Sometimes I Worry I’m Too Bitter To Ever Fall In Love Again

I’ve always promised myself that I’d never become “that girl” who swore off love and relationships just because she’d been hurt a few too many times, and yet, it seems like I’m turning into her. As much as I hate to admit it, the piss-poor experiences I’ve had with love have left me with a bad taste in my mouth and I’m not sure if I want to put myself through that again on the off chance that this one might be the real thing. This is why I’m really questioning whether I’ll ever be able to push past my bitterness and allow myself to fall in love again:

  1. I feel like every guy is too good to be true. Of course I WANT to find a great guy, but every time I do, I start getting doubts. There’s got to be something wrong with him, right? My experience with romance has taught me that if a guy seems like he’s perfect, it’s because I haven’t found his dirty secret yet. Maybe he’s a cheater, a sexist, or maybe he doesn’t tip the waiter. I just know that if I feel like I’ve found my dream guy, a part of me knows that he has plenty of potential to be a nightmare.
  2. I’m constantly waiting to get hurt. It could be a week into a new fling or a year into a serious relationship — I just know that eventually, this guy that I’m crazy about is going to find a way to break my heart. It’s turned into a self-fulfilling prophecy — my constant paranoia ends up leaving the guy frustrated with me and my mistrust, and before I know it, I’m single again. I know I need to get over this fear, but I can’t help but feel like it’s better to be prepared than caught unawares.
  3. I’ve learned from the past. I might be bitter, but I’m not stupid. My attitude toward dating is the way it is because I’ve been screwed over so many times. By now, I know to look out for all the warning signs that a guy is secretly a douche, and as soon as they start to pop up, I run. I’m just not willing to put up with this BS anymore.
  4. I’ve turned into a pessimist when it comes to romance. Even when things are going great, I know it’s only a matter of time before they go sour. I can’t find it in me to be hopeful about relationships anymore, even though I would really like to dig up that old part of me who used to adore the prospect of falling in love again. When fights happen, I assume they’re going to lead to a breakup rather than assuming we’ll move past it. If we’ve been having really good sex lately, I assume I should enjoy it while it lasts, because he’s surely going to find someone better to sleep with in the near future.
  5. I’m always wondering when every good guy will show his bad side. I’ve lost count of how many men I’ve met who seemed like earthly angels at first but then revealed that they were walking piles of crap. It’s never a small problem, either. They always have to come out with some major issue that ends up being a dealbreaker for me (and anyone else with standards). If I ever do end up dating a genuinely good man, I’m always going to be on high alert waiting for him to turn into Mr. Hyde before my very eyes.
  6. I’m not sure if love is worth the pain. Love is great, but is it really enough to justify putting myself through all that heartache when it ends? A large part of me doubts it. I used to tell myself that the good parts of being in a relationship outweighed the bad ones, but these days it’s becoming harder and harder to believe it.
  7. I’ve figured out that I can only trust myself. I know that I’m never going to leave myself lonely when things aren’t perfect. I can’t lie to myself or cheat on myself or abandon myself. Being single might not always be fun, but I know it’s the safest option… and if I’m going to protect myself from getting hurt again, safe is what I need.
  8. Being alone forever is starting to look like a favorable option. Once upon a time, I joked about becoming a crazy cat lady. Now, it’s starting to feel less like a joke and more like a preferred reality. At some point, I became so fed up with guys and their nonsense that I started to realize that being single forever might not be as bad as people make it seem. I can’t even believe I’ve gotten to this point at such an early stage of my life, but I guess that’s what being screwed over so many times will do to you.
  9. I don’t know if someone will ever be able to tear down my walls again. In the past, I’ve let guys in after trying so hard to trust them with the most important parts of me. But each and every time, it’s proven to be a mistake. Now that I’ve become even more guarded than I’ve ever been before, I honestly doubt that I’ll ever meet anyone who I trust enough to open up to again.
  10. I can’t fathom how two people could trust each other enough to get married. It’s great that so many people are finding that special person they want to be with forever, but to me, it all seems like a huge mistake. Like many young women, I once dreamed of the day I’d find someone I loved enough to spend the rest of my life with, but now, I literally have nightmares about getting married. I just figure that if I’m getting hurt so much in “normal” relationships, I’m really going to be out of luck when I get screwed over by a potential husband and have to go through the headache and heartbreak involved in a divorce.
  11. I don’t want to believe that all guys are the same, but it’s hard. Yes, I KNOW that all guys aren’t the same, and I’m sure that there really are some amazing men out there. In fact, I’m friends with many of them. I just don’t think I’ll ever end up dating someone who differs from what seems to be the “norm.” I really want to think that not all guys are cheating commitmentphobes, but so many of them seem to fit that description to a T. The most likely explanation is that I just keep picking the wrong men, but until I figure out what’s wrong with my selection process, I think I’m better off staying far away from the idea of love.
Averi is a word nerd and Brazilian jiu jitsu brown belt. She's also a TEFL/TESOL-certified ESL teacher and an equine enthusiast. Originally from Pennsylvania, she lived in Costa Rica for a while before moving to Australia. In addition to her work as a writer and editor for Bolde, she also has bylines with Little Things and regularly writes for Jiu-Jitsu Times.

You can follow Averi on Instagram @bjjaveri or on Twitter under the same handle.