Falling in love too hard, too fast.
We've all done it: crushing completely on a friend or new attraction only to fall flat on our faces. Or maybe the flame diminishes as soon as we ignite it, and our new-found crush is not that shiny coin we thought we saw to begin with. Maybe this comes from watching too many rom-coms or from reading too many YA vampire novels (hah...just kidding...hah).
But in all seriousness, finding a long-term connection isn't easy for those of us who consider ourselves romantics, and it has to be done with care and patience in order to last. It's the ultimate struggle. And since I've had this experience enough to realize that I don't take my own advice, I feel like the perfect candidate to tell you exactly how to put the brakes on your wild heart. Because, maybe if someone else tells you, you'll listen this time. Now, before I begin, I would like to emphasize that there is a fine line between having an open heart and needing constant reassurance of love and commitment. Due to my lack of qualifications (such as a degree in psychology) and time to figure out how you should address that, I will exclude the latter scenario.
So, how does one avoid falling victim to a highly premature love arrow straight to the gluteus? The first and most important step is through a strong sense of self-confidence and security. You have to first ask yourself, "Who am I without a person by my side?" I have the answer; you are a prize. And by prize, I don't mean "object" or "trophy." I mean that you have a lot to offer the world, and you have a lot to offer another human being. You've heard this a million times by now: your significant other should not complete you, they should complement you. You don't need affection, sex, or reassurance to be whole, and that's the bottom line.
On the other hand, there is always much room for personal development. Taking time to make sure that you are the best person you can be for whomever you choose to be will help put you into a relationship at the right pace. There are lot of outlets that will help you reach self-actualization. Some people do this through spirituality, others through their personal passions, and some do it just by reaching their lowest life point and building from the ground up. It doesn't make you less of a person if you are single and need time to work through your demons. If anything, this makes you a stronger person because you've realized this before it affects a future commitment.
Now, if at the moment there is someone peaking your interest and you are already thinking about what to name the firstborn son you will inevitably have with them, I'm going to give you some advice to keep you from getting your heart broken. The best thing you can do is get to know this person. Don't drill him/her about every aspect of their life on the first date. What I mean is that you should pay attention, yet keep a little bit of a distance. Watch how they smirk when they're embarrassed or remember the pride in their voice when they tell you about landing a new job. Especially remember what makes them a little bit of a bad human being; remember if they are careless, and don't brush it off at the first sign that they are unkind.
Pay attention to whether they care about you or not, if they think about you, or if everything you are investing into this relationship is reciprocated. And last but not least, don't be too trusting. The faster you trust someone without knowing them completely, the more susceptible you are to having your heart broken and, thus, gaining unnecessary trust issues.
Remember that you have all the time in the world to be swept off your feet. Don't lose your wild heart, but know when it's best to step back.
Realize that you are enough. Be brave, be passionate, be in love.