Benefit of the Doubt

I was thinking tonight (I know, not me right?) that over the past 5 years, each year has had sort of a theme for me. Last year was focusing on getting a job and really improving myself and starting to embrace my disability for the first time. The years before that were largely spent doing some soul searching and ridding myself of some unnecessary baggage.

This year I feel like is manifesting itself into the year that I start to really work on having faith in men and giving them the benefit of the doubt. I don’t want to sound like I’m some extreme man-hater here, but I will say that through the hurt, through the lying, the manipulating and the deception, I’ve had a hell of a time trusting and wanting to have faith in the opposite sex. But I made a promise to myself after the last one, that I wasn’t going to let it pierce my trust bubble. I’d done that too many times before and I didn’t want to do it again.

I also realized, with the help of some great male influences in my life, that I have a bit of a double standard for men sometimes. I hate the objectification of women on TV and in magazines, but I’ll drool over the Calvin Klein ad in the Super Bowl featuring an extremely buff man in his underwear. I hate it when certain guys get hurt by someone they were in love with and then the way they deal with that is by sleeping around and treating other women (who did nothing to them) like crap. Yet I’ll assume a new guy is going to screw me over just the way a previous one(s) did.

I usually think that women are the only ones who feel any pressure when it comes to society and the media and other “good looking” women. But as I drove by a group of bulked up, good looking frat guys from the nearby college this weekend, I realized that there has to be guys out there feeling some of that same pressure. Pressure to look like the Calvin Klein ad guy. Pressure to be a bread winner because that’s what society tells them they’re supposed to do still. Pressure to be “manly” which includes not being emotional or showing your emotions in any way shape or form. Pressure to be this way or that…just like women feel.

It’s easy to get caught up in the “there are no good guys out there” but even if that were true, how is that attitude helping any of us anyway? How is it helping me? If I believe that, then maybe that’s exactly what I’ll find in life. The truth is though, I have some really good guys in my life already. I have ones that are thoughtful, ones that are caring, ones that will come over at 9 o clock at night and replace my car battery for me or my broken ceiling fan. Ones that help me with my disability however they can. Ones that are already showing me that guys deserve the benefit of the doubt. Even my dad…my dad is one of the greatest men I know.

Yes I’ve been hurt. Yes I’ve had some rough patches with guys. Yes I haven’t always picked the best guys to date. We all have. Are there bad guys out there? Of course there are. But there are bad girls too. I wouldn’t want guys to assume all females are bad just because they’d been hurt by a few, so I don’t want to do the same. And with examples of great men all around me, how can I do anything but give them the benefit of the doubt? More than that even, how can I not have faith in them? Faith that there are good ones out there.

So there you go 2013. There’s your theme.


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