Obsessing Over Guys Who Hurt Me In The Past Nearly Made Me Lose A Great Guy

When you’ve been burned by love on more than one occasion, it’s hard not to let those experiences of your past color your future relationships. I know I did for way too long. Thankfully, I came to my senses just in time — if I hadn’t, I’d have lost the amazing guy I’m now lucky enough to call my boyfriend.

  1. I was pushing him away. I didn’t realize it until it was almost too late, but I was pushing him away in an effort to protect myself. We’d been together for two months and I was already expecting him to hurt me in the way my exes had, which is ridiculous because he was a totally different guy. It was unfair to do that, and when he started to pull away, I realized that it was because of me constantly being suspicious and not trusting him.
  2. I was afraid of getting hurt, so I hurt him first. I guess dating douchebags had made me want to avoid getting hurt again, but instead of just protecting myself, I became unnecessarily defensive. I’d lash out and hurt the guy first before he even had the chance to hurt me. It made me the villain.
  3. I didn’t want to be fooled again. I had these imaginary conversations in my head where I’d find something shady my BF had done and then confront him about it, showing him I wasn’t going to be fooled by him or anyone again. Did I mention he’d given me no sign that he’d hurt me? Whoa, talk about having trust issues. It’s one thing to be aware of any red flags in a relationship and nip them in the bud before they become huge problems, but it’s quite another to be so worried about them that they prevent my happiness.
  4. I jumped the gun way too often. If the guy I was dating said that he had a female friend, I’d think back to an ex of mine who also had a female friend… and then screwed her. It would make me think that a similar betrayal was going to happen to me again. Instead of enjoying the relationship and giving the new guy the benefit of the doubt, I’d become super cynical and close myself off out of fear.
  5. I talked about my exes. We started talking about our exes from the second date, and I thought that was good. I wanted to have things out in the open. The only problem is that I carried on the conversation more than I should have. It was like I was hoping to keep the memories of my hurt alive so that I would prevent them from happening again, but it just kept me stuck in the past. Eventually, my BF asked me if I was really over my last ex because I’d been talking about him so much, which was a huge wake-up call.
  6. I had become negative about love and men. After dating jerks, cheats, and one abusive man, I was really jaded. Sure, it was to be expected, but perhaps I’d jumped into my new relationship too quickly. Still, I didn’t want to lose out on the chance to be with this great guy even though it was a case of bad timing. I didn’t realize that I had to let go of my negativity if I wanted a real chance — otherwise, I’d just screw it up.
  7. I had to stop sabotaging my chance at happiness. If I wanted happiness, a guy wasn’t going to give it to me no matter how amazing he was. I had to make myself happy, and I wasn’t doing that. I was miserable and bitter. That’s not conducive to a happy relationship!
  8. I was insecure, and I projected that on him. Of course, it’s hard to be happy if you’re insecure — and I certainly was. I thought that every guy out there was going to end up hurting me one way or another. It’s as though I felt I wasn’t good enough to have love, which is total BS! I had to love myself first and know that I’m a valuable person if I was going to accept love from my great boyfriend. I keep reminding myself that I do deserve love — it’s a work in progress.
  9. Those guys might have hurt me, but I was continuing their work. The saying, “Pain is inevitable, but suffering is optional” comes to mind. Just because I had been hurt, it didn’t mean I should have kept it alive. I had to deal with the fact that I got hurt but realize that I was moving on and didn’t have to keep ruminating over the same pain. That’s so boring! To start my healing, I blocked all my exes on social media so that I could forget about them. Out of sight, out of mind — for good.
  10. I was stuck in the past, but I’m not that person anymore. When I came out of all those horrible relationships, I changed the type of guy that I was looking for (bad boys were out, good guys were in), but I didn’t realize I had to change myself too. I wasn’t that person who dated my exes anymore. I had become stronger and more resilient. I was changing my life and relationships. Why should I have felt that I was just doomed to reliving the same pain of the past? That makes no sense. The amazing guy in my life was evidence that there was love and hope out there, not just jerks, and I had to start treating him that way if I wanted him to stick around.
Giulia Simolo is a writer from Johannesburg, South Africa with a degree in English Language and Literature. She has been working as a journalist for more than a decade, writing for sites including AskMen, Native Interiors, and Live Eco. You can find out more about her on Facebook and LinkedIn, or follow her on Twitter @GiuliaSimolo.