The chains around my heart slowly loosen
I’m starting to notice others
Allowing myself to feel attraction
Awakening from a long slumber    

Others pursue and I shut down
Does kind rejection exist?
How do I allow myself to be open
Without attracting those I don’t want?

I’m not ready to make a move
But I start to see possibilities      
I find myself considering options
Though it always seems complicated

I sit outside, alone
Feeling lonely for the first time in ages
Such a foreign feeling
I don’t know how to process

Refuse to use someone to fill a void         
But wonder if I’m blocking connection
In fear of hurting or being hurt
Our hearts are so delicate

What a terrible feeling,
Heart swiftly sinking
When we feel attraction
Then spot affection in shadows

Experience tells me I shouldn’t get closer
Hormones say you can’t predict the future
When you hardly know someone
What’s the harm in becoming friends?

I think I fear the intimacy
Knowing my feelings won’t be reciprocated
Don’t want to get in the middle
But want to test the water

What is the greater test?
To be “just friends”
Or to let go before I’m attached?
I’m overthinking again.

Being single is still new to me
Even though being alone isn’t
Over a decade of learning and unlearning
Unhealthy habits and how to set boundaries

Maybe I’m not quite ready
I was told: “Don’t chase any storms”
Feeling suffocated by stale air and feelings
I tighten the chains for now