guarding my heart…

a friend of mine, well, not really a friend. more like an acquaintance (that sounds harsh to me, but i guess it’s the truth. we’re NOT friends. i’d never call to hang out. whatever. we’ll just go with friend knowing that it’s not the whole truth there).

so a friend of mine is in a relationship. has been for a while now. with a really nice girl. i think. i don’t really know her that well. i’m assuming that she’s nice and wonderful and whatever. so this friend has been using this phrase for a while “guarding their hearts” and for the longest time, i had absolutely no idea what he meant by that. i mean, i figured that it had something to do with not moving too fast but i still just wasn’t sure. so i finally stalkerbooked him and asked ‘what do you mean by that?’

though his answer was short and to the point, it was a really good answer and now the cogs of my brain are turning turning.

he says that there are 3 accelerators to a relationship: physical, spiritual, emotional and that basically guarding your heart means not giving more of yourself than where you are in the relationship. of course, that’s still a pretty vague definition but it leaves room for thought, for pondering, for wondering…

i am not what one would consider as good at guarding my heart. i open my heart to everyone and let them (for the most part) into it and then, of course, let them leave when they want too. so for one who doesn’t guard her heart, she’s had a LOT of heartache. and i can certainly see where all (or most) of that would have been alleviated had i taken care to guard my heart. would the ex have hurt me as badly? no, i don’t think so because i don’t think that our relationship would have survived as long as it did. i don’t think that we would have given as much as we did to each other.

and then i wonder am i making the same “mistake” in my current relationship? are we moving faster, giving more of our hearts than where we are in the relationship? are we speeding down the same road that i went before? that i’ve gone so many times before?

is everyone capable of guarding their hearts as such?

i’m not entirely sure. i’m not entirely sure that i would be able to hold back on certain things, especially the emotional and spiritual involvement. what’s the point of being in a relationship if you’re not investing in it? and maybe i’m not understanding it completely correctly. maybe it’s not that you’re holding back anything but just that you’re not steaming into a relationship, giving more than what the two of you are ready for.

i think that it’s moreso that part of me feels like if you’re guarding your heart, you’re not really giving yourself to that person, you’re not actually investing in the relationship. but if you look at it the other way, then you’re not giving yourself to someone that you’re not going to be with forever. you’re not taking anything away when the relationship ends. you’re not giving part of yourself to someone who doesn’t deserve to have it and you’re keeping as much of yourself as possible for the one you WILL be with forever.

overall, i think it makes a lot of sense. it’s a really good idea. i’m not entirely convinced that even if i had known about that concept whilst with the ex that i would have had the fortitude to do such a thing. i simply don’t see myself as able to keep that much out of a relationship. not that i would need the relationship but i think that if you’re going to take the time to form a relationship, a friendship, it needs to be as real as possible. and open. and vulnerable. i’m not good enough about not being vulnerable.

so i figure that those who are able to do so should do it. and i have the utmost respect for them. i would probably recommend guarding your heart to anyone. i just don’t think that i’m capable of doing it myself.

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5 thoughts on “guarding my heart…

  1. DeMo says:

    I’ve heard this before, but not for a long time. It was mostly a phrase used in high school referring to abstinence. Sometimes it’s easier said than done. I think it makes a bit of sense in the physical part of a relationship. You can guard your heart by not giving all of yourself to someone. This might just be something that they’re going through in the beginning of their relationship, to make sure that they want to keep going. I will say that if you’re only going to guard your heart in whatever way, and not risk being open with the person, your relationship isn’t going to go anywhere. My last serious relationship lasted 2 months, and fortunately I was dating a communicator and we shared so much with each other, and I even learned more about myself. Pretty early on we shared our physical struggles in past relationships and became more aware of how to not repeat those same mistakes in our own. I think if we would have been “guarding our hearts” things would have been a little bit less open, for fear of getting rejected and having shared all of that. Maybe?

    For you, being vulnerable is who you are, and you have definitely learned from your past relationships.

    I didn’t really have a huge point to make, just wanted to leave some comment luv.

    I do wonder at what point they will decide that they no longer need to guard their hearts….

  2. imerika says:

    Blog Boy calls it my Berlin Wall. SO I guess I do guard my heart–and I do it by not letting him know how much he means to me and how much I care about him and how, holy shit, i’m completely falling in love with him.
    so i pretend i don’t care…and i say mean things in a playful manner like “oh yeah the other guy i’m seeing left that here…” when i really want to say “please don’t hurt me…are you falling in love with me too?”

    i think your way is much better than my way. don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

  3. courtney says:

    i’ve heard this phrase here and there for years, and i’ve always kind of considered it, one way or another. there really is a fine line between setting up a fortress and hiding in it as opposed to holding up a shield and letting somebody peek around the other side from time to time. i also don’t really think that it’s about opting out of shareing certain things, but consciously making the effort to stay realistic, keep yourself from falling too hard before you can trust in where you’ll land. about not allowing yourself to jump to conclusions. if you want your relationships to mean anything, if you want them to turn into more, you have to let down your guard and share things about yourself. be open. be loving. yes, some things are meant for marriage, but some things really do need that test run in the dating process to make sure you can handle them together long term.

    it’s tricky.
    tricky trick.

    i’d say that at this point, i’m guarding my heart. because i know that my boy is worth hoping for, but i also have to keep reminding myself that there are no guarantees and things could still change for any number of reasons. it’s early. i can’t plan a wedding yet.

    although i know if i do i’m gonna let him pick his fave classic and plan the colors and era around it. :O)

  4. Kimwithak says:

    There are right and wrong times to guard your heart. Some of the time, guarding your heart leads you to more misery than leaving it open.

  5. Tabitha says:

    I’ve been a big fat commenting slacker, so I can’t even remember all the wonderful, wise and awesome things I was going to say about this post. 😛 But the other comments were really insightful, so I’ll just say that I love reading your thoughts on stuff like this. The whole “guarding your heart” concept is definitely not a cut-and-dry matter, but to me it always meant being careful how much you shared…which, like you, I’ve never been good at. I don’t really hide much.

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