Of Dating Dangerously
I’ve been single most of my life. Let’s be honest, my longest relationship has been… 2 months. And it was messed up. At this point I’ve decided it’s time to take a deep look at the way I approach relationships and dating. I’ve decided to share this because I deeply believe that I’m not the only girl dealing with this. And it relates to something I said in the previous post. „Women only chase after assholes, they don’t want nice guys” I said that this statement wasn’t entirely true. And it isn’t. But it also is to some extent. I notice it in my dating life and that of others. We as girls, more often then not, bestow our love on somebody who doesn’t really care much for it and when we’re faced with someone who does pursue us, we take it for granted.
This might be a very specific personal coincidence, but what I have noticed in my life is that the „good guy” always seems to pop up, before I manage to fully recover from the bad guy. He shows up when I’m in the mindset of not wanting to trust anybody, or ever need anybody in my life. I don’t want to care anymore, because I have cared and it didn’t work out. And here he is, giving me all he has. Expressing love in all the ways he knows how to, yet I’m still behind this wall, that I have built to protect myself from the blow I received from another guy. It’s like I’ve been sucker-punched and now I expect everyone out there to be attempting to hit me. And that’s false. Because as hard as I find it to believe sometimes, not all men are bad. Not all men want to use you for their pleasure and then toss you away like you’re nothing. Some are caring, loving and sweet. The problem is – after experiencing the „bad guys” all the time, I know their game. When I deal with fuckboys I know their moves and I know their objective. In that I can make my choices and decide to either play along or shut it down, depending on the current mood. With the „nice guys” it’s tricky. I almost don’t trust the niceness. It’s like I don’t know what it is, it’s unfamiliar, so it scares and it’s difficult to trust it. Like, what do you want from me? If the fact that I feel that someone wants all of me wasn’t scary enough, there’s enough horror stories I’ve heard or experienced to get my imagination going. The smiles and the kindness make me think that there is something deeper and darker hiding behind it. Something I don’t want to have to face. It’s the same monster that lived under my bed. It’s not real. But unlike the monster – it could be. Because all the real monsters are human, and they would hide behind sweetness and kindness.
She put on her nice dress. She put on her make up and did her hair. She wanted to feel beautiful. Was it for him? Or for herself? She glanced at the mirror and asked that very question. Of course it was for herself! She was just going to have fun with this guy. He was good looking. Tall, pale, dark hair and deep brown eyes. She fantasized: he might be a little like the vampire from the books. Mysterious but passionate, reserved but caring, strong but vulnerable… She sighed. She tried not to get her hopes up. They only went out once after all. It was great, amazing even. And right after she knew, he wanted to see her again.
He showed up with flowers and opened the door for her. He was gentle and kind, the conversation was polite. They were going to have a game night with his buddies. She felt a little intimidated by the fact that he would introduce her to his friends already, but she took that as a good omen. He wouldn’t do that if he didn’t take her seriously. They got to their destination. Walked into the room, where the guys were already drinking and having fun. She felt strangely disturbed when she walked in, but she disregarded that as nerves. She grabbed a drink that was handed to her and sat down on the couch, where he introduced her as his girl. She thought it was a little too fast, but she felt like it was a conversation for later… And it was also somewhat proof of the fact that he was, indeed, serious about her. They talked about mutual interests and so on and so forth. Before she knew it, her head grew heavy, things started getting blurry. She knew what was happening, but she had no control of her body. She couldn’t move or speak. She watched from outside of herself as they took turns with her. Bruising her arms and legs, tearing her insides apart. After they were done, they shoved her back to the car and got rid of her in the middle of some road.
The next morning she could barely walk. She wanted to go to the police, but she knew they wouldn’t believe her. And partially she did blame herself. How could she be so stupid? She’s been warned so many times, why did she trust a stranger? She could have predicted that it would happen. She just didn’t want to. But why? Because she wanted to trust. She wanted to believe that happy endings could happen and that tall dark strangers could be amazing boyfriends. Now, could she ever trust again? He was so nice. So sweet. So charming… She walked on, in shame, analyzing every detail, trying to find something she had missed, something that could have warned her about this. She remembered that he initially made her feel uneasy, she ignored it, thinking it was her usual paranoia and social anxiety. She should have known then… It didn’t have to happen. But it did. And she let it… In some way, she allowed it. How could she forgive herself?
This is clearly one of the darkest possible scenarios. But it could happen, couldn’t it? There’s people out there who lived it. And that’s the terrifying truth about dating, and being open to other people. You never know, whose company you might end up in.
All warnings and fears aside, dating can also be really fun if you let it, and if you’re careful. Here’s a couple of things I recommend if you want to be a little adventurous and go out with strangers:
- Always make sure at least one friend knows where you’re going
- Make sure your phone is charged
- Watch out for red flags: if he disappears with your drink, if you don’t know where he’s taking you, if you’re going to be „outnumbered” etc.
- Stay alert. If you notice something is feeling weird, find a way to figure out what is happening and if necessary, call someone. Remember, most assaults happen because the assailant doesn’t think he’s going to be caught. A witness – even if only one on the other side of the phone line, might prevent them from taking any action.
- Be prepared – I chose pepper spray.
This post took a much darker turn then expected, but I guess it’s a good thing. Because you do have to be careful. Your heart will recover if you manage to go through dating just dealing with fuckboys. If you catch a life-long trauma that’s a bit of a more difficult thing to fix.
To be continued… In the next post a little bit more about dating, a little less about horror stories. Stay tuned!