Caution, Good Date
Last week I wrote about a really bad experience in dating. This week I have a little to say about the best case scenarios. Good dates have their problems. More accurately, I still have problems with them. Good dates let my trust issues shine.
If the guy says something sweet, I pull away. I don’t want to get tricked, and refusing to be flattered or feel special is my go-to way to feel safe.
Sometimes I play it cool, and my date doesn’t see any change in me. Other times, I reflexively scoff at the compliment or kind suggestion. I know this habit isn’t going to help me build a healthy relationship, but I can’t keep myself from feeling like niceness is a facade.
What's the problem?
I remember how I met my ex-husband. He got me into his house under the pretext that he had a room for rent. Once alone with him I realized he had only said that to get me to his place, so he could trap me.
I’ve been seeing a guy lately, Aten*. I like him a lot. Smart, adventurous and disciplined, he does a lot of really nice things for me. What’s more, he doesn’t ask for anything other than the time I want to spend with him. Aten has all kinds of qualities I find incredibly attractive, but I hold back. I don’t even spend as much time with him as I’d like because I’m afraid that would signal I’ve let my guard down.
I respond to his compliments with, “you really don’t have to say that.”
What does it mean?
On one hand, I think this reflex shows I’m not ready for a relationship. On the other hand, I don’t know how I’ll get to trusting someone without continuing to date. I can’t simply think about how to trust people. I have to interact with them and observe their behavior to make decisions about trust.
I don’t know how I’ll get past suspicion of ulterior motives behind every kindness.
Is there another way?
I’d love to hear in the comments below how fear has held you back from emotional connection. Did anything in particular help you regain trust in yourself or in potential partners? Or do you (like me) worry you’ll never get there?
Thanks for being here. The conversation is growing. If you appreciated this post, or any so far, please share this blog with anyone you think might get something out of it too.
Till next week,
Rebecca encourages survivors of domestic to speak about their experiences and to lean on each other for support.