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As I’ve ventured back into single life, I’ve really been enjoying getting to know a lot of different people, guys and girls alike. The beautiful differences between every human being on the planet make the entire social experience so fascinating for me. Everybody has a story. Everybody has a past. Everybody has a completely unique makeup that has made them who they now are. I love that.

To trust others is natural. We are born with no reason to distrust others.

When it comes to dating, this truth is more evident than anywhere else, and I can always count on one thing. No two women are alike. There is, however, one similarity that I have seen with a lot of the girls that I have been out on dates with.

They don’t trust men. And, because of that, they also don’t trust me. At first, anyway.

Guys might be the same way. I wouldn’t know; I’ve never dated one. And for the sake of this discussion, lets zoom back out from dating and just talk about people.

To trust or not to trust, that is the question. It seems to me that a huge chunk of the world population chooses to distrust others until that trust is earned.

We go on a date, we distrust the person we’re meeting. We think they just want “a piece”, that they are just like “every other guy (or girl)” and that they are going to be too clingy, too quick to advance, and too whatever.

We go shopping for a car, we distrust any salesperson who approaches us until we’re positive they’re not out to screw us over.

The name of a very long lost or distant friend pops up on our caller IDs, we distrust that their reasons for calling are pure or without ulterior motives.

We see another person smiling at our children, we distrust their genuine kindness and uncomfortably and repeatedly scan them over with our pervert-radar (pervdar?).

I could go on. For eons, really. But I don’t need to. You and I both can probably agree that the majority of people in this society distrust others until that trust is earned. It seems like the most natural thing to do. After all, why trust another human being prematurely? Isn’t that how one ends up screwed over, chewed up, and spit out? Doesn’t trusting others before that trust is earned keep us all a little more protected and a little more safe? Doesn’t it keep us all from getting hurt as often as life naturally wants to hurt us?

As we age, we learn both to trust, and to distrust based on our experiences.

Well, maybe sometimes. But, taking the four examples above…

When we go on a date and distrust the person we’re with, that same distrust comes with premature judgment of character and motive. That in turn makes us scrutinize every statement, every movement, and every bit of every moment during the evening. That in turn puts our date on edge, on higher alert, or turns them off completely. In the end, I bet a lot of people slip through all of our dating fingers that might have worked out had we all kept our judgments tucked away for the evening. It’s a no-win situation.

When we go shopping for a car and we distrust the salesperson, as the human being that he is, the salesperson is also going to put on a little armor to counteract ours. The thicker your armor is, the thicker his becomes. The more demanding you become, generally the less he’s willing to do for you. The more convinced you are that he’s out to screw you, the higher the likelihood that he will. In the end, (and this is a real phenomenon), the people who have their guards up the most are the ones who pay the highest prices, almost every single time. It’s a no-win situation.

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Dan Pearce is an American-born author, app developer, photographer, and artist. This blog, Single Dad Laughing, is what he’s most known for, with more than 2 million daily subscribers as of 2017. Pearce writes mostly humorous and introspective works, as well as his musings which span from fatherhood, to dating, to life, to the people and dynamics of society. Single Dad Laughing is much more than a blog. It’s an incredible community of people just being real and awesome together!