Real stories about dating and relationships in New York City. Truth is more interesting than fiction.

“Your task is not to seek for love…”

“Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.”


So, um… yeah. I get it. At least, I think I do.

I am the barrier queen. So much so that not too long ago, after a date, a guy mentioned that I was “very closed off” and “hard to read.”


I knew he was right, but was a little embarrassed. I hadn’t realized how obvious I was. How HARD.

I walk through my dating life, only half connecting with the guys I date. Maybe less than half. Hoping to meet someone who seems worth the bother (and potential pain) of opening up to. But maybe I have it backwards. Maybe the guard has to come down first?

I hope not.  Because, I don’t know if I’m capable of functioning with my guard down. Really down.

Actually, I’m not even sure I remember what that feels like. It’s been such a long time.

I vaguely recall what it’s like to someone. And to have that betrayed.  And to be hurt. But I can’t remember the before. Before the hurt and the betrayal and the , there must have been a time when I knew how to live with my guard down. Open to feeling.

Must have been…

And if I did it before, I can do it again. Right?


6 to ““Your task is not to seek for love…””

  1. luna says:

    Yes. You can do it again. The guard IS the wall, a thing set in place for a good purpose, yet which purpose is now expired. Trust is a decision. And it’s good to look out for ourselves. Perhaps look at it this way…

    Is everyone you meet innocent until proven guilty? Or are they guilty before proven innocent? From where do you approach? If you see guilt before hand then it is impossible to be open. If you see innocence, then you can open and enjoy them,…and yourself.

  2. pups4me says:

    I watched a movie recently where the character had a few lines that really hit a cord with me…and I can’t stop thinking about them because I could see myself saying them. “Last Chance Harvey” is the movie and the guy is trying to get the woman to take a chance on him and love. She says:

    “I’m not gonna do it, because it’ll hurt! Sometime or other there’ll be, you know “It’s not working.” or “I need my space.” or whatever it is and it will end and it will hurt, and I won’t do it. ”

    They had already had a very long and good date and they were supposed to meet the following day but the guy didn’t show because he was in the hospital…sigh, I know, but it is a movie afterall.
    He goes to find her as soon as he can to explain and try to get her to take a chance with him. First she says the line above and then this one, which really hits home with me because I think it’s how I feel. I didn’t realize it until I heard her say this…but I suppose it’s how I keep my guard up.

    “I think I’m more comfortable with being disappointed. I think I’m angry at you for trying to take that away. “

  3. I’m terribly guarded as well, but I think yes, you have to be willing to take your guard down at the beginning or you aren’t truly being open to a new relationship.

    And now that I think about it, it’s sort of unfair of me to put all the owness on the guy to prove he’s worth my time, I mean, he could have been hurt in the past as well.

    I can do it again (although I don’t want to!) and you can, too.

  4. NotYetCrazyCatLady says:

    If it doesn’t hurt sometimes, how do we know we are alive? Should we go around with this guard up, walling off our emotions because we’ve been there, done that and it didn’t feel good the first time around? And what if living like that makes us discount someone who could be ‘the one’? My greatest fear is that he walked by me and I didn’t see him because I wasn’t looking.

  5. Nikki B says:

    Ooohhh I like pups4me’s comment. And their name. I like puppies too.

    Anyway. Sometimes I wonder more about the last line in that comment, and about our ability to get into ruts and habits in our minds and emotions. Sure, absolutely, part of it is not wanting to trust BECAUSE dear god the hurt was awful and who wants that again. BUT I also think we fall into mental grooves in our minds and our hearts that can be really difficult to break. You know what I mean? We’re used to not really investing – so it becomes easier to do that. Period.

    Second, maybe you just haven’t met someone who makes you want to take down the wall? I realized really recently (which was a bit of a shock) that I have totally walled off part of my heart that was really damaged in my last serious heartbreak. But. I haven’t met someone who even remotely motivates me to go back in there. So. That being said, I really don’t think I could block someone who did get in there again. Really. Sure, I am flippin’ terrified of being hurt like that again, but I don’t think I could resist.

    I think the point is just to let go a little. To not worry so much or care so much about specifics like “am I breaking down this wall?” Maybe the point is to go into more positive spaces, places where we are happy for other reasons, where we are with people we do trust and we do love (e.g. your friends, family) and worry less about our walls. And when we meet someone? Try to let it flow, instead of worrying – and accept that maybe they just don’t motivate you to go to those places, as opposed to you shutting them out.

    If you are shutting them out, and you can tell? I think everyone should see a therapist over the course of their lives. I’m serious – it helps!

  6. eleanore says:

    Yep, the guard has to come down. Way down. It’s hard to have fun when you’re so well-defended. Going through life fearful of being hurt is a really dull existence. You will recover from whatever hurt a relationship brings you, but it’s much harder to recover from an unfulfilling life. The Spinsterlicious Life