I’m Not Getting Screwed Over Again — 10 Ways I’m Going To Protect Myself

I used to think that falling in love would be easy. Since then, I’ve had my heart broken a few times and I’ve learned a thing or two. From now on, I’m playing defense in the game of love because if I don’t want to end up back where I started, I need to start protecting my heart.

  1. I’ll take things slow. I’m not going to jump in head-first and I won’t fall too fast. I’m going to take things slow and that’s how I’ll know whether a relationship is right. A good man won’t push me to move too fast for my comfort. If he really likes me, then I’ll be worth the wait. Slow and steady is the new strategy for my heart.
  2. I won’t wear my heart on my sleeve. I’m not laying all my cards on the table. I’m going to keep my feelings to myself until I know he’s worthy of hearing them. I can’t put all my eggs in one basket because if things don’t work out then I’ll be left with nothing yet again. I won’t let my feelings get the best of me. Until I take the time to figure out how I really feel, I’ll keep my emotions for him to myself.
  3. I’ll make him earn my trust. In the past, I gave away trust like it meant nothing. I thought every man had the best intentions, but I was wrong, and that’s exactly how my heart eventually got broken. This time around, I won’t trust a man until he deserves it. If he’s willing to put in the time and make an effort to prove he’s trustworthy, then and only then will I put my faith in him and in the relationship.
  4. I won’t give unlimited chances. Forgive and forget? That’s a noble thought, but I can’t spend the rest of my life excusing bad boy behavior and brushing problems under the rug. Just because a man says he’s sorry doesn’t make it true. Actions speak louder than words. I’m all for second chances, but to me, “I’m sorry” means that he feels bad and he’ll never do it again. If he does, then that’s one chance too many.
  5. I’ll call him on his BS. I’m not going to spend my next relationship too scared to call the man I love out. If he actually loves me back then when his actions hurt me, he’ll actually give a damn. I haven’t stood up for myself in the past, but I’m done being that weak girl. I’m strong enough to fight for what I deserve and I deserve a hell of a lot better than to get walked all over by someone who’s supposed to love me.
  6. I’ll make sure he wants what I want. What’s the point in being with someone who doesn’t want the same future that I do? If we’re going to end then I’d rather it be sooner than later. I won’t waste any more time. I want love, commitment, marriage and a family all while having a career. If he doesn’t dream my dreams with me then there’s no point in setting up a relationship that’s doomed to fail.
  7. I won’t jump into bed with him. If I’m making my heart take things slow then I’m going to do the same for my body. I won’t give him all of me until I have all of him. I need to feel safe and secure in a relationship before I get vulnerable physically. If the feelings aren’t there then the sex won’t be there either.
  8. I’ll never make him my top priority. I can’t forget to care about my own wants and needs this time around. I’ve made the mistake of making a man my everything in the past, but I won’t go down that road again. I won’t sacrifice my happiness for his. I’ll definitely make him a priority, but I’ll never let myself love him more than I love myself.
  9. I’ll make sure he knows how to treat me right. I’m done putting up with BS. If a man really likes me then I won’t have to ask him to treat me the way I deserve. He’ll do so automatically because he’ll actually care about how I feel. I don’t want to try to teach another man how to be a good guy. If he wants to be with me, then he’ll treat me right, no lessons necessary.
  10. I won’t waste my time on men who are afraid to commit. From now on, I’m actually going to listen. If a man says he’s not ready for commitment, then I’ll take the hint — he’s not ready for me. I’m not going to fall for yet another guy who can’t give me what I want or doesn’t like me enough to have a real relationship. I won’t be the girl begging a man to just commit. I won’t let myself fall for another man who’s just going to turn around and break my heart. From now on, I’m taking every precaution.
Kelsey Dykstra is a freelance writer based in Huntington Beach, CA. She has a bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing from Grand Valley State University and been writing professionally since graduating in 2013. In addition to writing about love and relationships for Bolde and lifestyle topics for Love to Know, she also writes about payment security and small business solutions for PaymentCloud.

Originally from Michigan, this warm weather seeker relocated to the OC just last summer. Kelsey enjoys writing her own fictional pieces, reading a variety of young adult novels, binging on Netflix, and of course soaking up the sun.

You can find more about Kelsey on her LinkedIn profile or on Twitter @dykstrakelsey.