationship.
5. Be honest.
If you meet someone and you think that things between you could have potential, you need to be honest with them about how you feel.
Let them know that you want nothing more than to be able to open yourself up to be loved by someone like them, but that it’s tough for you.
Tell them that you’re going to need their understanding and support if things are going to work between you.
Encourage them to be honest about how they feel about these things too.
6. Remember that they might well feel the same way.
If you meet someone, they might be ready for a relationship and in a good headspace to embrace love wholeheartedly.
On the other hand, they might be in the same boat as you, wanting to be loved, but not knowing how to accept it.
They might have been hurt in the past, and now find it difficult to let their guard down, just as you do.
Together, you can both figure out how to let yourself be loved.
7. Don’t get ahead of yourself.
If letting someone love you is a scary prospect, take it step by step.
If a relationship is in its infancy, you shouldn’t be worrying about what might happen further down the line.
You should just enjoy this magical, electric initial stage of the relationship, when you’re both still discovering the other person.
You shouldn’t be pouring huge amounts of time and energy into a relationship if you think there’s no chance of a future for the two of you…
…but you also shouldn’t spend all your time worrying about things that might go wrong.
You can never know what’s going to happen between you further down the road. You can only enjoy the here and now.
8. But don’t be afraid of moving forwards.
Whilst you shouldn’t worry about the future too much, you need to be open to the possibility of moving your relationship with this person forwards.
If you’re scared of opening yourself up to love, tell them that you need to take baby steps.
Take small but significant steps forward with them and remind them that you appreciate their patience.
That will give you both a chance to prove to each other that you’re serious about the relationship.
You’ll both feel reassured that neither of you is going to turn around one day and change your mind.
Still not sure how to become more open to receive love? Chat online to a relationship expert from Relationship Hero who can help you figure things out. Simply click here to chat.