Insecurity, weakness and manipulation: run away quickly, ladies!

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My dad and three brothers – good examples of great men who are strong and secure!

I haven’t always seen my worth. I may have said it, but I didn’t believe it. We all say we are worthy of love and friendship and an amazing career and great life, but we don’t always believe it. When you realize that you are worthy of all those things, everything changes, especially how you see men.

Over the years I’ve put up with a lot. I’ve dated an alcoholic, cheaters, jerks, liars and more. And I put up with it. No one held a gun to my head and said I had to be with men like that, I willingly participated. While not every guy I’ve dated has been terrible, many of them have been. I put up with it because I didn’t realize that I was worthy of more.

But aside from the glaringly obvious reasons to stay away from certain guys (addiction problems, abuse, etc.), there are three, more subtle, qualities that I believe should send all women running. If you don’t truly understand your worth, you’ll stick around. And trust me, it will be disastrous. It will not end well.

I’ve dealt with only a few guys since I returned from a year in Uganda, but I have been proud of myself for not allowing myself to deal with any of the following types of guys, especially those who embody all three:

An insecure guy

It’s possible to have insecure moments without being flat out insecure. But a full-blown insecure guy is something you don’t want to deal with. This can be tough because often the hottest guys are the most insecure. Their entire lives they’ve been judged by their appearance, and even though it’s because their appearance is good, it makes them question people’s motives.

Whatever he looks like, an insecure guy won’t trust you. Wanting a healthy dose of affirmation is understandable, but a guy who constantly asks if everything is OK, if he did something wrong, and if he constantly apologizes when an apology isn’t necessary, you might be dealing with someone who is insecure. He’s afraid he’ll mess up, he’s afraid he’ll lose you, he’s afraid you are interested in someone else. It’s exhausting to date someone who is constantly insecure.

A weak guy

A guy who is weak cannot handle stress. He’ll often turn to alcohol, drugs or other unhealthy things in order to deal with life’s tough moments. Granted, tough times will come, and people make mistakes in dealing with hurt. It happens. But a guy who is weak will take any little argument or bad day and turn it into something much bigger than it is. It’s almost like he’s a drama queen.

You don’t want a man who is weak. A man who can never deal with his feelings is pretty depressing to be around. Of course your job is to support your man when he has moments of weakness, but if he is constantly weak and not handling it like an adult, you’ll feel like you’re dating a child.

A manipulative guy

Chances are, if he’s insecure and weak, he’ll probably be manipulative. These guys are the worst, and this is probably my biggest pet peeve. A weak woman will fall for a manipulative guy. She’ll take the manipulative things he says and take them to heart. She’ll believe the things he says. She’ll feel bad. She’ll get herself into a terrible and sad situation.

Manipulative guys love to make you feel bad. They thrive off of telling you lies that make you believe you have hurt them in some way. In doing that, they have complete control over you. If you aren’t ready, you’ll fall for it. If you don’t see your worth, you’ll stand for it. And that breaks my heart.

Just a heads up, it’s actually quite entertaining to call out a guy who is trying to manipulate you. Once they realize their tactics won’t work on you, they’ll stay away. And you’re much better for it. Just like a strong man wants a strong woman, a weak man wants a weak woman.

At my age, the first signs of insecurity, weakness and manipulation send me running, and I wish more women would do the same. Sure this means I go on fewer dates. It might prolong my singleness, but I’d rather be single than dating a guy who is any of the above types.

Do you know your worth? If you do, you’ll realize that you deserve someone who is secure and strong, and someone who won’t try to control you. Those aren’t unrealistic qualities to desire in a man.

Not good enough for some, but good enough for One…

The maker of this beautiful Ugandan sunset loves me despite my many flaws.
The maker of this beautiful Ugandan sunset loves me despite my many flaws.

“Does he have a girlfriend now?”

My stomach did a flip-flop as I looked at the picture my friend sent me on Facebook. It was a picture of the guy who had a tight grip on my heart for more than two years… and his girlfriend. The guy who didn’t even want a girlfriend was looking as happy as ever in a selfie with a beautiful, petite girl by his side.

I once again realized what I knew all along: it wasn’t that he didn’t want a girlfriend; it was that he didn’t want me as a girlfriend.

It can be a tough pill to swallow. The thought that someone can be so attracted to you, enjoy your company so much, and can trust you with anything, but yet not love you in a romantic way, is quite a mystery.

I’ll never understand it. My friends will never understand why he and I had such chemistry and yet he didn’t want to be with me. It boils down to his selfishness and being shallow, and me not being the “ideal” woman for him to be seen with. He has admitted this.

I accepted the truth more than a year ago, but that doesn’t make it hurt any less. And until August, I thought I had at least escaped the hurtful situation with a lifelong friend (silly me). Then some information was presented to me by a mutual friend, and I learned that even our friendship was a lie.

It’s all a reminder that people will hurt us. Not to say that you shouldn’t ever trust anyone, but you should never trust someone more than you trust God. You should never put all of your heart and soul into a person, only God.

For years I’ve allowed this guy to hurt me, to make me feel terrible about myself and to remind me that I’m not the poster child of the perfect-looking girlfriend. But guess what? I’m also not the poster child for the superstar Christian. I’m damaged, imperfect, flawed, defective… every word you can possibly think of that makes me not worthy of God’s love. He loves me anyway.

So while this guy from my past has made it clear that I’m not good enough to be his girlfriend, God has made it clear that I am a child of His and that He will always love me, no matter what. Only God’s love is perfect, and that’s all the love I’ll ever need.

“…nothing will ever separate us from the love of God…” Romans 8:39