I’m talking to this guy who seems perfect for me. We have everything in common, from music taste to our views on the world. But my guy friends say not to waste my time on him because he will use me and break my heart. I asked a few girl friends about him but they had never heard anything negative. Then a girl contacted me saying the minute he slept with her, he left her. But they were together a couple of years ago. I’m hoping he has changed. I’m debating on still talking to him. Should I just cut him off completely?
Let’s figure it out by playing a round of “Let’s pretend.” Let’s pretend that you had sex with a guy you really liked, and the sex was awful. Like, so bad you just didn’t want to ever slip between the sheets with him again. Or maybe the sex was OK but he said something that branded itself into your mind, scorching every other good thing about him. Maybe you even had a few of these kinds of hookups, and none ripened into the love you desire. In the meantime, people start gossiping about you being a heartbreaker and warning everyone away from hanging with you. Or maybe you inflated your sexual experiences hoping to impress your friend group. Get the picture? The man you’re interested in might be a good guy. Or he might just want to hit it and quit it. Then again, he could be uneducated about relationships, and confused enough to mistake sex for love.
The only way to know if this man has been misunderstood or if he deserves his rep is to ask him. Do you have the courage to do that? If not, you may not be ready for a romantic relationship. Self-love requires that you ask the hard questions about love, and pay attention to your internal response as the answer is given. So tell him you want a committed relationship, and ask if he’s interested in hanging out with you exclusively. Tell him you don’t tolerate being played, and wouldn’t wish that pain on anyone. Listen carefully for his answer. If he can’t look you in the eye and say he’s all in, drop him. If he says he’s not sure because he’s still getting to know you, notice what arises in you. He’s given you an honest answer, but you might worry about how to manipulate him into choosing you. Or you might want his arms around you. You might have a gazillion other emotions or thoughts.
Allow peace to settle into your bones as you realize you don’t need to force anything to happen. Just make smart choices. Like this: Take care of yourself. One of the biggest mistakes people make while dating is to give their heart completely to someone who is not ready to care for it. So share your heart but don’t surrender it until your partner is ready and says so. Remember, love is always a risk. Always. But it’s also a risk worth taking, if you grow wiser and more loving along the way.