Stop Calling Me Guarded: I Don't Trust You Because You Made Me This Way

by Lauren Martin

It’s not the C-word that hurts; it’s the G-word.

The hardest part about being a woman isn’t the unequal pay or demeaning catcalls. It's not the sexist remarks or the inability to see our point of view. (Although all of these really, really suck.)

It's the double f*cking standards. It's the inability to understand the reason we are the way we are. It's the hypocrisy behind men and the names they call us. It's the contradictions and the fact that we live in a world in which men give us a label and then scorn us for it.

There are a million demeaning words men have come up with to describe women. There are none more infuriating, however, than calling a woman guarded because you treated her like sh*t, and now you don’t like how she’s acting. It’s like condemning an animal for being scared of humans after they spent years beating it.

If you don’t want a woman to be guarded, don’t give her anything to be guarded about. It’s as simple as that.

We evolve in order to protect ourselves, and if the woman you’re with is guarded, maybe you should take a cold, hard look at why she’s become that way, not how it’s affecting your chances of sleeping with her.

Women are not born distrusting and cold. Every girl experiences that crushing, devastating moment when she realizes men lie, and sometimes she can be very, very wrong about people.

Next to losing her virginity, losing her naivety is an important moment in every woman’s life. We all remember the first man who took it, and will forever be changed by how it happened. Just like sex becomes something on the menu, so do paranoia and distrust. It’s a slippery slope, and with every broken heart comes thicker walls around it.

It’s weird because men think they can just so casually pick us up and drop us without reaping any consequences, like we’re these elastic toys that will just form back to how we were before they tried to rip us apart.

I’m not guarded, I just learn from my mistakes.

Since when did learning from past experiences and acting accordingly become such a negative attribute? Don’t we teach our kids to learn from their mistakes? Aren’t we supposed to grow and evolve from past experiences?

If a woman tells you she doesn't eat peanut butter because the last time she did, her throat closed up, you wouldn't reprimand her for staying away from peanuts, would you?

The only reason a woman is guarded is that some man did her wrong and she had no other option than to learn that there's no understanding, comprehending or explaining the opposite sex... you just have to protect yourself.

I’m not closed off, I’m just protecting myself.

If we go in with no armor, we get stabbed. If we go in with armor, we’re too bulky and cold to let anyone in.

Which is worse: experiencing something only to risk getting hurt again or keeping yourself so guarded you never feel anything? It's the basic human dilemma, and it seems to fall down the hardest on women.

I’m not emotionally unavailable, I just don’t want to get hurt.

Would you touch a hot stove after you just burned your hand? Doesn't your brain teach you that after the first bit of pain, you shouldn’t touch certain things?

It’s an involuntary signal our brain tells our reflexes and it applies to matters of the heart just as well. The pain of your last bad relationship, your last betrayal, keeps you from reaching out so naively to the next burning flame.

I’m not being distant, I’m just independent.

Just because I’m not going to jump at the chance to spend every second with you doesn’t mean I’m distant. When you want to hang out with me, you expect me to always be available. Yet when I want to hang out with you, I’m needy and clingy. Why is it always your way or the crazy train?

It doesn’t seem fair that women should be labeled as "reserved" and "quiet" just because the last time they opened up to someone, they felt like a fool. And it’s definitely not fair that when we decide to open up and finally give ourselves to you, we're scorned for being so naïve and trusting.

I’m not hiding things from you, I just don’t need to tell you everything.

When I'm closed off, I'm guarded. When I open up, I'm exposed. Which is worse? It's impossible to be a woman because it's impossible to ever be right. OK, that's a generalization, but you know what I'm getting at.

If women hide things, they're shady. If they don't hide things, they're easy. It's always a double standard, and if you think it's rough dealing with a guarded woman, imagine being one.