Dating Again and Healing from Past Relationships

When it comes to dating and relationships, especially after the whirlwind of bullshit from my very recent past, I am the sort of person who constantly gets cold feet. Rather than putting up with difficult feelings or pushing through the hard stuff, I throw my hands up instead and am quick to exclaim, “Fuck this! I’m out!”

When I sense myself feeling jealous, or paranoid, or worried, or any other manner of negative vibration, I just get this yucky sort of feeling inside. Why am I wasting my time feeling sad about something when I could enjoy being single and carefree instead? Why am I worried about some guy, I think, reducing him to an object without feelings, when I could be doing my own thing and focusing on me?

Having been in the sort of relationships where I constantly put 110% of myself into trying to make things work, only to have things backfire terribly, I now hesitate to throw myself into new partnerships because I just don’t want to face that sort of pain again.  It terrifies me, actually. It terrifies me so greatly that when someone I might be interested in shows signs of possibly being interested in me too, I run in the other direction and pretend I can’t tell. It terrifies me to the point where I would rather everyone just be my friend rather than someone I could potentially be with. It scares me so much that I recently put a time limit on how long I want to be single before I start dating again.

… Which isn’t working too well for me, actually, because single, eligible, and attractive men in San Francisco are abundant and persuasive.

james franco wink Dating Again and Healing from Past Relationships * heycheri sherilynn macale

Heartache is the worst kind of pain anyone can suffer.

It’s not just a mental thing — it’s a physical thing, too. You can’t function. You can’t get out of bed. You don’t want to see your friends. You don’t want to take phone calls. Every step you take is accompanied by a sob. All you want to do is just sleep forever and never get up. It’s miserable. It’s agonizing. It consumes you.

I don’t want to have my heart broken again.
And I’m sick of writing about love and dating on my fucking blog.
Get out of here, love!
No one wants to read your crap!

But …

I know I should heal, too. I know I should try to see new people and try to be more open-minded. And I know a lot of it has to do with perspective. So … Okay. Let’s try the perspective thing.

I like who I am when I’m in the good parts of a relationship.

When I’m with someone I respect and love, someone who I feel has earned or deserves my affection, I am warm, inviting, nurturing, and cuddly. I am obedient (if you value that sort of thing in a mate), fiercely loyal, committed, and submissive by nature (despite an interesting past in playing the reverse). I am eager to please, maintain and improve myself so that I may always seduce my partner, and I am bright-eyed, curious, and open-minded. I love having experiences with the person I’m with. I love slaying “firsts”. I like making simple things our thing. I listen. I text back right away. And I am the master of filthy pictures because it turns me on when he’s turned on.

As for actual sex, I like sex. A lot of it. With one person. And I want to have it often. Every single day. Several times a day. For the rest of our lives. I want us to beat each other into a sexual coma where the most we can do is get up for glasses of water or cook for one another naked and feed each other in bed while only taking breaks to read or flip through the boring channels on TV before both realizing our books and TV suck and we’d rather be making out like teenagers or cuddling instead.

I’m the sort of person who, when at the theater, likes to hold hands, tangle our legs, and look over at one another just to smile and kiss. I am the sort of person who, when I’m in love, literally does not give a shit if her partner gets big and fat because I will rub that big belly and make wishes on it like Buddha and tell him how much I love his big tummy anyway and that his body still turns me on because he is smmmoookiiiinggg hottttt. <3

giphy Dating Again and Healing from Past Relationships * heycheri sherilynn macale

So. It’s those parts of a relationship that I miss.
I miss being that sort of person.
I know who I am when I’m in love with someone and really care about someone, and I really like that person.

It’s not that I don’t like being in love.

Or that I don’t like dating.

It’s that I don’t like the way I feel when the person I am actually in a relationship with doesn’t appreciate the things I do for them and feels I owe it to them, or takes advantage of me, or betrays my trust and hurts me, abuses me, cheats on me, or does any number of the terrible things any of my exes have ever done to me. And because my previous relationships lasted so long (I’ve only ever really been in long-term relationships), any number of things can trigger my want to pack up my things and run.

My past has effectively taken the kind, warm-hearted, loving person I typically am in a relationship and beaten her down into a shaky, quivering pulp hiding in the corner. I find myself panicking over every little hiccup or bump in the relationship road because I’m so worried that things will turn out exactly like the relationships I’ve already had. So instead, when I start to have feelings for someone (any little pinch of jealousy I feel, or any smidgeon of worry over their health, or anything that makes me feel even slightly vulnerable), I slap myself in the face and yell, “FUCK THIS. I’M SINGLE.

tumblr ly10zrgVfG1qhbqo0 Dating Again and Healing from Past Relationships * heycheri sherilynn macale

I was talking to some girlfriends yesterday about my fears.

I was thinking about completely calling it quits with someone I’m talking to right now who I’m worried I’m starting to have actual feelings for. I’m not ready for this. I’m not “good enough”. I feel guilty for having baggage because I don’t feel like someone should have to put up with that. It’s not fair to them.

But my friends are …
Well.
They’re my friends.
And they’re amazing, and they’re supportive, and I’m so lucky to have them because they always manage to pull me out of the dark depths of my mind and help me see the silver lining.

Here’s a snippet:

Screen Shot 2014 01 31 at 10.13.27 AM Dating Again and Healing from Past Relationships * heycheri sherilynn macaleScreen Shot 2014 01 31 at 10.13.42 AM Dating Again and Healing from Past Relationships * heycheri sherilynn macaleScreen Shot 2014 01 31 at 10.14.11 AM Dating Again and Healing from Past Relationships * heycheri sherilynn macale

First: everyone needs friends like these.
And second: they’re right. They’re absolutely right.

I am a very honest person.

I know who I am, where I’ve come from, and where I want to go. The way I see it, if I’m clear from the beginning about what stage of my life I’m in, it leaves the ball in their court over whether or not they want to play with me knowing full well that I am like a skittish, abused kitten abandoned in the shelter who might scratch at her new owner.

When beginning any new dating period, I introduce my new suitor to these facts quickly: “I just exited a terrible and abusive relationship. Because of my experiences, I have trust issues, co-dependency issues, and I can get really jealous. I fully believe that I should be single right now so I can just work on myself.” I make it obvious that relationships and commitment freaks me out, and if they want to know why, I am totally prepared with a whole host of personal experiences to back up my claims.

But I’m trying.
I’m really trying.

Recently, for example, I felt paranoid and jealous and worried for absolutely no reason (though I didn’t know I had no reason to be jealous or worried at the time), and I felt sick. It wasn’t just that I was jealous or worried about the particular situation that triggered it, I was also jealous and worried because of the shittons of times I’ve had to be jealous or worried in the past because I was actually being cheated on or two-timed, and it all came down on me in this flood of emotions that made my stomach twist and my heart beat faster and my face heat up and it was just all too much and AHHHHHHH–

tumblr m13luvDrvp1qbw0gqo1 500 Dating Again and Healing from Past Relationships * heycheri sherilynn macale

I felt sick.
Physically disgusted.
I didn’t like the way I felt, and I didn’t want to feel that way, and so because I simply felt that way, I immediately thought to myself, “Fuck this pseudo-relationship. It’s over. I don’t want to deal with it! PEACE. I’M OUT.”

… But then he reached out to calm me down.
He actively worked to reassure me.

And by doing so in the kind and gentle way that he did, it made me feel foolish. Humbled. Stupid. Like I had overreacted over something I obviously shouldn’t have worried about. Like I should be grateful for him instead of angry at him for no reason. And I was. After he reacted the way that he did, I was so grateful for him. He didn’t make me feel like an idiot — he just reminded me how amazing I was and that he cared about me. I’m lucky that someone cares about me enough to, as my friends put it, hold my hand while I work on healing.

But you see my predicament, don’t you?

I want to be loving, warm, and trusting, but so much has happened that it makes it difficult for me to just be myself with someone, relax, and 100% put my faith in them. It’s difficult to trust that I’m good enough. Or trust that they have zero intention of hurting me.

Relationships are scary.

My friends think I need to keep trying. They say that perfect guys throw themselves at me all the time, and that I’m lucky if the worst of my problems right now is trying to decide on whether I should date one of them or not. Woe is me, right?

Here’s how it’s going down from now on.

Whenever I feel something that triggers bad memories about my ex, I’m going to be honest with my partner about it and communicate to him exactly why I’m feeling the emotions that I’m feeling. Open communication. This puts us both on the same page. Then, if I’m being totally ridiculous, he can use his ultra-sweet and disarming charm to gently explain to me why I have no reason to feel upset or worried. He can show me how he’s nothing like my ex by reacting better than my ex ever has. Which will result in me feeling all warm and loving inside, and then we’ll have sex.

Yay, sex!

LOLwut 7a8b9a 791220 Dating Again and Healing from Past Relationships * heycheri sherilynn macale

* I was trying to find a sort-of-safe-for-work sex gif, and found that. And it’s hilarious. And I hope you’re all laughing as much as I am right now at it.

I’m not so naive that I believe I can heal from the past lickety-split, but I am at least working towards it, and I am grateful to have people on my side who are there for me no matter what. I want to start trusting again. I want to start believing there are good people in the world. I want to heal.

So, okay.
Forget “no dating for a year”.
I am officially calling that off.
I want to work on healing instead.
I’m going to date nice guys who are willing to work with me on showing me that there are perfect gentlemen out in the world, and that I have every reason to trust and love again.

God, that sex gif is super distracting. I’m trying to write the rest of this blog post and all I can see is a fish jizzing in a girl’s vagina and I’m like, “what the fuck am I looking at?”

Just going to exit gracefully now …

Peace,
Sherilynn “Cheri” Macale

PS. I swear I’m not as high-maintenance as this rant makes me seem. … Okay. Maybe I am. Just a little. I’m cool with it.

 

  • Ali

    I’m glad you’re in a better place now and are happy with how this new relationship is progressing.

    I know what you mean about bad memories being triggered. I’ve been really hurt in the past, too. Sometimes I’ll just be watching a TV show or something and that will trigger terrible feelings, which can cause me to sort of direct those at my fiance. But just being aware that this happens is very helpful. We can work on managing those feelings instead of letting them hurt our GOOD relationships. Just like you said, being open about it will help a ton.

    I know you’re probably sick of hearing it, but be careful, still. Don’t let a man pressure you into being his when you aren’t ready. Also, because of your traumatic past, you may be more likely to over-appreciate the things that normal, healthy people do in relationships. “You’re mad at me, but you’re not screaming at me or hitting me? YOU ARE SO AMAZING.” Or “You actually want me to pursue my passions and support me through it? A SAINT.” I mean, those are important things to have, of course, and you can definitely be grateful for them, but that kind of stuff is how it’s SUPPOSED to be. I’m not sure if I’m explaining this well. Just don’t let him being a normal, functioning person make you feel like you need to 100% commit to him right now.

    • http://www.heycheri.com/ Sherilynn Macale

      Your advice is *super* solid, and I’ll keep that in mind. And I know more than ever that this is how things are supposed to be — my Dad says it to me enough, hahaha. “Don’t hand out favors for good behavior! Boys are supposed to be nice to you!” I can still hear him. Lol.

      About 100% committing to him and him pressuring me into dating him when I’m not ready — my friends give me the same advice. They sort of remind me that I’m not anyone’s girlfriend right now, that I’m not anyone’s “property”, and that if I *really* want to see other people, I can and should. But they also really like him, and see his good qualities just as much as I do, so they also encourage me to continue seeing him if I feel I should as well.

      I’m not making any big decisions right now.
      I’m taking my time.
      But I do like him.
      So … I just want to move forward being open-minded to his pursuit rather than backing down from it and creating obstacles for the two of us, or self-sabotaging something that could be really great (since I have a tendency to do that).

      Thank you for the great comment.

      PS. I’d love to hear more about your fiancé if you get the chance? What do you mean you take your negative feelings out on him? How does he respond? Does he understand your past baggage too? Does he have issues at all?

      • Ali

        It sounds like you’re being pretty level-headed about everything! And It does sound like you guys connect very well.

        Okay, like say that something in the universe triggers a memory about being cheated on. It can bring me right back to that state of mind, with the sadness, insecurity and panic. And I find myself being suspicious towards him, even though he hasn’t done anything. We’d fight just because I’m directing old pain at him. However, I can now recognize when this is happening and can avoid being unfair to him. I just let him know what’s going on and we talk through it. It’s never bad to ask for extra assurance, and he always gives it. He will remind me how much he loves and appreciates me and would never do anything to jeopardize our relationship. I’m not sure if I’m being clear.

        He has had sone issues of his own in the past, but he is in a stable place now.

        He has been amazing throughout my healing process, and our communication is the key to that. We have both learned to ASK for what we want and need from the relationship instead of trying to send out signals and hoping the other picks up on them.

        • http://www.heycheri.com/ Sherilynn Macale

          I know *exactly* what you mean about that state of mind with all of those old feelings crashing down on you — it happens to me *all* the time. I just get scared to bring it up because it’s such a terrible feeling, and it’s like, with my ex, whenever I would tell him I was feeling terrible about something, he wouldn’t try to make me feel better, he’d only make me feel WORSE. Which freaks me out because now it’s like I’m too scared to bring things up because I’m terrified of what the reaction will be NOW. Will he be just like my ex? Will he be angry with me for feeling upset? What’s going to happen? That fear keeps me from sharing my feelings.

          How do you bring up your old pains with your fiancé now? Like, via text? Or what do you say exactly?

          Sorry so many questions. Your situation just sounds similar and I’d love to know.

  • Don @ HowYouCanFindLove

    I think you nailed it near the end….when you are having your feelings from the past creep up, talk about it with your partner. If he is a decent guy, he will understand and reassure you that things are OK. As time goes on, his reassurance and understanding will help you heal so that you are fearful less and less. You may never get to the point where you are 100% free from the issues, but you will face them less frequently.

    • http://www.heycheri.com/ Sherilynn Macale

      Your comment hits the nail on the head. I’m hoping that as he continues to show me what an actual “good person” is like, it helps me rebuild my faith and trust in relationships, and helps me bond and build trust in *him* especially. Sort of like, “I know you expected me to act like an abusive monster like your ex boyfriend, but I’m going to react maturely and kindly instead. And I’m going to act this way over and over until you get it through your head that I’m not going to turn into a psychopath.” Hopefully, that doesn’t prove to be too hard for him. :)

  • Bridget

    THAT SEX GIF. I JUST CAN’T EVEN.

    • http://www.heycheri.com/ Sherilynn Macale

      HAHAHAHAA — I know!!

  • Trouble

    Why is it a necessity for you to come back to that state where you are “able” to be with someone again? Why do you have to push yourself for that? I am not blaming you but it seems that throughout this post you miss being in a relationship with somebody not that you actually stopped caring about people. You obviously do care about people who cross your path but you are scared of that care leading to a relationship…
    We live in a society that romanticized monogamy leading to us to fantasize about being in a relationship to the point of making that a quest of a lifetime. I don’t know anything about you (or your friends, who I think are awesome because they are there for you but I also think that they are single because they push you to have fun, people in relationships tend to not really emphasize on that) but really, if you always keep telling yourself that you are single isn’t it because you know that single is not only a good way of protecting your emotions but also a good way of moving forward in life while being your own focus not having someone else as a focus?
    I just wanted to ask these questions because I have reached that point in my life where being in a relationship is not mandatory, it is even not recommended, but if it happens then yeah why not (Think of it like… cocaine).

    PS: This is the first thing I have ever read from your blog, I like it so far

    • http://www.heycheri.com/ Sherilynn Macale

      I wouldn’t say I’m “pushing” myself to be in a state where I’m able to be with someone again. It’s more along the lines of me exhaling, and being more laid-back about where my life goes, and more open-minded to new experiences rather than completely restricting myself from talking to new, fantastic people.

      Semantics, really! ^_^”

      Also, I’m glad you like my blog! And yes — if you’ve read my other posts, you’d see where I spoke before about how being single is *fun* and *awesome* and how I *love* it etc etc.

      Feelings evolve and change as we have new experiences. Who knows? What if I end up deciding to call off dating and resume being single again for a year? /Shrug.

  • Dalia

    And if you are dating Jon get used to being paranoid and suspicious. Good luck.

    • http://www.heycheri.com/ Sherilynn Macale

      Lol at how bitter this comment sounds. Just took a screenshot and shared this with our huge group of friends who all LOVE Jon, and we’re all laughing about it. We’re trying to convince him to move to San Francisco. Hopefully this is just the push he needed.

      • Jon Tucker Must Die

        Wait… You’re dating Jon? I thought Jon and I actually had something special. Ugh, I guess I have to be paranoid and suspicious now, thanks for the warning Dalia.

        • Kenneth

          What?!?! After all those nights together Jon never told me he was bi — that lying CHEAT!

  • Kayla

    Has anyone ever told you that you look like Lea Michele from Glee?

    • http://www.heycheri.com/ Sherilynn Macale

      Haha, no. I mostly get comparisons to Maggie Q and Shay Mitchell.

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  • Leelah

    I am happy that you called it off because it honestly seemed like such a strain on you from the get go. You rocked no alcohol for a year, but human connections are different. They really are! Supper applaud in finding out that what you need is to nurture and heal the past rather than postpone something that could and should be natural. Feelings should be BASIC, but we complicate ourselves because of the many ridiculous circumstances we have been put through. I resonate with you on that.

    Man. I have been reading your blog since the G days, so I remember many of the ups and downs that you’ve had. Those were -boys-, though. You’re definitely an adult now, living in a different city and dealing with different people. It’s bound to be awkward until you can adjust.

    My own love life is ridiculous. After I dated an angel of a man for three years, I decided to move from Puerto Rico to Los Angeles last August. It has been poison for that relationship, but I have truly found myself in the process. This test has been such an eye-opener. I know he loves me for real, but it takes more than love to have a relationship that works. I am enjoying being single for the first time in forever.

    Sending you hugs and love aplenty. Hope you feel better!

    • http://www.heycheri.com/ Sherilynn Macale

      “You rocked no alcohol for a year, but human connections are different.”

      I can’t agree with you more.

      And it’s funny that you mention G.
      It’s kind of sad, actually … He and I have always been friends no matter *what* happened to either of us. Whether I had a new boyfriend or whether or not he was dating someone new, he and I always stayed in touch. But I think that after I wrote this blog post, seeing that I’m interested in someone seriously again pushed him to decide we could no longer be friends. I understand, and I want him to be happy, but it just sucks because we’ve always been so close and now it’s like … Well? Now it’s like we’re walking down different paths completely.

      I’m glad that you’re finding yourself even after such a huge move to Los Angeles. Moving to a different city and starting all over again is *crazy* — it takes a long time to settle in and feel truly comfortable wherever you end up. It took me two years!

      Being single is the *best*. I totally agree.
      I’m glad you’re enjoying it instead of weeping over the past. :)

      And PS. Thanks for reading my blog for so long. I still can’t believe I have some OG readers around, ha.

  • Suzie

    Hi! I love this blog entry of yours. I kind of found it randomly searching about trust in relationships as I’m pretty much in the same situation as you. Long story short, this guy I just started seeing is now living half of his week in a city 2 hours away from me for work and due to issues I’ve had in past relationships, I worry that he will eventually drift apart from me emotionally with that distance. 3 weeks after posting this, have you decided to further pursue a relationship with him? And if it’s good so far, how do you try and suppress all the feelings you have of mistrust and jealousy, assuming that he hasn’t yet given you a reason to mistrust him?

    • http://www.heycheri.com/ Sherilynn Macale

      I’ve absolutely decided to pursue things further with him.

      We’re long distance as well, just so you know — even further than you and your beau. But we keep in touch *so* much, and he’s so open and honest and communicative with me, and he trusts *me* which makes it easier for me to trust *him*. Also, we see each other on a ridiculously regular basis because he’s always traveling for work, and since I work from home, it’s a piece of cake for us to spend time together.

      From the very beginning, he made it clear that he wanted to cultivate a loving and trusting relationship with me. He also made it clear that he felt if I ever had a problem with something, I should tell him right away because he feels communication is important rather than sitting around and letting things stew. I obviously expect the same from him, and he doesn’t hesitate to let me know if I ever put him in uncomfortable situations, or unintentionally make him feel disrespected.

      So… Y’know. We talk about *everything*. And every time I worry about something or feel I need attention from him, I just say so. And he’s *very* responsive and always gets back to me as soon as he can. Likewise, I do the same for him.

      It was more difficult when we first started dating because I come from a relationship history of awful bullshit with untrustworthy men, but we’ve spent a *lot* of time together, and it’s just obvious that we basically worship one another and both go out of our way to make one another as happy as possible.

      I think what’s most important with you and your beau is that you are both on the exact same page relationship-wise. Do you both eventually want the same thing? How long have you been dating, and do you both see the relationship going somewhere, or would you both rather start seeing other people? Has he ever given you a reason to doubt him?

      With my guy, he has *never* given me a reason to think he’s doing something untrustworthy. So although it was difficult to trust him at first due to my rocky relationship past, the more time I spend with him, the easier it has become for me to completely forget all the crap that’s happened to me. He’s kind of just so great that it makes me wonder why I wasted my time with anyone else.

      But y’know.
      The relationship is new.
      I’m not ruling out any future possibilities of something going awry, but …

      Whenever I have doubts in him, he goes out of his way to ensure I am reassured and comfortable, and reminds me to never doubt him. Whenever he feels my attention is wandering from him, he does things to get back on my radar (not that he has to — but it’s just so refreshing and nice how much he cares about me and how I feel about him). Because of the time and attention he invests in me, I feel safer investing my time and attention in him as well. I feel he deserves the affection I give him. He really does.

      I’ve had people tell me that *every* relationship should be like this, and that I shouldn’t think he’s special at all for acting the way that he does. But I have literally never met anyone in my entire life who acts this way, and I feel very lucky. I am incredibly grateful for him, and I make sure he knows it all the time.

      If you’re looking for advice, I would say: talk to your partner, and make sure you’re both on the same page over where your relationship is going. If you have doubts about what is happening, don’t be afraid to speak up. Don’t attack him, of course –he hasn’t done anything wrong. But if you have issues from your past relationship that are haunting you, let him know. Help him understand where you’re coming from so you don’t just sound like a crazy person with baseless worries. A good person, someone worthy of your time, will hold your hand while you struggle through the hard stuff until you’ve healed enough to walk on your own. He will form good memories with you, slowly building layer after layer of love and trust over your old battle wounds, until you’ve completely let go of the past.

      After about a month of steadily dating my guy, I asked him point blank: “We’ve been seeing each other for a while now, and I feel that a month is usually a good amount of time to gauge whether or not you can see things going somewhere with someone, or whether or not you’d like to start seeing other people instead. I was wondering how you felt about me?” His response was overwhelmingly positive, and because I felt the same, we decided to solidify things more fully.

      Don’t be afraid to jump in head-first. It’s okay to be cautious — I certainly was. But after a certain point, you should be able to open yourself up to your partner without fear, trust that they won’t hurt you, and trust that they care about you enough to appreciate what they have. My partner and I tell each other how grateful we are for one another every day. And in the sort of relationship that I want (and have), we both support one another in every way while progressing the relationship forward.

      Good luck.
      And feel free to write to me if you need more insight. :)

      • Suzie

        I really needed to hear that. That’s great! Even though I don’t know you, I’m glad to hear that you think you’ve finally found someone perfect for you after all the shitty men in your past. I feel like the only guys I ever get involved with are the ones who don’t want to commit, want to have their cake and eat it too, etc. but I’m 24, and I’m still learning. I’m not trying to get married or anything like that anytime soon, but I also don’t want to settle for someone who isn’t going to put in the effort to make me feel special/loved, etc. I think I deserve so much better and you are kind of helping me see that, so thank you! It’s nice to hear about someone being in a similar situation actually achieving a healthy, honest relationship. Good for you :)

        Just curious, how long have you known your boyfriend and when did you two decide to start dating? I always think it’s best to start off as friends first but sometimes it’s so difficult to refrain due to the sexual tension, etc. And I read your comment about your ex no longer wanting to be friends, so on a slightly different topic… do you have guy friends who have tried to hit on you? How do you make it not awkward if you want to continuously hang out with them?

        • http://www.heycheri.com/ Sherilynn Macale

          I know how you feel about only meeting guys who don’t want to commit. But we all go through that at some point. :) I definitely did. With my guy now, I really think I lucked out. As much as we would like to think the world is full of good, honest people, it’s definitely *not*, and you have to kiss about a million frogs before you find your prince. Blech. I’m still brushing the froggy tongue aftertaste out of my mouth.

          As of today, we’ve known each other for about a month and a half. But when we first started talking and dating, we made it clear from the very beginning what we both wanted, how we wanted our relationship to be if things got more serious, and what we expected from our ideal partners. I was also very open and honest about my past, about the things I’ve done and been through, and laid everything on the line so he’d know what he was getting into. Since we’ve started dating, we have spent a *lot* of time together. And I mean a *lot*. He travels for business a lot, and since I work from home, I accompany him on these business trips and we basically spend the majority of our time together — dinners every night, bed together every night, wake up together in the morning before we start our days, etc.

          Honestly, it sort of feels like we live together even though we’re “long-distance”.
          Additionally, we generally see eye-to-eye on *everything* and both value traditional relationship roles, so it leaves very little room for arguing. And he’s possessive in some ways (just enough to make it cute), but he basically trusts me to do whatever I want and be happy. “Happy wife, happy life,” he says.

          We definitely did not start off as friends. We started off based on immediate attraction, and we acted on it immediately as well. The chemistry between us is heavy. He made it clear from the very beginning what he wanted from me, and he’s been very honest and blunt through our entire relationship about what he expects from me as his partner, and I’ve returned the favor. I think we’re just both very lucky in that we both want the exact same things. Whenever I have doubts about us, he squashes those doubts immediately. He doesn’t let me linger on wondering what would happen if we went wrong because he doesn’t even entertain the idea that we COULD go wrong — he wants us to work out, and he does everything in his power to make sure that happens. The result is that I trust him, adore him, and am completely grateful for him and vice versa.

          It was weird at first because I wasn’t used to how candid he was with what he wanted from me. I didn’t trust him at all. I had only just met him, and I kept thinking, “This guy wants us to be in a loving and trusting relationship? Yeah right!” — I’ve had too many guys feed me lines like that to really believe someone right off the bat. But since I’ve known him, he has been consistent. He has been completely stable. His moods don’t fluctuate like crazy (and my ex was bi-polar, so as you can imagine, I have a lot of experience with psychotic mood swingy type men), and even when he’s upset, he’s not off his rocker and going nuts. He knows who he is, what he wants, and is just very focused on achieving his goals.

          It’s very refreshing.
          I feel like I can depend on him if I need to.
          Like he could be my rock if I needed someone to anchor to.

          Yes, I’ve had guy friends who’ve tried to hit on me.
          Plenty.
          I can’t tell you how many awkward conversations I’ve had to have with friends who’ve kissed me.
          Sigh.

          Usually I’ll just hit them up on Facebook messenger or via text and say, “Hey, so, you kissed me.” Get them to acknowledge the fact that, yes, they did that. Typically, that’s enough to get them to apologize for their ungentlemanly behavior and I don’t have to do much leg-work. But if they’re really giving me the run-around, I get more serious on them, like, “I have to be up front with you. I really value our friendship, but I just don’t feel that way about you, and I prefer we stay friends. And if shit is awkward between us now because of this, I will hate you forever. So don’t start acting weird around me.” Or, if they’re a douchebag who needs more tough love, I’ll say, “I found your behavior incredibly disrespectful, and I am insulted you think you can treat me that way.” Which usually ends with them apologizing. No one wants to be a disrespectful asshole.

          It’s never really weird for me to continue hanging out with someone who I have platonic feelings for just because they’ve hit on me. I sort of feel bad for *them* because maybe it’s weird for *them*, but that can’t be helped, and it’s certainly not *my* fault. I’m not going to humor someone with affection if I don’t feel anything for them.

          Anyway — you absolutely DO deserve the best.
          If you’re 24 right now and you’re just looking to have fun, whatever! Have a good time! Mess around with douchebags! Who cares! But if you eventually do find someone who you click with in every way and who wants the same things you do and treats you the way you feel you deserve to be treated, hold on tight. They don’t come around often. Take it from me.

  • shana

    I AM AFRAID OF LOVE

    This is why… My sister is seven years older than me. Growing up my sister was always changing boy friends so often I lost count. When she turned 17 she got pregnant by a church family friend’s son who was also the same age as her. They promptly left church and the father of the baby never took responsibility. Long story short there were a lot of accusations that the baby is not his by his family. Hurt, tears, and screaming were abundant during my sister’s pregnancy. She cried, pleaded, and threatened to commit suicide to get his attention again. This scarred me for many years until now.

    The other reason… My cousin sister was a popular high school cheer captain and she got cheated on. I remember the time where she would always hide in a dark corner on the phone with him with tears streaming down her face. Everyone would go looking for her and for some reason I was always the first to find her. She put her forefinger to her lips and gestured me to be quiet about it. This happened many more times during my elementary to high school years. If my sister and her could go through such pain being in a relationship when they are both the most popular girls in their high school, what more about me? The quiet and reserved one.

    When I started my first serious relationship about two and a half years ago, I couldn’t trust my bf until after we’ve been together for almost a year. I told him my sister and cousin sister had scarred me greatly. I am insecure, very insecure, because of them. I can’t help it. I cry, I hear sad love songs for ABSOLUTELY no reason.

    The Bf told me and said “I’m not that type of guy.” I reply “ya those guys said the same thing.” He is like “you need to trust me, I can’t MAKE you unless you WANT to” I have to agree with him. Love is a calculated risk. You just need to DIVE into it head first and hope on the way down you are falling beside the love of your life in a never ending mysterious journey together and when you reach the ground it is when you are still holding his hand.

    The Silver Lining… My cousin told me she never brought on her past relationship insecurity into her next (she is now engaged :D ) and my brother-in-law who is such a saint because before they were married my sister was an absolute lunatic. She turned the house upside down with her emotions and he stayed with her throughout her cray cray years! and now they are happily married.

    Dear Cheri, I apologize for the long post and for my horrible writing. I was raised in a different country for a long time where English was not the first language. I wish you all the best. I am still recovering from the trauma of my childhood and I hope you do too.

    • http://www.heycheri.com/ Sherilynn Macale

      I LOVED THIS COMMENT!!

      I especially loved this part:

      “Love is a calculated risk. You just need to DIVE into it head first and hope on the way down you are falling beside the love of your life in a never ending mysterious journey together and when you reach the ground it is when you are still holding his hand.”

      Did you write that yourself?! That is such an amazing statement, and I 100% agree. That’s EXACTLY what love is.

      Trusting someone is *so* hard, but in the relationship I want in the future, I WANT to be able to just fall in deeply, to go head over heels with someone I care about, and have things work out. Sure, I may be hurt by other douchebags along the way, but if I happen to dive in with someone who ends up being the person I marry?? That’s absolutely worth it to me. I deserve that. I think we all do.

      I’m happy for your cousin! It sounds like her fiancé is a total gentleman who appreciates and loves her, and that’s what every girl deserves. It stinks that we have to be hurt along the way to finding someone we can be with forever, but the end goal seems totally worth all the pain and heartache.

      Good luck with your recovery. <3