Once bitten, twice shy.
If there’s one thing men notice soon after they become teenagers, it’s that girls become increasingly wary about them as the years pass. By the time women start hitting the workforce after college, most of them have looked at a guy questioningly, wondering what his real intentions are.
Though, yes, there is a part of a girl’s mind that worries that the guy will lash out in anger and hurt her if she says no, there’s actually a bigger, deeper reason why so many women are wary of the opposite sex.
You see, on a logical level, it’s obvious that not all men are violent sociopaths who enjoy raping and murdering women. Not all men are like that because if they were, society would fall apart.
Most women realize this, but that doesn’t mean that they aren’t scared of being hurt in a relationship. You see, what women are most worried about is something that’s far more common among men.
The kind of hurt that most women have felt from men by the time they’re 22 is not one of sexual violence; it’s an emotional hurt. Most women want to feel safe around the men they date, particularly when it comes to them not having to worry about men disappearing on them.
Unfortunately, by the time they're 25 or so, most women have learned that's a safety they can't count on.
Abandonment hurts and it can hurt on a seriously deep level. The problem is that this kind of hurt is everywhere in the dating scene. Think about the following examples:
1. Abandonment happens with the guy who ghosted a girl after sleeping with her and talking about the future plans they’d have.
Of course, if a girl confronts him or tells anyone what happened, they’ll find a way to make it the girl’s fault. So, most of the time, when this happens, women stay silent and just cry it out.
2. Abandonment happens when a guy bails on his pregnant girlfriend and children.
This never used to happen 50 years ago. Nowadays, it’s so common that around 50 percent of all kids will be raised by a single mother.
A huge portion of divorces that are initiated by wives happen because the husband cheated. There’s even a form of divorce that happens called Spousal Abandonment Syndrome that typically describes a man suddenly leaving what appeared to be a totally happy marriage for another woman. Spousal Abandonment Syndrome supposedly is the cause of 5 percent of all divorces.
4. Abandonment happens when guys don’t even bother to show up for their girlfriends’ birthday parties or be there for them when they’re sick.
This happens so frequently that it’s actually pretty terrifying. It’s one of the main reasons why I personally have stopped bothering to date men. Why would I invest time if I’ve become totally sure he won’t be there for me?
5. Abandonment happens when guys abuse girls, too.
The most common phrase you’ll hear an abuse victim say is, “I just want the old side of him back.” Think about what that means and then you’ll understand why abused people often wonder where the good side of a guy went.
6. It also happens when guys shut down and walk away rather than talk things out.
For women, this seriously hurts because we see it as the guy’s way of saying that we’re not worth fighting for.
The problem with it being so common is that it causes a one-two punch on women’s ability to interact with men or even see them as people.
First off, women who are worried about their men leaving them often get clingy, needy, and emotional. They end up getting desperate and begging for reassurance that too often never comes. (This is punch #1.)
The problem is that if it happens too often, the woman in question begins to get very wary or even hateful towards men. Since society doesn’t acknowledge that men may be at fault for the “craziness” that women display, women basically end up isolating themselves away from guys. By staying away from men, they can’t be faulted for “choosing the wrong guy” again. Therein lies the second punch.
I’ve experienced too much of this kind of abandonment to find myself comfortable in the presence of men who want to date me. After all, how can I possibly trust men when all the ones before seemed great until they hurt me? How can I believe a guy when he says he’ll “be there for me” when all the others have left?
When I look at the statistics of men cheating on women, abusing them, or divorcing them after decades of marriage, how the hell am I supposed to believe that any man can be trusted to keep to his vows?
All I’ve ever wanted — all most girls ever wanted from men — was to be cherished, to be desired, to feel safe in a guy’s masculinity, and for him to fight his desire to run. Unfortunately for myself and others like me, the walls we built up to all the guys who didn’t do that for us are probably here to stay.