When it comes to intimate relationships and matters of the heart, people tend to think that being guarded is a bad thing. That men and women who are guarded are not relationship material, so it’s best to avoid them at all cost.
At one point in my life I felt this way, staying away from women who were guarded because I thought it meant they were closed off to love. The word eventually took root in my mind as something negative.
I’m here to tell you that the opposite is true, however. That being guarded is actually a good thing, as well as a necessity, and here’s why.
Guard means to protect, not to prevent. It’s allowing people in who have the right credentials versus keeping everyone out. Think about a security guard. With the right ID or qualifications they’ll grant you access to whatever it is you’re trying to get into. That’s a sign you’ve been properly vetted, unlike those without proper documentation.
For those who follow the Bible Solomon reinforces this message in Proverbs 4:23, “Above all else, guard you heart, for it affects everything you do.” That’s a spiritual reference from a person that some would consider the wisest in history, and is inclusive of love and who we open our hearts and minds up to.
The problem comes in when we’re too guarded. When we lack faith in our ability to make the right relationship decisions, thus denying access to those with the right credentials. It’s something that a lot of us are dealing with for various reasons.
Maybe we still have trust issues from past relationships and are afraid of being used or hurt again. Everything a potential love interest may say or do gets compared to an ex, which causes us pause or retreat. Or maybe we’re not clear on our relationship values and goals, causing the foundation for who we are in love to be unstable.
In order to move past whatever it is that’s keeping the word “too” in front of guarded, we must be willing to take action on several fronts, one of them being self-awareness. Since life and love often intersect we should be clear on who we are in both. What are your relationship goals? What boundaries have you set for yourself and others, and how closely do they align with your overall values? What’s the source of your joy and fulfillment? Understanding these things will give you a clearer path to follow; a clearer vision on the direction you want your love life to go in. Keeping your feet along this path will ultimately lead to more confidence in your judgments and abilities, and help you relax your guard to those with the right credentials.