How to Love with a Guarded Heart

Everyone has been hurt at some point. Lost love can leave lasting marks on the heart, which makes it difficult to move on and form new relationships in the future. Many clients turn to Kelleher International’s matchmaking services because they don’t want to experience more heartbreak. They know we enforce a detailed screening process to get only the best matches – and the best chance at love. Lasting relationships rely on a number of factors, but one of the most important elements we evaluate is each client’s openness to love. Here is just one way to determine your relationship style and its impact on future romance:

Take the Test

Read the following phrases and ask yourself which option you most closely identify with:

  1. A) I am somewhat uncomfortable being close to others; I find it difficult to trust them completely, difficult to allow myself to depend on them. I am nervous when anyone gets too close, and often, others want me to be more intimate than I feel comfortable being.
  1. B) I find it relatively easy to get close to others and am comfortable depending on them and having them depend on me. I don’t worry about being abandoned or about someone getting too close to me.
  1. C) I find that others are reluctant to get as close as I would like. I often worry that my partner doesn’t really love me or won’t want to stay with me. I want to get very close to my partner, and this sometimes scares people away.

Decode Your Answers

If you answered B, then you most likely have a secure, healthy attachment style. If you identify most closely with option C, you probably struggle with insecurity and find it difficult to trust others, especially in romantic settings. It’s those who most closely identify with option A that are referred to as “avoidant,” or “guarded.”

These theories come from researchers Hazan and Shaver, who developed the above test to help determine attachment styles in romantic relationships. They believe these styles are rooted in a person’s childhood experiences. If a person’s childhood “prototype” relationship set an expectation of security and comfort, they will expect the same from their romantic relationships later in life. If, however, someone’s early experiences with caregivers left them feeling anxious, those emotions can also be transferred to future relationships.

I Have a Guarded Heart – Now What?

People with guarded hearts are in luck because their careful approach to life comes with many positive personality traits: they are often independent self-starters with a tendency to do their research before making highly informed decisions. While all this is great for your personal life, it doesn’t leave a lot of room for a partner. You might not need another person, but relationships are more about whether you want someone to be there for you in the future.

There are a lot of benefits to entering into a long-term relationship with someone. Even if you are perfectly capable of running life your own way, your partner can serve as a “reality check” to ensure you’ve examined each issue from every possible angle.

People who identify as “guarded” benefit from the most from matchmaking services like ours because they know we’ve done our homework. We only make matches when we are absolutely sure there is potential for a happy long-term relationship.

What If I Fall for Someone With a Guarded Heart?

Loving someone with a guarded heart is dangerous territory, but it is totally possible to make things work with the right knowledge. First, understand that actions will always speak louder than words when it comes to your date. They would much rather be whisked off to an exotic location for a romantic getaway than receive love notes with promises of things to come in the future. If you love someone who is guarded, show them – don’t tell them!

Finally, be aware that loving someone with a guarded heart is a process. These people often come off as cold and uncaring, but they are really just waiting for someone to earn their trust. Relationships are not built overnight, so put in the time, continue to support your date with positive affirmations and let time speak for itself.

Whether you have a guarded heart yourself or have been matched with someone who does, it is important never to give up on love. Contact us today to say “yes” to love and start your journey toward a satisfying relationship.