A Matter of Trust

“I’ve seen love come, I’ve seen it shot down, I’ve seen it die in vain.”
~Jon Bon Jovi

I’ve heard many times before that you shouldn’t punish one person for the mistakes of another. But when you’ve been jerked around so many times, when you’ve fallen victim to sweet-talking players so many times, when you realize how few people you can genuinely count on, it’s hard not to be a little jaded. I try not to assume the worst with people, but it’s so hard not to when I see certain patterns emerge.

How do you put the past behind you and open your heart? How do you tell the difference between trusting your gut and just being cynical or paranoid? I don’t want to go through life with my guard up but it’s so hard to let myself be vulnerable.

For the past few months, I’ve been talking to a guy who has many qualities I’m looking for, but I have a few misgivings. In the beginning, Michael called me at least four times a day. We texted and talked a lot and sent short video messages to each other. But lately, our conversations have dwindled down to once or twice a day. I get that days at work can get busy, but still. He also has his friends list in Facebook hidden. When I noticed it and asked him about it, he claimed that he had dated a girl who started sending angry messages to various people on his friends list after they split up, so he hid it from everyone. That just seems shady to me, like he has something to hide. For all I know, he’s adding new girls on there daily. I’d never know. Also, he had his phone locked when he was with me. I’ve done that before myself with different people, so it’s not an automatic dealbreaker, but it still raised another red flag. I also happen to know that on at least two occasions, he claimed to be exhausted and said he was going to bed, when he was still up chatting with at least one female on Facebook. Oh, and he lives in another state, which doesn’t help my insecurities.

When we first started talking, I made some comment about how he could have all kinds of women after him and I’d never know. He said that with as much as we were talking on the phone etc, how could he have real time to devote to anyone else? At the time, I bought it. But now that we’re talking significantly less, I can’t help but wonder. Now I’m the one getting scraps of his attention. Someone else could easily be getting those four phone calls a day and I’d never know. When I’ve brought up various insecurities or concerns, it’s almost like he’s shaming me. He’ll say things like, “Here I was thinking how much I love your laugh and how happy you make me, and there you are assuming the worst about me.” I don’t like that.

One night he texted me right after work claiming that he forgot he had church that night and would call me later. Close to midnight, he texted saying he was just getting home. I don’t know of any church that has functions til nearly midnight on a weeknight. I didn’t say anything, but I wasn’t buying it. I really like{d} this guy and was starting to think there could actually be a future with him. Now I feel myself kind of withdrawing. I don’t want to get hurt or be made a fool of. He talks about long-term plans with me, things he wants etc. He talks about meeting my family and wanting to get married. But instead of being excited about that, I’m sitting here with my guard up. I’m left wondering how many nights he claimed that he couldn’t keep his eyes open and got off the phone with me just so he could talk to someone else.

My ex-husband was {and is} one of the most dishonest people I’ve ever known. If I wouldn’t put up with his BS, why would I put up with it from someone I’m not even married to, let alone dating? I’m not about to introduce anyone to my family if I think he’s just using me or playing games.

How do you trust someone? How do you open yourself up? Is there anyone out there I can really trust? I don’t want to give up hope that I’ll find a guy who thinks I’m enough. A guy who just sees ME, rather than looking over my shoulder to see if there’s anyone else out there who might be more interesting.

I haven’t quite written Michael off yet, but he’s definitely on thin ice for now. I guess time will tell how genuine he really is. I just keep thinking, please please please don’t let me regret the time I’ve spent getting to know him {and turning down other offers because I thought this was really going somewhere}.