It is an equal failing to trust everybody, and to trust nobody.
I have recently been building a new found friendship with one of my exes from a few years ago. It appears that we are both in a good place and have mutually decided that a relationship is not in the cards so everything is going relatively smoothly. Part of me wishes that we had began our relationship more as platonic friends than as romantic friends, but that is in the past now.
In one of our conversations I asked my friend if he would be willing to have discussions on my own love life and in particular his thoughts from a male perspective. Although this was a generalized statement he interpreted my inquiry as a time to tell me what he thought my flaws were in the relationship. To be honest, I discounted much of what he said. I can't remember it at all. But there was one point he mentioned that has stuck with me the past few weeks, trust. My ex said that when we were together that I had trust issues and that until I resolved them then I will always have trouble being in a relationship. I realized he has a point.
A few days ago while I was driving I came back to this point about my lack of trust of the people I have dated in the past. However, I had an epiphany. It really is not just a mistrust of men, but just of people in general. Where did this come from? I think it came from my childhood.
It was just my parents and I living in a small Midwestern community. We had no immediate family close by. When my parents sick at the same time, I had to rely a lot on myself to get things done or to figure things out. I have always had this mentality that the only person you can really rely on is yourself because the people around you will not always be there. Or that people will always let you down. It was particularly cynical way to look at the world as a teenager.
This premise is the foundation for my overachiever mentality. I am pretty sure that my trust issues make me very hard on myself. I set this standards and goals for myself that are very hard, if not impossible to reach. And then I get mad at myself when I do not accomplish them. I mean if I cannot trust myself to do things, how can I even begin to trust others?
Other things have happened in my adult life that I am not comfortable going into great detail about at this time. But I will say I have felt that in the past the trust that I have put in others that I have looked up to has been betrayed. I usually don't share a lot of my inner most feelings with others (which is kind of ironic that I have a blog doing just that). But when I do share it makes me feel extremely vulnerable. I did this with some people who I trusted, who I thought I had my best interest at hand, and I was burned, badly. It is a feeling that I am not sure I can ever get over, but I know that I need to work on in order to become a better person.
But yes this mistrust does extend to my dating life. Why? I just have this general sense that most, and I said most, not all, guys are just kind of worthless. Hold on, I know that every person is worth something, that is not what I meant. I just feel like a lot of guys treat dating like a game. They will lie, cheat, steal, do whatever they can to conquer and win, at any cost. In fact, my friend who said I had trust issues also confirmed in the same conversation that 9 out of 10 guys are just playing the field and "stockpiling women".
I know there are some good guys out there though, I think I actually am friends with a lot of them. But they are my friends. Where are the guys that are not my friends and are still decent human beings? The truth is though, that at least I can spot the bad ones and not waste my time. People are supposed to earn your trust right? So why should I trust someone that already appears to be untrustworthy from the start?
So I guess the point is yes, I know I have trust issues. I guess I am going to have to work on it.