Anyone who has been in a seriously crap-filled relationship knows that when you try to date again, it's like being a person without skin going into a room full of glass shards. You feel super vulnerable and scared, and you act like a weirdo with new guys because you're just super off your game. With that in mind, here are 11 things we wish guys knew about dating someone who is fresh off a bad romance.
1. We will trust you in, like, a year.
Not because we don't want to do it sooner, but because our last relationship was with a nightmare monster from the sea, so we're always waiting for the shoe to drop. We hate this, too.
2. We will be suspicious when you do super-nice things for us.
Especially if our last boyfriend would do super-nice things for us after treating us like crap. So no, you didn't do anything wrong by buying us flowers. We're just wondering if those flowers mean that you fingered a stranger at the movies last weekend. That's what roses mean, right?
3. We probably won't want to introduce you to our friends because we assume you suck.
What's the point of introducing this hot, awesome guy to our friends when we've already dated a hot, awesome guy whose name was Andrew and he left us for a woman he claimed he was just friends with? The answer is "there is no point."
4. We'll assume your cutesy texts about how much you like us are total B.S.
That means you'll get a sea of "yeah, yeahs" when you try to be nice to us. That doesn't mean you should stop saying those things (because you should not stop!), it just means it'll take a little while for them to absorb into our bloodstream like vital nutrients.
5. We'll probably talk to you like we're in the CIA for a little bit.
When you've been hurt by someone crappy, the last thing you want to do is jump into a new relationship and reveal all the sensitive, potentially scary parts of yourself to some random person. I know you don't see yourself as a random person, but we do. Give us time to release those super-personal details because we want to, we just can't yet.
6. We are going to be lazy AF in terms of pursuing you.
My point is I am not going to go the extra mile for someone new right now, but the person I date should be prepared to go the extra 9,000. It's just where I'm at, bro.
7. We probably won't commit to you for a while, but that doesn't mean we're cool with you sleeping with other people.
We may be scared to commit to someone who might hurt us, but you know what will not help with that fear? You thinking that gives you license to hit on your friend Tina. Stop it.
8. For the first few months, you probably won't meet the real us.
You'll definitely meet a bundle of fears wrapped in a skin suit that looks like us though! She's fun, too (no).
9. We might pick fights with you, but please do not fight back.
We're testing you and it sucks and we hate it. Our brains are just heavily singed from the last person who treated our heart like a piece of gum on the highway. Ideally, you'll just hug us when we do this and make us feel safe and OK. Thanks in advance.
10. Do not give us shit for having trust issues.
The worst thing you can do to someone with trust issues is to make them feel bad about having them. It's like yelling at a shy person to be super-outgoing or else you'll hate them forever. The only way to help us get through our trust issues is to just keep being a good dude.
11. We want nothing more than for things to be chill with you.
I know it might seem like we're these gigantic mountains you have to climb, but all we want is to be in a loving, trusting, super-fun relationship with you. Plus, once you get to the top of that mountain, we will be so psyched that you put in that effort that we'll be the best girlfriend you've ever had. That said, never hurt us or we'll lose our shit. TY.
This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.