I have recently been told that I wear my heart on my sleeve. To be honest, this did not come as much of a surprise to me as I am one of those people that can display every emotion known to man, on her face, and makes no apologies for it. I fall a little bit in love with every boyfriend that I have had, but each of them in very different ways.

After starting a new relationship, a couple of months ago, I started to feel concerned that I was falling in love. Whilst I was, and am totally happy and content and my veins are throbbing with the excitement of the first flushes of love, a part of me is saying “but don’t you feel like this about everyone?”

I have been feeling that maybe my feelings are not genuine because, whilst I feel them, the fact that I have felt them many times before might in some way make them less valid. I have been caught in the trap of oh this is so perfect/ I have never felt like this before/ perhaps I have found the one with many men, that I feel cynical towards the intense feelings I am experiencing now.

At this moment I am experiencing what can only be described as utter bliss. Excitement, happiness, comfort, love, and palpable sexual tension that fuels every second I am awake. Any flaws or faults in my partner are not apparent and I have nothing but complete adoration for him. I am in love, there is no doubt about it, and there is also no doubt that he loves me also, but am I just returning to the beginning of a cycle? One that will ultimately result in hurt, pain, and anguish?

This is the problem when you fall in love with everyone. You want to see the best in them, your desire for happiness is all-encompassing, and your heart is so full of love that you feel like it will explode at any given moment. But is it real? Does being so open with your heart mean that each encounter is worthless, and does it mean that I am doomed to repeat the same story with every love that I have?

I have had ten boyfriends in my life, ranging from three months to three years in duration. I have been engaged twice, married once, have had one annulment, and have moved countries several times to be with someone I loved. Two of them are Italian, two are Maltese, three are of half Arab descent, one was half Ghanian, and the last is Albanian. Two had problems with drugs, two were violently abusive, two had personality disorders, two cheated, one had commitment issues, and the other is my current boyfriend who at the moment is faultless (apart from his poor timekeeping). I loved all of them deeply, but each in very different ways – first love, infatuation, controlling love, adoration, attraction to personality rather than looks, fear, despair, rebounds, and of course, incredible sex were motivators for these relationships, but yet none of them worked out. Of course, I was at fault for the failure of some of them – I was selfish, insecure, childish, unfaithful, and cold – and I suffered catastrophic heartbreaks a number of times in return.

But now at the ripe old age of 31, I am becoming savvier to this pattern of self-deception. I am suspicious of “that loving feeling” and am aware that the course of true love never did run smooth, and as such, I should be aware of the fact that my heart has a tendency to run away with itself at the first hint of happiness. I also know that the abusive and emotionally void relationship I had with my father as a child, probably has something to do with the fact that I crave love from men now, but this does not mean that I will, or should restrict myself or my feelings.

Falling in love is a beautiful thing – it is good for your mind, soul, body, and health and it has been scientifically proven to affect your body like a drug. There is no doubt that I would rather have a life full of love with 100 different partners, than a life devoid of it because I am too scared to put myself out there. People like me, and like you (if my words are resonating with you) are good people. We love without question, we accept faults, we give every part of our souls to the people we let in, and we strive for happiness at all costs and this is something that we need to keep in our minds.

Having your guard up to a certain extent is important because there are millions of narcissists, sociopaths and opportunists out there that are just ready to suck the life from our emotional veins if given just half a chance. But we must also shake off the thought that wearing your heart on your sleeve makes your relationships less special because it doesn’t. You are an empath, a sensitive soul, and someone that can bring some much needed love into the world – don’t play down these beautiful things about yourself and don’t let other peoples fuckups and indiscretions crush the love inside of you.

Be savvy, be aware, and keep your eyes open, but remember that some people never, ever experience love, and many are incapable of giving it, so despite the pain that ultimately comes, we really are the lucky ones.