How can I trust myself to pick the right guy?

Over the past 5 years, I’ve been on tons of first dates. More than any person would ever want to, I’m sure. I kept going on first dates though because I was ‘picky’. I needed a palpable connection and a list of criteria to be met. It was meaningless first date after first date when I finally met my long term boyfriend.

Finally, someone I just connected with. The beginning was easy, I felt alive, and he was good to me. I finally picked the right one! Even his mom was excited about our future!

But time passed and he stopped treating me right and eventually he became my ex. I should have left a lot earlier than I did and now it’s hard to trust myself. 

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I’m really picky and I still didn’t pick the right guy. How can I trust myself now?

 

I’m wondering if I should go about picking partners differently now since clearly, I’ve been getting it wrong all these years. I don’t think I’m too picky honestly, but however I am picking must not be working. Do I need to stop putting so much weight on that feeling of connection?

Maybe with the information I knew at the time, I was picking right? And eventually as time goes on, someone who was right for you can stop being right for your future.

We all know love has a way of blinding us so maybe I need friends and family to pick the right match for me. People who know and love me and have my best interests at heart. But we probably all know someone we would have picked differently for and who’s to say that they made the wrong choice?

Maybe with the new lessons I learned from my dating experience, I will pick the right one next time and I can trust myself. I can trust myself by being self aware. By knowing I’m a hopeless romantic and where my weak spots are. By listening to red flags when I first see them and by understanding the type of men I gravitate towards.

 

Working on Your Jealousy in a Relationship

Since jealousy usually pops up when someone outside your relationship is seemingly getting close to your significant other, most people would believe jealousy is about your SO or the other person. But it’s time you face the music and realize jealousy nearly every time is all about you. Jealousy only really pops up when there are issues of self esteem, trust, or fear.

 

Self Esteem

Low self esteem usually involves feelings of not being good enough and the idea that you’re difficult to love. This comes out during a relationship as not feeling like your a good partner and maybe the thought that your partner deserves someone else that is better. Your partner has already chosen you. Give them some credit to being a good judge of character and also realize they are able to make their own decisions of who’s a good partner for them.

Trust

Unless your current SO has done or said something that has cracked or broken your trust with them, then your trust issues are probably displaced from past experiences. If there was an issue with your SO this is the rare time your jealousy is not solely on you. If the relationship is continuing open and honest communicate will be vital in rebuilding that trust. You’ll want to try to gain control by limiting social media interaction or keeping tabs while they go out with friends. This is not a long term fix and you will eventually have to give back control and trust your partner to be faithful. But most of the time your trust issues would have developed earlier on from romantic and non romantic relationships. You’ll need to realize your SO hasn’t betrayed your trust and they can’t be punished for other people’s past mistakes. 

 

Fear

Fear is another possible cause for jealousy. You may fear losing this person you’ve grown to love, you may fear being left and feeling lonely, or you may fear a failed relationship and judgement from friends, family, and outsiders. These fears are mostly out of your control and your worrying is not doing any good for yourself or the relationship. Be the best SO you can be and realize if your partner decides to leave anyway that you are still a good partner and worthy of love.

 

Overcoming your issues

Finding the root of your jealousy is the first step in overcoming it. A helpful tool for working on these causes is affirmation phrases.

 

For Self Esteem try:

  1. I am worthy of love
  2. I am a good SO and fulfilling partner in my relationship
  3. My partner chose and loves me

 

For Trust try:

  1. My partner is not my ex.
  2. They have not hurt me and I trust they will take care of my love
  3. My partner truly loves me and is doing their best to show me so

 

For Fear try:

  1. I cannot control my partner’s choices
  2. I will be okay if this relationship fails
  3. I can depend on my family and friends for support
  4. I will be able to find someone else to truly cherish me

 

Write down the ones that resonate with you and come up with your own! When you feel your jealousy rising say these phrases to yourself and become grounded in your logic. The more you say them, the more you will believe them, and eventually you can conquer your jealousy.

Don’t forget to communicate with you partner , letting them know what your triggers are, and what support you need from them.

 

In Your Car

I stare at your hand as you drive

butterflies crawling up my throat

I know you dangle your hand between us

as a silent invitation for me

so sweet but yet still I’m scared

because I’ve been turned away

and left behind enough to mar my skin in burning scars.

But you break through my thoughts and these aged walls

with a gentle hand on my knee you soothe my burning

and I wish to lean across the seat and kiss thank yous

on your neck but for now my fingertips do the talking.

-Aug 2017

Even the Moon has Wreckage

 

I’m always testing the ones who love me

even though the number is few.

Sweet words are so foreign

I don’t trust them to be true.

I have scars that tell stories

and stories that tell scars.

The dark does not scare me

greeting each other like old friends.

No one understands me better.

 

But this darkness has nothing pretty about it.

So I compare it to the moon

showing the world pretty bright lights

and hiding a part of itself never to be seen.

Letting people in is so hard when you know

They are so likely to go

after rubbernecking at the wreckage.

And bruises fade faster if no one keeps pressing into them.

 

-March 2015

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Back When

But the light hazes in this boundless bedroom

and all I see is clingy, itchy ivy

entrapping my wrist like regret imprisons my thoughts.

I can’t take back this one night but still

I pinch my eyes closed again

back to the darkness.

 

Back when a dark haired man seemed

like a good idea. Back when

I felt brave and confident

to go up to a man and take

what I desired.

The First Lesson I Learned While Dating

I actually learned a few lessons from the first guy who took me out (it gets confusing if I say I dated him because he was never my boyfriend, we just went on dates for a month or two). I’ve decided to nickname him Liar since most of what I’ve learned from him has to do with lies and betrayal.

So naïve, young Me first started talking to Liar around Thanksgiving 2014. We started going on some dates, he would call me on his way home from work, and I even met some of his friends and coworkers. Maybe it was moving a little fast, but what did I know, this was my first time going on real dates with someone who actually seemed like they wanted to date me.

Now this was nearly 2 years ago and such a short amount of time, so it’s hard to get the timeline right but I’m doing what I can. One date was rock climbing and two of his friends came along. At one point, they wanted to video each other trying out new rock jumping tricks (because nothing counts unless you film it). I went to get Liar’s phone from the cubby and his home screen showed that some girl was texting him. I honestly thought nothing of it, he knows plenty of female co-workers, I sure he has friends of the opposite gender, it really wasn’t a big deal.

Perhaps at this point he had already told me that all his focus was on me and therefore, I had gotten off my dating apps and even stopped talking to Stubborn (yeah, he’s been in the picture for THAT long). I suggest this only because Liar kept reassuring me that this text message on his phone was absolutely nothing to worry about. He told me twice and then even had his friend message me to make sure I believed him. The amount of effort he took to cover his tracks was actually the signal that tipped me off.

Since we weren’t officially dating and I had no idea what the text messages were really about, I actually continued to see him for a few more weeks. I guess at that point Liar was getting a bit too comfortable with the fact that I had stuck around for more than 4 weeks and he needed a way to let me go.

I don’t remember how the conversation got started but suddenly Liar was telling me that his Aunt’s cancer was back and that he needed to focus on his family and he didn’t want to do wrong by me if he didn’t have enough time for me. Naïve, young Me felt really bad about his Aunt being sick; I truly wanted to help him through it and be an emotionally support system for him. He lied so smoothly I didn’t even realize this was him breaking things off with me!

I don’t know how soon after, but eventually I was filled in that his Aunt’s cancer was not back and this was just his way of getting rid of me. Who the hell lies about CANCER?!

Oh and he met up with some girl from the next state over. Anyways, it wasn’t till recently after I’ve dated much more that I figured it out. Liar just wasn’t ready to leave his comfort zone. He liked dating multiple girls, he liked thinking he was so cool and desirable, and he probably even liked the thrill of sneaking around. And of course, when you don’t commit then you can’t make yourself vulnerable to getting hurt.

I went on A LOT of first dates over the past 2 years. And I always found something wrong with the guy and I almost always TOLD him about it. (Yeah, I was that brutally honest bitch.)

It was a lesson I learned: hurt them first so they can’t hurt you.

Of course, that didn’t exactly work out like I wanted it to. I was wrongfully teaching those guys the same lesson I had learned while hurt. I was teaching them that if they put themselves out there I was going to make them regret it (or some other girl trying to stay safe in her comfort zone would). It’s the same reason people ‘ghost’ each other. There’s no hurt or rejection if you leave. But I was hurting myself by not allowing love in.

Relationships are hard work. We mess up a lot. But if you never get out of your comfort zone and allow yourself to be vulnerable, then you’ll never experience the love you gain when the gamble works out. There’s no pay out if you leave before all the cards are dealt.

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