I honestly don't have a lot of experience with dating. I've always valued quality over quantity, and I'm rather picky about the men I choose to be with. I've only allowed a select few into my little world, and at the age of 26, I can really only say that I've had one really defining relationship. Sure, I've dated, but I would find something wrong with the guy after the 2nd or 3rd date, and it would end right then and there. My last relationship lasted 3 years. A ton of emotion was invested (not to mention time), and in the end, we were engaged. I broke that off not long after the engagement began due to emotional and verbal abuse that would surely have turned physical at some point. I believe it was just a matter of time.
My problem is that I think I am highly insecure when it comes to dating, and I find myself worrying about things that probably would never happen -- but I can't help it. I think some of it is based on the abusive relationship I was in (where I was told I wasn't good enough, didn't compare well to other women -- and was even told that if I didn't change my looks, my personality, etc, I would be cheated on because it would be my fault for not being exactly what my boyfriend desired at the time. I think those words cut deep -- and they definitely did something to my self-image and esteem.)
Currently, the guy I am with has a history of being 'a player'. I was told so by a mutual friend of ours, and I've even heard stories from my guy himself about how he once dated 5 women at a time without any of them finding out about it. He ended his story with comments about what a jerk he was to do that to them -- and there have been other comments from him about his past behavior that tells me he's changed and values a monogamous relationship over the way he's conducted himself in the past.
My concern is this: We are all capable of recognizing a need for change, and we *do* change throughout our lives. Everyone has a wild streak at some point, and yet we find ways and reasons to calm down as we get older and find ourselves with different priorities. He and I have agreed to be exclusive, but can a leopard really change his spots? I'm someone who invests very heavily in relationships -- I give it my best -- 110%. I'm also very genuine. I would never do anything to jeopardize what I have with this guy -- but would he do the same for me? He's had a ton of dating experience, and old flames come up on occassion in our conversations -- and he'll always say that they still keep in touch via email or whatever, but what about the people he's currently around? He bartends a few nights a week, and before we started dating, he made a comment about one of the waitresses who makes a ton of tips because she just stands there and looks pretty. He said "And she's good at it, too!" So, case in point, he's attracted to this waitress. The other night he stayed at work and got wasted (after I turned down an invitation to hang out with him at his house when he got off work at 12:30am), and I can't help but think that his drunkeness may have led him to make advances on this girl. Granted, for all I know, she's married, has a boyfriend she's very committed to, etc, but what if he did? If he could snake around on women in his past, then what makes *me* so special that he wouldn't do it to *me*?
I'm probably making myself upset for nothing, but I guess the bottom line is that we haven't built that trust. Or am I just self-imposing fears for no reason whatsoever? Am I overreacting? Am I wrong?
He likes to tell stories about girls from his past or wild things he did in college, and I don't know why he'd share that stuff with me. I'm not one of his guy friends, and I don't want to hear every detail about his past with these women, either. But I also know that he must really like me or he wouldn't call so often wanting to spend time with me and be with me. I have to admit that I try to be cautious and protect myself -- considering my past relationship. I think I'd be a fool to just blindly date him and be completely open emotionally, etc. I don't want to repeat past mistakes, and I think it's wise to look out for myself and not be naive as I was before.
Note: the reason I turned down his invitation Sat. night deals with the fact that he recently moved to a very unsafe part of town, and I've yet to become comfortable with going over there at night and jeopardizing my car, etc, in a high-crime area. That's a whole other issue to tackle with him, but for now, I'm side-stepping it.