When she meets someone that sends butterflies shooting through her stomach, she doesn’t let herself daydream about what could happen. She pushes the thoughts of first dates and forehead kisses to the back of her mind. She doesn’t let herself get too excited. She doesn’t let herself get her hopes up at all because she knows there’s a chance she will end up disappointed and she can’t go through that kind of pain again.
In the past, she has grown attached to the idea of a person. Before they went out on an official date, she fantasized about what his lips would taste like. What movie they would see. What jokes they would share. She created an entire relationship inside of her head and when he walked away before beginning something serious she was crushed. It hurt even more than it should have because she didn’t just lose him, she lost the future she was imagining with him too.
She doesn’t get her expectations up high anymore because she felt like an idiot when she realized her last ‘relationship‘ was never going to turn into a real relationship. Looking back, she must have read all of the signs wrong. She must have shaded red flags to green inside of her mind. She never wants to do that again. She never wants to get caught off guard again.
Now she knows she is unable to read minds so there is no sense in trying. She has stopped wasting time rereading texts to figure out what they signify. She has stopped looking for signs of micro-flirting. She has stopped paying attention to such little things because they probably don’t mean as much as she wants them to mean. She doesn’t let herself overthink anymore. She doesn’t even let herself admit that she has feelings for someone anymore.
She would rather play pretend. She would rather act like the person who takes up the most space in her mind is a nuisance. Someone who she cannot stand. It’s easier for her to act angry at him than to admit she wants to be with him. It’s easier for her to lie to herself than face the truth.
She has worn her heart on her sleeve before and she has nothing to show for it except scars. That’s why she has decided to take a new path. She has decided to stop letting herself care — or at least stop acting like she cares when other people can see her.
When someone hurts her, she isn’t surprised. She actually waits for the pain to come. Her expectations are low because she hopes that if she doesn’t get too excited about a person, then it won’t hurt as badly when they leave.
But she knows she is only fooling herself. It still hurts. It’s impossible to run from the pain. Even though she doesn’t get her expectations up high anymore, even though she is never surprised when someone new hurts her the way everyone old has, it still stings the same.