A lot of us have been there: You were cheated on and you know you have to get back on the dating horse. (What’s a dating horse? Nevermind.) You’re super-suspicious of everything your new partner is doing, and you don’t know if you’ll ever trust someone again. Just go ahead and send this list to the next guy you date. He’ll get it.
1. She’s been heartbroken, and she doesn’t trust easily. Look, it’s not your fault that her last guy was an asswipe, but you’re going to have to work a little harder and follow through on whatever you say with actions, so she knows she can really trust you. Just give her some time, once she trusts you and you’re consistent with what you do and say, you’re golden.
2. She sees you texting under the table — and don’t even think about saying it’s “no one.” If your new girl was burned in the past, she never wants to feel that pain again. And chances are she’s going to be looking for warning signs up front. So be honest with her and you’ll earn her trust. See point number one.
3. She doesn’t want to take it fast, but she does want to know you’re serious about the relationship. She can’t help it, she’s a bit insecure because of what the last guy did to her, but can you blame her? Bottom line: If you’re not that into her or not “ready to be with someone right now,” don’t lead her on.
4. She’s probably going to quiz you about your guy’s night out. Just like she’s going to ask you who you’re texting occasionally. But this is a fair and totally normal question to ask if you’re going to be in a relationship with her — unless you’re up to something shady, in which case she’ll dump you like that *snaps fingers*.
5. Taking pictures with random chicks or bottle girls and posting them on social media will only cause her pain. You know how people’s minds work: Before you can even explain what happened, she’ll think you’re dating one of them and have cheated on her 11 times. That’s just where her mind goes until you earn her trust.
6. She’s going to want to meet your friends, so they know she exists. Guys who don’t introduce girls to their friends are up to something. Period.
7. Her cheat radar is off the charts. Once a girl has been cheated on, she can see a red flag a mile a way. Do something shady and she won’t hesitate to call you out, because girlfriend isn’t going through another heartbreak.
8. She might over-share details of her last relationship, hoping desperately that history doesn’t repeat itself. It’s a defense mechanism: she’d rather you know what she went through, so you don’t do the same thing to her (just in case you’re that kind of guy).
9. If you’ve ever cheated on a girlfriend, she’s going to hard pass on dating you. Even if it’s not true, she’s heard the phrase “once a cheater, always a cheater” and she’s not taking any chances.
10. She has very complicated feelings about her ex. Yes, he was the worst person alive, but also she misses him sometimes. Probably just don’t talk about him.
11. She has borderline intimate relationships with her best girlfriends. They were there for her when she hated men, and they are inseparable. She’s never going to ditch them for you. And also you should befriend them — they’re probably way cool anyway.
12. She will never, ever, ever cheat on you. She knows how painful it is, and would never inflict that on another person.