In some ways, dating is harder the older you get. You’re emotionally bruised after so many failed relationships and it’s hard to give love your all anymore. In fact, I often struggle to enjoy the person I’m with because I’m just waiting for something bad to happen.
I’ve been hurt a lot in the past. I know what you’re thinking—we’ve all been hurt in the past. I know you can’t let your old relationship issues slide their way into your new relationship, but that’s easier said than done. When you’ve had your heart ripped out of your chest more than once, you naturally have some kind of guard up.
I have trust issues. Because I’ve been cheated on by previous boyfriends, I’ve naturally stopped being able to trust a man 100%. Sure, I could go 99.9%, but that 0.1% will always come back to haunt me. With the current guy I’m dating, I need to know where he is, what he’s doing, and who he’s with to be able to relax—and this continues to be an issue.
My BF gets mad at me for treating him like he’s going to mess up before he’s even done anything. I actually can’t help it. If all my previous relationships have followed the same pattern: boy meets girl, boy gets girl to fall in love with him, boy acts like a jerk and mistreats girl, boy and girl break up, girl is devastated. I can’t help but think the whole scenario is going to happen again. I mean, what’s so different about this guy?
Men always disappoint me. I guess I have high expectations nowadays and in some ways, that’s absolutely OK. It’s good to know your worth, have respect for yourself, and not let guys run rings around you just because you’re a kind person. However, having high standards also has its downsides because I tend to set myself up for disappointment.
I realize there’s no such thing as a perfect man. After, all there’s no such thing as a perfect human being. We all have flaws, and these flaws should be celebrated because they make us who we are. But I blame romantic comedies and Disney princes for making us believe that perfect men exist from a young age. It’s only in the last few years that I’ve realized that perfect men are an illusion. They simply don’t exist.
I’m trying to accept my current boyfriend for who he is and the fact that he’s not my ex. It’s difficult. When your scars run as deep as mine, I have to really bite my tongue in situations. Sometimes I slip up when I’m feeling moody or overtired. Like the other week, for example. My last boyfriend got close to a girl from work, told me it was nothing, and then started dating her as soon as our relationship ended. So when my current guy talks about what some girl said to him at work that day, it makes me flip out. OK, so I don’t actually believe that my current beau would do that to me, but I didn’t think my ex would either.
I have to give my boyfriend the benefit of the doubt. I know I shouldn’t judge this guy based on the previous jerks because I’ll only end up pushing him away. Instead, I should wipe the slate clean and draw a line under my past so that I can fully focus on my future.
I’m trying to lower my expectations. I’m also trying to be more realistic in terms of what I expect from my boyfriend and not be too harsh or assuming before I know the full story. After all, a lot of the time, it is just my own insecurities from previous relationships coming into play. If I keep the lines of communication open, then hopefully he can be just as patient with me as I’m trying to be with him.
It’s a work in progress. I guess I need to get out of my head and just take each situation as it comes. I also need to tell myself that just because my past boyfriends treated me appallingly doesn’t mean my current beau will. I’ve been hoping all along that there’s an exception to the rule out there—and he might just be it.
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