You meet someone new. You get to know them. You find yourself liking them. You get scared and back off. This is a storyline that I know all too well. I understand why you're scared, I do. You're scared of getting hurt, you've been hurt and you'd rather not experience those feelings again. You're scared of feeling vulnerable. You've watched couples break up that you once believed would last forever. You were the shoulder that your friends cried on when (insert name here) was being a jerk. Relationships carry such a negative connotation in your world and you constantly find yourself wondering why people want it so bad.

You've done the calculations numerous amount of times in your head. You can only end up with one person to spend the rest of your life with — one. And in your head, you want to get it right the first time in order to spare yourself the sting of heartache. This is your way of staying in control of your feelings.

Trust me, I know. I've been on both sides. I was once the girl who was afraid of love, but I have become the girl who has let love in and embraced the feeling of falling head over heels for someone. The first time I really allowed myself to do that for a boy, I ended up unbelievably heartbroken, miserable, and so incapable of focusing on school that I would spend hours of the school day locked in my guidance counselor's office because I couldn't stop the tears from falling. I was hurt, confused and angry, and I didn't understand what happened to lead what we had to its end. Very quickly after that experience, I closed myself off to the idea of love, yet again. I didn't want anything to do with those feelings, I just wanted to get better. I hated the person that I was slowly becoming because of my broken heart. I wanted to be the person I was before it went downhill. It wasn't all that bad before.

I woke up every day with a smile on my face, my friends claimed I was glowing and that out of all the years that they've known me, they've never seen me so happy. He fed me pretty words and talked about our future and told me everything a girl wanted to hear from the boy that she was falling for. He gave me butterflies so extreme that it made my head spin. The feeling was addictive and I wanted that back. I wanted something real; I wanted someone real. I came to the realization that those feelings of elation trumps the feeling of heartache.

As horrible as it feels when it ends, falling for someone and allowing yourself to feel vulnerable is freeing and exciting in every aspect. It's OK to be wary, but love is not something to avoid. It is something that you should embrace and that is worth embracing. Loving someone and feeling loved in return is nothing but absolute bliss. The last guy didn't stick around, but the idea of someone doing so excited me. Those are the feelings that you look forward to feeling again, and yes, sometimes, it doesn't work out and it will hurt, but that is life. Life is full of trial and error, mistakes and experimentation. You can't live life being constantly scared of the inevitable. Allow yourself the chance to make mistakes and live a little recklessly. You are only human. Stop avoiding the inevitable. Love and let love in. I promise you, it's worth it.