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Girl Talk: How Do You Know If You Can Trust A Guy?

Hi Admin,

I’m 19 years old. Four years ago, my ex-boyfriend took advantage of me and was only interested in sex. Since then, I haven’t been in a relationship because I don’t trust guys. I want to grow up and get over my fear of not trusting guys, but I don’t know how. My ex left a huge scar on my heart.

Whenever a guy I like shows interest in me, I’m excited but when we start to get close, I end up pushing him away. I am scared to take the leap because I feel like if I do, I’ll get crushed. Right now, there’s this guy I REALLY like who wants to be intimate with me, as in date me. But I don’t know if I can trust him. My best friend knows him and says he’s not a cheating type, and I trust her. But I’m scared! I don’t know what to do. How do I know if I can trust him?

RESPONSE: Allowing yourself to trust someone can be really difficult, especially when you’ve been hurt in the past. I’ve been in this position, and so I know how exhausting it is. Unfortunately, there are never going to be any clear signs that you can definitely trust someone, because the world just doesn’t work that way (I wish it did!). However, there are some things you can look out for but it also involves taking a leap of faith, as corny as that may sound.

First, you need to let go of the past and realise that not every guy out there is like your ex. It’s not fair to anyone, including you, to hold the actions of your ex against every future dude that comes into your life. Sure, you’ll meet other people like that, but you’ll also meet people who are genuinely worthy of your trust. But if you continue to focus on the past, you’ll never let yourself open up. So, forget about your loser ex! Remind yourself that he is only one guy, not every guy.

Now let’s focus on whether or not you can trust this new dude. Remember: trust is earned, not given. When you have trust issues, the best thing you can do is take things slow. Let yourself get to know this guy to see what he’s all about. Hang out with him, talk to him, ask him questions about his past. You already have a good endorsement from your best friend, so that’s a great sign. Now it’s time for you to make up your own mind. Pay attention to your gut feeling or instinct, which is often correct. Let him prove himself to you. If you catch him lying or sneaking around, then you know it won’t work.

Ultimately, you’re never going to know whether this guy (or any person at all, for that matter) is going to hurt you. That’s why trust is scary! It leaves you feeling very vulnerable. But if this guy gives no indication that he’s a bad person, if he seems like he’s really into you, and you think he deserves a chance… give him one. Like I said, take things slow. I’m sure you know that not everyone is perfect and we can mess up sometimes. If you never let yourself trust anyone, you’re going to be unhappy – and you deserve more than that.

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