I Just Want A Guy I Can Feel Safe With—Is That So Much To Ask?

There seems to be a huge problem with the guys I meet—namely, they act like absolute psychos. This has made me really treasure the kind of man who makes me feel safe rather than scared that he’ll bail, get aggressive, or otherwise just make my life worse just for knowing him. What’s even worse, guys seem totally unaware of the effects their behavior is having on women. Here are some things I wish these dudes would understand.

  1. We often feel like we just can’t win with guys. Women are kind of stuck between a rock and a hard place in dating. If we politely reject a guy, he might get violent, rude, or just persist anyway, thinking he can win us over. If we ghost him, we’re used as an example for why we’re terrible and don’t deserve respect. If a guy does something we don’t like and call them out on it, people often assume we’re being dramatic or emotional. If we don’t speak up, people ask why we didn’t say anything. Guys catcall women, threaten us, neg us, and more on a regular basis but then insist that “not all guys are like that” and that we’re crazy for being on guard. It’s terrible. We end up having to stay vigilant and aware, primarily because we often end up in really awkward, depressing, or scary situations with guys.
  2. We don’t want to feel this way. No one wants to feel scared that the guy we like will just ghost us after months of dating. No one wants to worry about whether the guy who just asked for a date will flip out if we say no. Women want, desperately, to see men as heroes, partners, friends, and lovers. We don’t want to see them as rivals, predators, or creeps, but we often feel we have to because of how poorly some men treat us.
  3. We’re not only worried about physical backlash from guys. A lot of guys seem to think that women just worry about rapists or killers. Yes, some of us do worry about that (and rightfully so) but generally speaking, we don’t worry about that with every guy we meet. What we worry about is the emotional backlash, and though not all men do this, enough do it that many of us no longer fully feel safe around any guys at times. Right now, there are sites on the net encouraging guys to “pump and dump” and there are no shortage of dudes on social media who openly spew hate about the opposite sex. Almost every girl I know has been ghosted, negged, or pressured to have sex they didn’t want. These things leave lasting scars that make us worry that men aren’t actually going to be good to us. It often feels like we’re waiting for the other shoe to drop.
  4. A lot of the time, we’re also battling abandonment issues. It only takes a few too many breakups, a few too many men saying that they “aren’t ready for a relationship” after acting all lovey-dovey to make women leery of guys as a whole. I know because this is my issue now. I personally don’t believe a man loves me unless I see a ring and a wedding date because I’ve been abandoned by guys I never thought would leave. Some scars are impossible to heal; this is one of them—at least for me.
  5. Guys who appear sweet but lash out when they’re rejected are the worst. Obviously, not all men are like this, but enough are that it’s turned dating into a hellish experience. These “nice guys” are the epitome of false hope. We believe they actually want to be friends and then they act creepy and predatory. It’s hard to be at ease when we’re constantly wondering if a guy is going to flip out if we’re not feeling him.
  6. A lot of men seem to think feminism is their personal enemy. I keep hearing how feminists want to emasculate men and rob men blind via divorce. Many insecure dudes have made it abundantly clear that they are not okay with women getting equal rights. My question is, how can you trust a person who doesn’t want to see you get equal rights over your body, money, and career? How can you trust a person who is angry about equality? You can’t, because that means that their interest is in having power over you, not doing things in your best interest. When I hear these things, it signals to me that this is a person who wants to hurt me and control me… and I’ve heard these things so often online that it makes me shy of men as a whole.
  7. We’re all aware that men aren’t all this way but plenty are. Statistically, it’d be impossible for all men to be evil, heartless animals who do nothing but hurt women because it’s funny to them. However, the problem is that there is a ridiculously high proportion of men who just really aren’t good to women. The proportion is so high that, in many occasions, it skews our vision into thinking that this is the majority of men in our worlds.
  8. If more guys were aware of their behavior and the real effects it has, maybe something would change. The attitudes men have cultivated, and the pain inflicted on women have made most girls very gun-shy and judgmental when it comes to dating. This isn’t something most of us want to have had happen to us; it’s something that has arisen from self-preservation. If a guy wants to make us feel safe around him, he needs to be different from the others out here and be genuinely kind to everyone, not just the girls he wants to sleep with.
  9. We can’t save love and romance without help from men. Please, for all that is good in the world, I ask as someone who once wanted nothing more than a loving husband, for men to be kinder to the girls they court as well as the girls they don’t. No one should have to be afraid of the people who should be providing them joy, and we can’t help it until we see a change in this world.
Ossiana Tepfenhart is a New Jersey based writer and editor with bylines in Mashed, Newsbreak, Good Men Project, YourTango, and many more. She’s also the author of a safe travel guide for LGBTQIA+ people available on Amazon.

She regularly writes on her popular Medium page and posts on TikTok and Instagram @ossianamakescontent.