We never asked to be this way. The truth is that we’ve dated one too many jerks — one too many jerks that hurt us and even though we’re trying to be hopeful, we can’t help but feel differently when we approach new potential relationships. These are the brutally honest confessions of the girls who’ve dated one too many jerks:
- We’re always on guard. Just like any woman who’s been scorned, we’ve built strategic walls brick by brick, each engraved with the name of a different jerk, and behind each brick of the wall are the lessons of what the crappy relationship taught us. We want to trust that everyone has pure and honest intentions, but our pasts have triggered alarms within us that tell us to be careful as we take new steps forward.
- We’re not play-toys. We’re not strangers to the guy who has his way with us and then fell off the face of the earth. We’re not strangers to being victims of gaslighting and been called crazy for having valid emotions one too many times. We’ve been lied to, manipulated, lead on… the list goes on. Because of this, we have zero tolerance for jerk behavior. We’re not going down that road again.
- We’re always waiting for the other shoe to drop. We’re sorry, but we’re so used to being blindsided by someone’s true and ugly colors that we hesitate to trust up front because we’re trying to figure out if you’re worth letting our guards down for. We’ve allowed ourselves to be vulnerable over and over again and been left with repeated reason after reason of why trust needs to be earned, and it won’t happen overnight. Be patient with us if your intentions are good.
- Our defense mechanisms are bittersweet. We might be initially oversensitive about things in the beginning while we’re learning to build that trust. We’ll be quick to defend ourselves if we feel we’re being treated unfairly because nothing will ever turn us back into the doormats we might have been in the past. We don’t mean to seem so closed off or assumptive, it’s just that without any grand separation between the jerks and the good men, we can’t be too careful.
- We don’t put up with any crap. We have a zero tolerance policy about the behaviors and words that took us down before, so if you show us any of the red flags we’ve already run from, then sorry, but we’ll run from you, too.
- We hold on to hope even when we’re clinging tightly to our fear. Deep down, everyone we meet and are interested in, we approach with optimistic hopefulness. We want to believe so badly that this time we’ve finally found a good one, but rooted inside of us is a fear that we might be acting naive and we don’t want to feel any of the pain we’ve felt before all over again.
- We take things slowly. We’ll take things slow with you because it gives us a chance to really assess and become comfortable with you little by little. It also helps us to weed out the ones who are only after us for one thing. If you’re not the type of jerk we’re trying to avoid, this won’t be an issue for you, and patience with us is the first step in breaking those bricks away.
- We’re looking for that person to turn it all around. We’ve had all the jerks we can handle and we’re looking for that one that will separate the past from the present and future. We want the one who will show us what good looks like and someone who will appreciate the things that went unnoticed to the ones who didn’t treat us right before. Once we find it, we’ll never look back.