Close up of young couple toasting with glasses of red wine at restaurant

I bet if you actually asked, a lot of people would say that one thing they are truly scared of is falling in love again or, rather, falling in love with the wrong person again.

While I can most definitely say that opening my heart again is a scary concept, I don’t fear it. On the contrary, I actually look forward to falling in love again someday with someone that will treat me the way I know I deserve to be treated.

It is the fear of getting hurt again that really stops me in my tracks.

I told the story of my first heartbreak and the effect it had on me. What I did not go into detail about was that for the first month and a half to two months after the fact, I did go on a few dates, and although I kind of liked the couple of people I was talking to and hanging out with, I think deep down I knew it was never going to go anywhere and I was okay with that. I was just trying to get back out there and meet new people.

I joke with a friend of mine about how that little chunk of time was my Reputation era (T-Swift, anyone?). Then one day something just kind of changed and I could no longer force myself to date just for the fun of it.

I was painfully reminded of the fact that what I want is a real connection with someone and I can no longer go after what I know will never work out. Meeting someone that I know wants the same thing out of a relationship someday that I do is quite honestly something that terrifies me.

Even though every part of my brain is screaming at me to be careful in order to avoid that kind of pain again, I do feel like I owe it to myself to take it as a learning experience and an opportunity to grow and re-learn what a healthy relationship should be.

ALEX BLADES is a blogger for The Vidette. He can be reached at cablade@ilstu.edu. Follow him on Twitter at @AlexBlades__

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