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How do I let my guard down and allow myself to be vulnerable?

Ok so I’ve been single my entire life and just always avoided relationships/love because I’m just so awkward when it comes to expressing how I feel about a guy. I am really shy and reserved so I never really got the opportunity to talk to my crushes. I would also get this weird uncomfortable feeling when I find out my crush likes me back. It’s just a very weird thing that I don’t really know how to explain. But now that I’m older I just need to learn to be more vulnerable because I just don’t wanna be single and lonely forever. I want to love and want to be loved. I have pushed away every guy that has shown me interest in the past due to my own fears. But I recently started talking to someone online and there’s chemistry there but I just feel so weird allowing him to know that I like him back haha I need advice on how do I put my guard down and just be free. I really truly want to give him a chance but there’s this voice inside my head telling me to just ghost him and go back to my comfort zone but I really do wanna give me a chance because we have a lot in common and it seems like he is really a good guy. I get excited when he texts me but take long to respond because I just don’t know what to say. Helpppp
How do I let my guard down and allow myself to be vulnerable?
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