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I’m not afraid of being single. I’m not afraid of falling asleep inside of an empty bed and being the third wheel when I grab dinner with friends. I’m not afraid of living alone or eating alone or dying alone.

I’m more afraid of falling in love, because the second I hand my heart over to someone, they have the ability to hurt me.

They can cheat on me. They can lie to me. They can disrespect me. They can disappoint me.

Even if I am lucky enough to find the love of my life, someone who would never dream of doing those things to me, there is always a chance they will fall out of love with me. There is always a chance they will stumble across someone who fits them better. Someone who they cannot imagine missing out on.

Falling in love means letting myself become vulnerable. It means giving someone else the power to break me in half — and I don’t want to deal with the aftermath of that. I don’t want to find the love of my life and then have them stripped away from me.

I would rather stay single. I would rather remain inside of my comfort zone.

Being single doesn’t scare me, because I’m used to the way it works. It’s nothing new. It can be lonely at times, but that’s the only downside. Otherwise, I don’t mind being on my own. I can take care of myself. I can cultivate my own happiness.

Falling in love, on the other hand, is something new. I’m not used to the feeling at all. I’m not used to good morning messages and moonlit dinners. I’m not used to optimism and romance.

I’m a skeptic. I have successfully convinced myself I’m better off alone than in a relationship. I have told myself not to get invested a million times.

Every time I feel myself developing feelings for someone, I chastise myself for it. Even if I can imagine having a successful relationship with them, my first instinct is to push them away, because I am worried about what will happen if they walk too close.

I don’t want to give anyone the chance to break my heart, so I pretend I’m heartless. I don’t want anyone to see the real me, so I run away before they can get a good look.

I’m guilty of complaining about being single, but the truth is, I am happier this way. I feel more comfortable on my own, more in control on my own. When I’m single, no one else can hurt me. I am unbreakable.

That is why I hesitate to give anyone my heart, even if it seems like they would treat it kindly. I can’t tell if the risk is worth the reward. I can’t tell if I would be brave for putting myself out there or just plain stupid. 

When it comes down to it, falling in love is much scarier than being single. It’s much more of a risk.

By Holly Riordan for ThoughtCatalog

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