Okay, so here's the thing... Whenever I'm dating someone I really like, I tend to be very distant and cold and I have a hard time being affectionate. It really bothers me, because it's not who I am on the inside... I would love to be as affectionate and outgoing as I am in my mind, but I have a really hard time bringing that behavior out. I'm very insecure, so I'm afraid to show my vulnerable side and to accept compliments because I just don't believe them... I almost have a hard time just believing that person even likes me. I recently lost a guy I was dating over this behavior and I'm really sick of it. I would really appreciate any help/tips/advice on how to bring "the real me" out!
Most Helpful Guy
In most cases, people who "build walls" are reacting to some trauma from their past. If you've had some past trauma (abuse, abandonment, loss, etc.) that could be causing this, then you need to get some help to deal with that issue, because your being distant is just a symptom of that root cause, and you always need to treat the root cause rather than the symptoms, because fixing the root cause will make the symptoms go away on their own.
It sounds like you realize that this is a problem you have, and admitting you have a problem is the first step towards resolving the problem. The next step is figuring out the root cause, which you might need help doing, or you might know already, and after that, you need to work on dealing with the problem itself, and you will almost certainly need some help with that. A professional counselor/therapist would be ideal, but you might get enough from a friend if you have one that is particularly wise and experienced with relationships. Either way, you need to do whatever work it takes to get past the issues from your own past, so that you can let them go and gain the confidence you need to be vulnerable around another person, which is what you are finding difficult to do.1