There’s at least one date you will go on, where the other person says, directly or through their actions, that you “shouldn’t trust them” or that they are “a kind of an asshole.” If you’re a fan of the golden rule (treat others the way you want to be treated) you might be inclined to brush the comment off instead of treating it as a warning.
But trust me (and every agony aunt under the sun) you’ll be better off if you don’t.
Here’s what will happen.
1. You’ll know whether you can put up with that or not
You don’t mind dating a self-described “asshole” that you “cannot trust”? Rock on, it’s a match. If you do mind, however…
2. You won’t waste your time
Or their time. Hey, they’re looking for someone too; it’s good info if you’re not that person.
3. You won’t second guess every interaction
Are they changing because of me? Am I special? Or are they just trying to get into my pants/flat/wallet? You won’t be wondering, because you’ll be busy dating a person whose actions match their words.
4. You won’t worry about cheating
When they said they weren’t seeing anybody, was that a lie or just a consequence of there not being other interested parties? (That one goes for polyamorous people as well as the monogamous ones. Honest partners communicate.)
5. You won’t worry about your health
See the above.
6. You won’t worry about your finances
“Well she said not to trust her but surely she only asked for my credit card because there is a problem at her bank. She’ll pay me back when things get sorted. Right?”
7. You won’t waste time trying to “fix” them
Most people deal with hurt or trauma at some point in their lives. When we do, we understand we have to find a way to cope by ourselves; we cannot afford to wait for a special person to come along and fix us. You have to ask yourself why is it that someone else’s recovery has to rely on your presence (unless, of course, you’re a carer. Or a sober companion).
8. You won’t waste time trying to sell your friends on the idea of them
I’m not saying people can’t surprise you… but if someone feels like they have to issue a warning to you before you start dating is probably not someone who will put in a whole lot of effort to get along with your friends. In fact…
9. You won’t waste time trying to sell YOURSELF on the idea of them
“I’m an asshole” translates to “Lower your expectations of me immediately.” That’s pretty big when you’re supposedly on a first date (i.e. putting your best foot forward). I’m not a medium, but if you go down that path, I see you drawing up pros and cons lists somewhere in your immediate future.
10. You won’t have to juggle your plans around their schedule
Yes, they’re sending you texts late at night, changing plans last minute, and seem not to care about your timetable. Hey, they told you that they cannot be trusted, right?
11. You won’t second guess why they haven’t introduced you to their friends yet
Are they a recluse? Does everyone they know hate them? Are they already married? Or is it that they just can’t be bothered? Do you seriously need to be asking yourself these questions?
12. You won’t have to make excuses for them
Being stood up is rarely acceptable, even from close friends.
13. You won’t have to convince them to change their minds about you
When you are both on the same page, there is no negotiating or trying to sell someone on the idea of being something that you are not. There’s no reading tea leaves, no attempts to make them feel affection for you or romancing you when all they want is no-strings-attached-sex-or-admiration. There’s no imbalance: they listen to you and you listen to them, they show affection as you do, they put in an effort, they reciprocate.
Dating them is not a chore.
You don’t feel like you’re twisting their arm to get them to go out with you. You went out and found someone who doesn’t come with a giant disclaimer.
And at the end of the day, the person warning you should be happy, too.
After all, you listened.