How Did These Apples Get Into My Cart? Dating and Healthy Boundaries

3 years ago


Keep your apples out of my cart, I’m allergic.

Actually, I’m deathly allergic to other people’s bullshit, lies, and psychologically manipulative behaviors. I have no desire to pay for these “apples” nor do I want to carry them home with me.

How about you? As you stroll through the marketplace of dating, how many times has someone thrown their “apples” in your cart when you weren’t really paying attention?  Apples can come in many varieties and here are some common ones encountered in the dating world:

Materialistic- He can’t drive or pick you up, he has car problems. You pick up the tab because there was some problem with his direct deposit. He doesn’t offer to drive to your side of town; you meet him in the middle. Because you want to see him and you don’t want to be alone, you blindly fall into this trap.

Commitment - These range from not being able to commit to a set day/time for a date to telling you flat out that he is afraid of being hurt or rejected. Please note: while real and authentic vulnerability is powerful and beautiful, many men know that telling a woman up front and in a dramatic way that he is “afraid” will spark her nurturing side while lowering her expectations of him to commit to her.   He wins. It usually takes a man awhile to gradually open up about his insecurities. If he spills it all on the first date, it’s really just a manipulation.

Another classic in this department is when he never knows what his is doing until the minute he wants to see you, or he really wants to see you AND go watch the game with his buddies. He believes he can “make it all work.”  Remember, you are not something to “make work.”  Your time is valuable, do not settle for scraps.

Possessive- When you catch yourself having to explain or answer for your routine schedule, you can be sure you are with a possessive (aka insecure) man. When you feel you can’t tell him that you went to lunch with co-workers because he’s afraid you might be stepping out, go ahead and step out (quickly!). He may blame his insecurity on his fear of being hurt, but unless you broke his heart the first time, you are not required to fix it.  If calls you his girlfriend or tells you he loves you before you even meet, he is trying to put some apples in your cart. Put them right back into his.

Victim- How do you feel after spending time with this person? Do you feel drained? Are you actually worried about him and all that he has going on in his sad life? The love of his life broke up with him, he can’t get a job (and doesn’t seem to be trying too hard), and he just can’t get a break in life. If his motto is “I can’t” then he “can’t” have you either.  

“Come along Dorothy, you don’t want any of those apples…..”

Once you realize that you have some unwanted apples in your cart, why do you knowingly keep them? Please do not convince yourself that one day they will turn into apple pie. They will not.  They have those little green worms in them! Now is a great time to look at yourself and your apples (yeah, you got some too honey…). For me, it really took having a good look at my boundary issues. I had horrible boundary role models growing up and picking up other people’s apples was a family tradition. I learned how to return the apples I had been carrying around and I am now vigilant about what goes in my cart. Remember in my last blog, I talked about Future Predictive Moments and how people tell you who they are in the first conversations with you. Trust yourself to see the red flags, to confidently decline to continue the relationship on any level and walk proudly to your future.  It is truly much better to protect the sanctuary of your mind than to be in a tediously codependent relationship. You got this. Time for apple chucking.


SG Jen


This is an article written by a member of the SheKnows Community. The SheKnows editorial team has not edited, vetted or endorsed the content of this post. Want to join our amazing community and share your own story? Sign up here.