Real stories about dating and relationships in New York City. Truth is more interesting than fiction.

Looks Can Be Deceiving

Looks Can Be Deceiving i am not a role model  MV5BMTc1OTc0MDA3Ml5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwODM2NTI5Mw@@. V1. SY314 CR10214314  204x300I have a new favorite TV show – Dexter (can you please not read too much into that, please). I’m always a few episodes or seasons behind with everything, but being so sick gave me plenty of time to catch up with my TV watching (seriously, I’ve pretty much run out of stuff I wanna watch on Hulu).

So, I was watching the most recent episode last night. Dexter (the character) said something that made me rewind and grab my pen:

“From the outside, a normal home is indistinguishable from the home of a monster who puts women in barrels.”

We’ve all heard it before, you can’t judge a book by it’s cover. But this takes it a step further, I believe: There is potential danger lurking behind those seemingly normal doors. Your life depends on your .

At least that’s what came to my mind.

I’ve written before about my history of spectacularly poor judgment with men. I have issues, and have a hard time trusting new people, in general. Men, women, lovers, colleagues, acquaintances… And then, when I do decide to someone, I have a crappy track record of trusting the wrong people. Of being fooled by people who seem great, and then turn out to be not-great. And, I know, I have no one to blame but myself.

It’s a crappy cycle. Because each time I choose to trust someone new, and they turn out to be less good (kind, thoughtful, honest, unselfish) than I thought they were, it makes it harder for me to trust again, in the future.

Anyway, today’s post started out as a poll. Until I realized I couldn’t/didn’t want to reduce my thoughts to a multiple choice Q & A. I guess what I want to know is if there are others out there who have these kind of trust issues? Who find themselves struggling to trust new people?  And trusting the wrong people?

FWIW, this is something that I’ve been working on, in my own fucked up way. I really would like to be more open with my feelings. And smarter with them, too.

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18 to “Looks Can Be Deceiving”

  1. SimplyStac says:

    I absolutely have trust issues. I was recently duped by an ex. Gave him some time to earn my trust, gave it to him on a silver platter, and he more than broke not only my trust, but my heart too. And was all those wonderful things before he duped me. I wonder about my judgement. Is there a sign I didn’t see? I can only hope I choose better for the next time. Sucks.

  2. Sandyvs says:

    I will always trust someone until they give me reason not to. Then, most likely, never again. I tend to be pretty intuitive about people, and I can also read faces, which also reveals a lot about people to me. The one thing I’ve never done is become more untrusting after being fooled or cheated on. Each time something like this happens, it just sharpens my skills and makes me stronger, never bitter.

    • Simone Grant says:

      I think that I’ve been stuck someone in the huge chasm between having good instincts and being bitter. I just haven’t honed my skills, the way you have.

  3. I have the same issues as well. :) It’s gotten to the point where (at times) I have a hard time believing men when they give me compliments or act endearing…because they’re just going to drop the ball a week later. Guys are so full of s*#* at times…at once you’ve had the wool pulled over your eyes…it’s hard to trust again.

    Love your blog! I’m your better half in Denver… Take care!

    -Leaza in Denver

    • Simone Grant says:

      Nice to meet you Leaza. In defense of guys, there are lots of women who are full of shit. The truth is (at least the way I see things) there are just lost of people who are worth letting into your life. They are manipulative and unkind, selfish and rude. But, these are not qualities that they show right away.

  4. pansophy says:

    First off, Dexter is an amazing show. A serial killer on a spiritual journey to find his humanity. He even kills bad guys – what’s not to like?

    I have so much to say about this one. I think a big turning point for me was when I realized that all my defenses only kept the healthy nice people away. Healthy people recognized that I was trying to keep people at a distance and they respected that by actually keeping their distance. The people that I was trying to keep away in the first place would try to push through those boundaries and find a way in.

    It’s a messed up set up because it gives you the impression that the only people that ever enter your life are the very people you don’t want. One response would be to just work harder to keep people out, but I found that being more open was a better solution. Of course I still had to deal with the people that I didn’t want to be around, but now at least they were in the minority as there are many healthy people in my life now that I am more open to those around me. (I might even argue that the people I tried to keep away were more attracted to the closed off version of me than the open one).

    I think the other thing that ties into this is that trust is earned, not given. For those of us with trust issues, trust can be an all-or-nothing proposition. It’s actually the same sort of cycle as above. You test someone to see if they are trustworthy before you trust them. You test them again…and again. Finally you deem them trustworthy and all the walls come down at once, and of course they let you down in some way (maybe big, maybe small), and you tell yourself you were stupid to trust that person and next time you are even less trusting then before.

    Trustworthy people are attracted to trusting individuals. Why would a trustworthy person be attracted to someone who clearly doesn’t trust them? And then we are left wondering why only untrustworthy people seem to find our their way into our lives. So I think it is important to trust people in the same way it is important to be open from the beginning.

    To make that work though you have to go in realizing that everyone will let you down at some point. No one is infallible or perfect. It’s their body of work and intention that counts. I also really believe that trust as an all-or-nothing proposition is doomed for failure. Healthy boundaries is all about increasing the level of trust over time as they demonstrate their intention and they have accumulated a body of work so to speak.

    So the short answer to your question is ‘yes’ I totally know what you are talking about it and it only changed for me once I turned everything I thought I knew upside-down.

  5. Terry says:

    Dexter is one of my favorite shows also – don’t tell me what happens, I have to wait til it comes out on DVD or HULU or something.
    Isn’t that part of dating – finding out about the other person? Doesn’t mean you will be correct, but you appear to give people more than a chance. You appear to give Mr. Wrong chances time and again – or even Mr. Nice guy who you know won’t be a long-term guy.
    Just be sure to check their air conditioners

    • Simone Grant says:

      I have been trying HARD to be more trusting and to really give guys a chance. I am just being honest that there is a broken little piece of me that holds back. That withholds. Waiting for the other shoe to drop.

  6. SecretSquirrel says:

    Can you be both? I love trusting everyone and throwing myself into relationships 1000% but I am jaded and I know that it will ALWAYS come back to bite me in the @ss regardless of what I do. It’s just my personality.

    • Simone Grant says:

      LOL, I believe people can be or act however feels natural for them. I have always envied, to a certain extent, people who can throw themselves 100% into relationships.

  7. Catherine says:

    I think I’m just too trusting. Without any reason to be – everyone has proved they don’t deserve it. But I keep doing the same thing. I think I should be a little more closed up, to be honest.

  8. Ann says:

    My personality is inherently credulous…since I’m aware of that, I do what I can to protect myself from being taken in by guarding my real personality from people. It may be bad, but I make it awfully hard for most people to get to know me; there have just been too many incidents where I’ve been taken advantage of. The one positive thing is that there are some people who I meet, and I just “know” instinctively that they’re someone I want around. I’m not always right, but it’s been a pretty good indicator for me. I’ve met almost all of my closest friends (and several of my previous boyfriends, who were worthwhile, but just not right) that way. I am working on being more trusting without being gullible, though, so I understand what a process it is to work through trust problems.

  9. Kimberly says:

    yes, I have trust issues. I got burned so bad I didn’t date for a year. Then this guy shows up and won’t go away. He kept trying and trying so I finally started dating him. He was the best guy I’d ever dated. He did everything right. He obviously cared for me very deeply. He talked about our future together. Then, 3 months later he disappeared. Gee, I wonder why I don’t trust…

  10. First off, LOVE Dexter. I’m on season 4 DVDs as we speak. :)

    As for trust, I think I’m a pretty trusting person. I generally take someone at their word unless my gut tells me otherwise (which happens now and again). With that said, when I threw myself into the world of online dating almost a year and a half ago, I found myself faced with a lot of men with less-than-noble agendas. Up until last spring, I had never been led on with the suggestion of emotional interest only to be dumped after having sex. Hard to believe that it took 38 years to have that happen! The result? I’m leary. Admittedly, my guy told me that this guy was not to be trusted, but I wanted to give it a shot.

    In your case, what’s the chicken and what’s the egg? Burnt by others or general issues of feeling like you will inevitably be burnt? Or both?