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Somebody I admire professionally said something that is incredibly true.

“If you’re going to love, you’re going to get hurt. If you take the risk to love somebody, you are taking the risk of getting hurt.”

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Putting 100 percent into a relationship can be terrifying at first. The ugly problems that can sometimes accompany two people who join into a relationship might be just around the corner. Rejection, infidelity, insecurity, mood swings, boredom, distraction and a zillion other things can sneak up on a relationship. Who cares? It’s better to hurt than to not feel at all. It’s better to hurt than to never have had anybody to hurt for.

Related: The Hardest Part Of A Breakup

I’ve shed an ocean of tears over failed relationships and the frustration of starting over, and I know many of you have as well. It sucks.

A wonderful friend of mine wears an invisible shield in her dating life. Scarred from the pain of lies and rejection from a bad experience with a boyfriend from a decade ago, she can’t shake the fear of being hurt again. She’s sweet and fun, but the tough girl facade takes over before she can reveal her vulnerability to a man.

My tough friend adores this Mr. Nice Guy she’s been seeing, and he wants more of a commitment from her. Tough Girl won’t even consider the notion, although she’s terribly sad about not being in a serious relationship with him. He’s what she wants! And she is what he wants. Tough Girl let an incident from her late teens/early 20s affect her so drastically that her love life is still manipulated by the pain 10 years later. Poor thing.

No amount of breakup story-swapping with her seems to help her cope or at least change her approach with Mr. Nice Guy.

Take a risk to love, for love. Loving too much can never be a regret. Not taking the risk to love somebody is. Take off the armor and experience feelings. It won’t be a fairytale every time, but human emotions – joyous or heartbreaking or anything between – are inevitable. Embrace them and don’t be afraid to love.

Tough Girl, my dear friend, take your guard down some. Mr. Nice Guy deserves a chance to treat you like a princess, and you deserve that, too.

Now that I’ve suggested how you all how should handle your love lives, I think I’ll call the poor guy who rides the roller coaster of being my boyfriend one day, my ex the next, then the love of my life the day after that. I’ll have it figured out eventually as will you.

Sex, Love and Relationships with Anna-Megan Raley