Being Betrayed By My Ex Destroyed My Ability To Trust Guys

The first time I fell in love, I felt on top of the world. I finally understood why love can make people go crazy—it was addicting and invigorating in every way. Then, when my ex broke up with me, it was like my whole world came crashing down. I didn’t know how to trust people anymore and being in a relationship no longer felt safe. Here are just some of the ways that betrayal has ruined love for me:

  1. I’m just afraid that the next guy I date is going to do the same thing. Is it fair to say that the reason I’ve been single for so long is that I’m afraid of getting my heart broken again? After my last breakup, I wasn’t sure if I would ever piece myself back together. I have, to a certain extent, but now I’m afraid it’ll break again since it feels like it’s being held together with some really crappy school glue.
  2. It’s made my already existing trust issues even worst. I was already apprehensive about getting into a relationship, and when it all came crashing down, it hurt me 10 times more than it probably should have. I came into this world with trust issues and my ex-boyfriend just confirmed everything I knew to be true about people. You can never trust anyone to make you happy. That’s what my world looks like, unfortunately.
  3. I’ve pretty much given up on ever having a relationship. I’ve written myself off as unlovable because that’s a whole lot safer than getting my heart broken again. Love can be dangerous and my last relationship confirmed that. I’ve started to embrace being single because at least I’m safe from people hurting me.
  4. It’s turned me into a bitter person. You know that friend who scoffs at any guy who tries to get her attention? The girl who’s been screwed over by too many guys in her life and now she’s put all guys into one category of the worst people on planet earth? That’s me now. I find myself finding flaws in my friends’ boyfriends and preaching proudly that I don’t need a man to be happy. Whether or not I truly believe what I’m saying is another story.
  5. I hate to say it, but I almost don’t believe in love anymore. It truly breaks my heart to say this, but when love gets taken away so easily, you start to lose faith in it. It’s something that everyone wants but I’ve managed to create a life and personality around not needing it anymore. It’s working, but it leaves me feeling empty inside most of the time.
  6. It takes me a long time before I can consider trusting someone. When I’m faced with a potential relationship, I take eons to even accept that they might want to be with me. I’ll assume that they don’t really like me and only want to date me because they feel bad for me. How messed up is that thinking?! Well, I guess I have my ex-boyfriend to thank for that…
  7. I end up missing out on opportunities to date. I often say no to guys who want to date me because I don’t want to risk things not working out. I spend a whole lot of time alone, sitting on my couch feeling sorry for myself and it’s all because of my inability to trust people. I’ve always had a hard time with my self-esteem and relationships in general, so being betrayed by someone who apparently loved me was enough to completely destroy every ounce of self-confidence I had left. I don’t date a lot of guys because I know I won’t be able to handle it when it all comes crashing down… and I’m pretty sure it will.
  8. When I DO get into a relationship, I’m just waiting for the other shoe to drop. When I find myself in the process of getting into a relationship, I’m like an antelope just waiting to get pounced on by a tiger. I’m on high alert because the last time I got comfortable, the rug got pulled out from under me, so I’ve vowed to myself to never let my guard down again.
  9. I end up looking like a “crazy girlfriend.” Whenever a girl is considered “crazy” by a guy she’s dating, her behavior is pretty much always stemming from fear—fear of rejection, fear of getting betrayed and fear of losing someone. I know that he must think that I’m being obsessive and illogical, but to me, I’m just terrified of getting hurt.
  10. I’m starting to see it as an opportunity to grow. I figure that we have two choices when we go through a traumatic experience. We either let it defeat us or choose to grow from it. I look at older women I know who are still holding onto the betrayals that happened to them earlier on in their lives and I really don’t want that to be me. I want to overcome this fear of trusting people and be able to love again. I’m determined to get over it—I just haven’t quite figured out how yet.
Jennifer is a playwright, dancer, and theatre nerd living in the big city of Toronto, Canada. She studied Creative Writing at Concordia University and works as a lifestyle writer who focuses on Health, B2B, Tech, Psychology, Science, Food Trends and Millennial Life. She's also a coreographer, playwright, and lyricist, with choreography credits for McMaster University’s “Spring Awakening,” “Roxanne” for the Guelph Contemporary Dance Festival, and “The Beaver Den” for The LOT, among others.

You can see more of her work on her Contently page and follow her on Instagram @jenniferenchin.