Why You Owe It To Yourself To Walk Away When Someone Says They’re ‘Guarded’

At one point or another, we all fall for someone with a guard up.

And well, this is you, my friend. I fell for you. There, I said it.

These people have one foot in the door- but one foot out. These people have hearts of gold but barbed wire fences around them; pure and genuine intentions but actions that do not back them up.

Since I’ve known you, you’re a really good guy – a gentleman, indeed. Up to now you are, of course, but things have definitely changed. You went through heartbreak that I know shattered your being. And with that, you’ve been distant. Even with me, your close gal (Or so I think).

And it’s so easy to only see the best in these people. Because they always give you just enough to go on.

Even with the many – countless times that you’ve disappointed me, I always find myself being okay with everything and understanding you. And unconsciously, you’re able to make bawi. Ugh

Sometimes you’ll see that fence around their heart come down. Sometimes those people will step outside and open their doors up and show you the brilliance behind what they’ve been protecting.

THIS. Now, you rarely show me sides of yourself that I’ve sooo missed. Remember the times when we’ll just text / call each other to meet up / accompany each other somewhere and we’d be game? Remember when you’ll go with me the long walk home when we end up late from hanging out with each other? I really, really, really miss it. Occasionally, you give in, I fall again, you go back to being cold, I wait, you become good to me again, then I get kilig and forget all the bad stuff. Same freakin’ cycle everytime.

You’re going to see moments where their faces light up and their laughter comes easily and there seems to be absolutely nothing standing between you and the whole of their heart. There are going to be moments of true vulnerability, instances of genuine connection, full days spent together where you feel as though the coming and going is finally over with.

When moments come that I feel you’re in the zone with me again, it just makes me realize again how perfect we’d be… Okay, not perfect, but we’d make a great combo. And other people (our friends, mostly) notice and tell it to me too. They say there’s a spark / chemistry between us, so, I may not be just delulu…

That the pushing and pulling is a past affair, that they are here now, that they’re present, that they’re ready to fully engage in something genuine and real.

Your words and actions do confuse me. You get to the point where every phone call is as long as it can get, with you talking and laughing like there’s no tomorrow. Just like old times. When together, just us two or even with the barkada, there are expressions that I (confidently) know that you only do / exchange with me. I’ll look at you, you’ll look at me and ding! There’s that comprehension that bond over time has brought. And these got me thinking there may be a chance for us.

But with these people, it very seldom lasts.


These people want to love when there’s no cost to do so, to give only when they already have more than enough.

They want to love when it’s convenient. And when it’s not, they want to simply self-preserve.

And the problem with these self-preservers is that we’ve been taught it is romantic to pine after them. If we just chase them for long enough, coax them hard enough, convince them to come back to the world of the living and the loving, we can change them.

I think I’ve chased you long enough – silently though. And every so often lately, I was the one who made the first move. First move being: texting you first, asking you out and all that. But you were no longer cooperating well and enough. I thought my being there for you and my constant availability would win your heart. I really did.

But here’s the harsh truth that we ought to be taught instead:

It should never, ever, ever be your responsibility to break down someone else’s guard.

Because peoples’ guards go up for a reason.

Guards are there to keep people out because the person behind them isn’t done healing yet. Because they are not done working on themselves. Because they are not ready to dole out love in a healthy and genuine way.

Yesss, I know too well how heartbroken you were / are. So, you’ve turned into a f*ckboy because of that. #REALTALK You start to play a lot with different girls, talk about those flings that may have made you survive the last 3-4 years without a proper lovelife. I don’t blame you… I’d be guarded and untrusting if such happen to me as well.

And you cannot love someone who is so direly unready for it. Whose first instinct is still self-preservation.

You can’t love someone who wants love only when it’s easy, when it’s unchallenging, when the stakes are low and the rewards are piling high.

Because the kind of love they’re able to give you isn’t healthy – not for you and not for them either. Their walls are up because they still need time to work on that love – to figure out how to produce more of it, until they have enough to share around.

And if there’s anything I hope you take my word on, it’s this: If what these people truly, genuinely wanted was to let love in, they would.

If what they wanted was to tear down their defenses, place their trust in someone else and open themselves up to the possibility of being cared for completely and reciprocally, they would do so. They’re capable of it. They know it and you know it too.

Best friends who are in on the situation tell me I should confess, give it – us a chance but  I just can’t consider the possibility of the two of us being a couple any longer. Because if we’re capable of that, why not before or now? Our future is, no doubt, bleak.

But they’re choosing their guards for a reason. They’re choosing their guards because they don’t want to be out of control, because they don’t want to give themselves over, because they like the life they’ve built for themselves infinitely better than the life they could establish alongside someone else.

A part of them probably does crave love. A part of them probably does crave belonging. But it’s only a part. It’s not the whole thing. It’s always only a fragmented piece.

You’re holding back, that’s what it is. Not really holding back from me, but from love. From the infinite power that you can enjoy and embrace. You can have your own beautiful love too, stronger than what you previously had but with everything so tarnished, you just don’t want to gamble anymore. And again, I get that. But it’s sad. I am too saddened about it more than any other feeling ㅠㅠ

And so here’s the bitter truth about these people with inconsistent hearts: You have to let them go.

But I’ve decided.

You don’t have to hate them. You don’t have to rid them from your lives. You don’t even have to stop loving them, in whichever way you’re able to do so that does not breed pain and expectation.

But you have to give up on the idea of them letting those guards down and welcoming you in. You have to give up on the idea that love will change them, love will complete them, love will do anything other than place demands on them that they’re not ready to fulfill.

When it comes to love, half-way will never be good enough.

Not for you. Not for them. Not yet.

And so when you meet these people who are only half-ready to love you, you have to let them go.

Let them find a way to lower their own guards.

Let them heal.

And if it’s truly meant to be, let them come back – once they’re finally ready to let you in.

Here’s the end, my friend, my love… We’ll still probably be seeing each other or we might get our moments that will make me happy, but I guess right now, I just don’t want to do the expecting thing anymore. I’m tired of this all. I’ll pray you heal and I’ll pray for myself as well. To heal from the wounds and scars you’ve caused me. To move on when we’ve not even been in a romantic relationship. God’s most likely grooming my man  (and your woman) so let’s do that ourselves. Let’s be the best version of ourselves for our future significant others. Let’s go and love all the way then.

Well, here’s to you, my ex-partner-in-crime, don’t be too hard on yourself and be happy, okay? 안녕 내 사랑…

P.S. If you’re able to read this (magically, lels), this is my confession. Aigoo, this is too heartbreaking, I hate and love you

Source: Why You Owe It To Yourself To Walk Away When Someone Says They’re ‘Guarded’ | Thought Catalog