Why You Keep Attracting The Wrong Guys

Do you keep attracting the wrong type of men?

Your relationship compass may need a calibration

Is your relationship compass pointing you in the wrong direction? Here's how you can correct it.

Last week I wrote an article for YourTango about 8 Signs You Aren’t Ready for a Relationship. If you haven’t read it yet, check it out. I’m going to spend the next week or two delving into each of these more deeply, one by one, and discussing what you can do to make sure that you are ready for a relationship when your Mr. Right comes along.

Is Your Great Guy Compass Accurate?

Is your relationship compass off?  Do you find yourself attracting the wrong type of guy over and over again?  If this sounds familiar, then your relationship compass might be in need of a calibration.

Just as a compass points North due to the internal magnet that aligns itself to the natural magnetic field of the earth, your relationship compass works off of magnetic attraction – and I know you know what I mean here. You are just magnetically drawn to him – the way he looks at you, the way he talks, the way he moves. You were drawn to him the first time you saw him, and your heart started beating faster the first time he talked to you. We’ve all been there.

Of course, the magnetic attraction part isn’t the problem – in fact it’s wonderful! The problem is when we find that we’re consistently magnetically attracted to a guy that’s not right for us; he could be emotionally unavailable, have alcohol or drug addictions, or an explosive temper. You may find yourself, like many women, drawn to the bad boy, always thinking that you’re going to be the one to tame his wild ways. But after a string of these, you’re starting to realize that bad boys might actually be bad for you.

So what is it that causes you to be drawn to these specific types of men? Well, it really comes down to the early programming of your delicate childhood brain (doesn’t it always?) Everything you know about relationships and love, and what they’re supposed to look like and feel like, you learned in childhood from your parents (or whoever your primary caregivers were.)

The good news? While it’s very difficult, if not impossible, to change your internal programming, it is possible to become aware of this programming, and recognize when it’s leading you to make bad choices. Once you understand why you’re making the choices that you’re making, you can learn to be aware of these motivators, and you can then use that awareness to change the way you make choices in the future.

So let’s get started.

Know What You Don’t Want

Yes, it’s time for lists.  Get out your pen and paper or open up a blank Word doc. List out all of your past partners that you were in a serious relationship with (don’t bother including guys that you only went out with for a short time.)

Underneath each name, write out who broke off the relationship, and why. Then list out the qualities that you disliked about your ex, in order of priority, starting with the worst. Was he controlling and/or manipulative? Emotionally unavailable? Unfaithful? Did he have an explosive temper? Was he moody? Get them all down on paper.

If you find that as you’re making your lists, you still have some feelings of hurt and anger over these past relationships, which is very common, take some time to really examine those feelings. Feel them. Let yourself cry.

Forgive Him

Then, once you’re done feeling, crying, and grieving, dig deep and find it in you to genuinely forgive each one. For each, try to understand what may have made him the way he was, and realize that he was broken also. Then, in a forgiving and loving way, release those feelings so that you can truly move on. Holding on to these past hurts only makes them continue to hurt – and they’re only hurting you. If you release the negative feelings, you will free yourself to completely heal, which needs to be done before you can be truly healthy in a new relationship.

Understand Yourself

Take a look at your lists and see which of the bad qualities that you listed are the most common. Typically you will see some that pop up in many, if not all, of your relationships.  Maybe all of the guys in your past were heavy drinkers or wound up cheating on you. Make a note of these by circling them, putting a check mark next to them, or using a highlighter (my personal preference.) These are your negative attractors, and are what we will be examining next.

Now think about your childhood. Did one or both of your parents have these traits that you highlighted? Did your father drink a lot or cheat on your mother? Or maybe your parents were very heavy-handed or controlling when it came to alcohol or who you could date, and now you’re rebelling. As children we all wanted to be loved by our parents, and our minds firmly believe our parents loved each other, so how we were treated as children by our parents and how they loved and treated each other become our model for what love is supposed to look like.  And since much of this was absorbed sub-consciously, we often don’t even realize this is what’s been going on.

I remember the epiphany I  experienced when, after coming off of yet another devastating break-up, I suddenly realized that what I had really been looking for - and finding – in each of these failed relationships, was someone similar to my father who I could finally win over to give me the love I had been looking for my whole life.  But I was always seeking it from someone as emotionally unavailable and distant to me as he was.  And getting to the root of that was the beginning of attracting something different into my life, as difficult as it was to get to that point in the first place.

Know What You Do Want

Now make a list of all of the qualities of your perfect partner. Note that we’re not talking about superficial things like “tall, dark and handsome”; we’re looking for things more along the lines of responsible, hard-working, funny, affectionate, etc. It may help to go back to your earlier lists and add all of the good qualities that each of your former long term partners possessed (after all, there must have been some reasons you stayed with them so long.) Add these good qualities to your “perfect guy” list.

Picture It

Now that you have a good picture painted of what you actually want in a guy, and a relationship, try to visualize what it would be like to be in a relationship with this perfect man. Again, you’re not visualizing the physical characteristics – try to keep his physical appearance kind of vague right now. Just picture his values, behaviors and personal traits – how he treats you, how he makes you feel, how you interact with each other, and how you interact as a couple with friends and family. Remember, this is your ideal relationship so go for it – if you want flowers every Friday, go ahead and picture that. If you want steamy passion, don’t hold back. Take some time to picture yourself in as many real-life scenarios as you can think of; the better you can picture it, the more likely it is that you will find it.

Time For Some Self-Reflection

Now for one of the toughest parts, and you need to be completely honest with yourself here – after all, you’re doing this for yourself. Take a look at your negative list – do you see any of these qualities in yourself? If so, make a note of these and take the steps needed to work on them. This is not easy to do, but it’s one of the best things you can do to attract healthy love, in fact it’s critical. Knowing that you’re in a healthy state, physically, mentally, and emotionally will raise your confidence levels and in turn your self-esteem, which will in turn attract confident, healthy men with high self-esteem.

Now compare the list of what you do want in a guy to how you view yourself – do you see each of these qualities in yourself? If not, then once again you know where your areas of improvement lie. We really do attract what we are, so it’s all about being the type of person, with the same values, beliefs, and character traits that you’re looking for in a partner. If you want someone who’s kind, be kind. If you want someone who’s trustworthy, make sure that you’re trustworthy yourself.

Great! I know what I want. Now what?

Congratulations - you now have a detailed vision of what you want in a relationship, and that’s probably more than you’ve ever had before. Typically people spend more time thinking about what kind of television they’re going to buy than what they’re really looking for in a partner, so you’re way ahead of the game!

So the next time you start dating a guy (which will be soon, since you’re radiant, confident, and beautiful – and you know what you want), really try to see if he has any of the negative qualities that you have been drawn to so magnetically in the past. But this time don’t overlook them or make excuses for him.  Even if you’re tempted to.  Because I know firsthand just how easy it is to make someone appear to have more potential than he does, simply because we’re feeling that magnetism again.

I’m not necessarily saying to cut him loose right at the first sign, but really try to be aware of the behavior, and if it looks like what has caused you heartache in the past, make sure that you see it for the red flag that it is. It’s about being very deliberate in your choices, and not allowing yourself to fall in love with the feeling of love; most of the time that feeling is really just your insecurity surfacing, causing you to feel happy that you’ve been chosen. Remember, we’re doing the choosing now.

Know that this will not be easy. Going against your true nature will always be uncomfortable – especially when it’s so subconsciously ingrained. If in doubt, when you meet a guy that you like, but you’re not sure if he could be more of the same, ask yourself right away, does dating this man feel like it could result in a long term, happy, healthy relationship like the one I’ve been visualizing? Then you’ll have your answer.  It’ll get easier with time.

At some point you’ll find the guy that you’re both attracted to and is safe for you. And that’s when you know your compass is working well.

Next post in this series: Do You Need a Man in Your Life to Feel Happy?

About Jane

Comments

  1. Great advice! I did this today & it did bring up a lot of painful memories I didn't realize I still had.

    • Stacey, I'm so glad you did the exercise. Personally this led me to what was one of the most significant breakthroughs I experienced. And yes, it typically brings up many painful memories, which is exactly what we need - this begins the healing, and allows us to change our future.

  2. My dad was also emotionally unavailable, never showing affection or saying I love you and therefore I learned that it was not okay to show your feelings and that is something I am working on. Knowing the reasons why I do what I do helps me to accept it and move on. This is a great article - necessary homework for sure!

    • Lisa – That's great to hear that you're figuring it out and working on it, because that's the first step towards changing things for the better and getting into a relationship that's healthy and loving, and that will work for you. This really was the pivotal point for me in my dating life, and it was what allowed me to attract (and be attracted to) the kind of guy that I needed to be with and break the seemingly never-ending cycle of dating emotionally unavailable men.

  3. I have done all of these, long time ago.... Four months single at the age of 32 and still waiting for something good to come... I hope its on the way finally because Im so tierd from pointless relationships. I also collect photos of happy loving couples. I put them on a board and look at them often.

    • The waiting - and being patient - and calming our need to know when and how is always the hardest part. Be proud of how far you've come, Mary; it takes many of us a long time to recognize these patterns and change the way we repeat these over and over again.

  4. Hello Jane

    This is a great article and I took time to do the exercise today. Because I just met this guy and he is beginning to give me some reasons for concern and dnt knw what to do about it. Am I attracting another wrong guy again? Let me take u through my findings using ur headings

    KNOW WHAT YOU DON'T WANT
    I did this exercise using my 3 past real relationships. I felt hurt when I made a list of that of my recent ex. His Lies, thinking of them still hurt.
    FORGIVE HIM
    Am big on forgiveness, and I believe ve forgiven my exes..infact m more concerned about their emotional issues than about the hurt they caused me. I try to be nice to them. my last ex, I forgave him for everytin but when I tink of the lies he told me I feel depressed. I can't understand how u can claim to love someone so much and yet lie to them so much. Am trying to release this feeling. Its not easy
    UNDERSTAND YOURSELF
    2 items were recurrent in all 3 relationships; Low self esteem and being very stubborn. 3 items appeared in 2 relationships; find it difficult to apologize, hot tempered which lead to using unkind words, being too emotional. I marked them as my negative attractors and 3 was prominent in my childhood.
    I believe both of my parents were too stubborn that's why they divorced. Plus both of them had issues with self esteem. I grew up with my dad and he was always worried we dnt love him well enough. He wanted to force his idea of how to love him out of us, only suceeded in pushing us farther away. My mum is worse off, she will never agree she has grown up children (she gave birth at an early age). She tells everyone we re her younger ones, cos she's afraid to accept she is not a girl anymore. And both of them are hottempered and uses really very unkind words when they flare up.
    I have forgiven my parents a long time ago..cos I realised they were once kids too and they grew up not knowing how to handle their childhood issues.
    KNOW WHAT YOU DO WANT
    I want a guy that's honest, loving, caring, responsible, faithful, Funny, Romantic. The highest my oda exes got were a 4/7
    PICTURE IT
    I do this everyday, picture the love life I want and keep hoping I will find it someday.
    SELF REFLECTION
    I believe m all these. I see these good qualities in myself and get irritated why I cant find them in others. My ex use to say I act like m so perfect, I ve no faults..I want to be the man, the one in control..I make him feel like the woman..now this new guy is saying same thing. I never claimed to be perfect, m hot tempered, emotional and stubborn. And I don't want to be the man in my relationship. So why are they saying that?.
    SO NOW WHAT
    Like I said before I just met this guy. Met him at a time when I was considering breaking up wt my bf. I was having a bad relationship and was withdrawing from it gradually. After I officially broke up wt my bf..we both agreed to start dating. I met him online and at that point, that was the kind of relationship I needed. I knew about the whole avoiding rebound relationship thing, I considered that too. He told me his weaknesses are that; he has pride, he gets nervous cos he lacks confidence sometimes and he is too emotional. I should ve ran for the hills afta hearing this but I didn't.
    I have known him for 3 months now. He turned out to be a great guy, he insisted on being exclusive and he was happy to show me off as his gf to his friends, males and females. He will insist I talk to them when he calls, he will insist on talking to mine too and my siblings. Believe me after almost 2 years of dating an ex who won't commit, this came as a welcomed relief. He was the most honest guy ve met in a long time, another relief and though I haven't seen him yet (I intentionally want to take things slow) this guy is hitting a 6/7 on my 'what I want' List. We are far apart but in a couple of months I will be moving over to his state permanently to work there. We make long term plans together and things are pretty good. My pic is always on his display picture on blackberry messenger with romantic captions. When m in a financial jam, he sends me money. When I voiced my concern about his single relationship status on facebook, he changed it to being in a relationship. And when I asked him why his ex gf pictures are still all over his facebook photos, he went ahead and deleted all of them. He remembers evry detail of things I tell him. He's caring and always want me to know where he is and what he is doing. But we ve quarreld several times and when we do, I notice he is hottempered and says unkind words. Plus his pride makes it difficult for him to apologize. He gets easily defensive and will rather attack back. Then the next day, he will call me and start apologizing. Why the drama? If u knew u are finally going to apologize why not save both of us the headaches and do it before things got out of hand. Also he is stubborn, only good thing is when he's calm, he can be persuaded. He is also emotional.
    I really do like this guy, but he's showing my negative attractors already. What do I do? We just quarreled last night and he directly insulted me. I couldn't believe the words he used. Told him he is disrespecting me and he said he can't respect someone that's so temperamental. I was only telling him I didn't like something he did, and he turned it into a full blown quarrel. Am still trying to think if I should forgive him for the words he used on me. Though got angry and broke it off with him. Was that right?

    • What a thorough exercise you undertook here, Ivy! You really are getting in touch with yourself and figuring out who you are, what you're all about and what your potential blind spots are. That's huge, and creates the awareness that helps navigate the beginnings of relationships before you're in too deep and it's so much harder to see your way out. So many things come up for me as I read your comment and the process you undertook here, but what stands out the most are two things.

      First of all, the fact that you're already questioning some of his actions and behavior and are second guessing yourself and your own reactions to him, is a big red flag to me that your instincts are picking up on some things that aren't sitting right for good reason. Anytime something doesn't sit right is a sign to take a closer look and see what is really going on and figure out if this is something that you want more of in your life, or less of. So if the drama he's showing makes it seem like there's some underlying issues going on with him that are causing him to act a certain way, that's something for you to look closer at. Do you want more of less of this in your own life? Remember that this is the honeymoon time; the beginning of getting to know someone is when you and he are putting your best selves forward so if this is his best behavior, are you ok if this is as good as it gets?

      Secondly,the way you describe the way he treats you when things get heated raises another red flag for me. While I completely understand that when people can say all kinds of things they don't mean (and later regret) in the heat of an emotional moment when anger and fear are involved, this is definitely something for you to take into consideration. If you felt that what he said was a deal-breaker, which it sounds like you did if you broke up with him, then you really do need to take a closer look at what you are looking for from him, and whether or not this more of the same is going to work for you.

      It also sounds like you may be attracting someone like this with so much drama and the ability to engage in such highs and lows of this drama with you, because you are subconsciously comfortable with this type of interaction, albeit subconsciously. The fact that you say that both your parents were hot-tempered and used unkind words when emotions were high, and this guy is doing the same this, sounds like you are very comfortable with this and are drawn to this guy in part because he created this similar dynamic.

      Only you know in your heart if you are attracting another wrong guy again, but if you consider all these points, and make a list of the pros and cons of what you are getting out of this relationship, your answer should become clearer to you. :-)

      • Hi Jane
        thanx for taking out time
        to reply. Well, 4 days into the quarrel..he messaged me that m hurting him and i said hurtful words to him which i have to apologize for. Yes i insulted him..but that was coz he had said so much and didnt want to stop..and immediately the words were out, i was sorry and ended the call. I replied him that if he dnt like being insulted he shudnt insult others in the 1st place. Told him unless he accepted he was wrong and apologize, i dont ve anytin to discuss with him.i continued ignoring him. Exactly a week into the quarrel, he called. Said since i wasnt going to call, he had to swallow his pride cos he miss me and needed us to get past this. He Accepted that he was wrong, apologized and promised never to do such again. Said he only got so upset cos i was shouting at him and it made him felt weak. We talked about the issues at length and both agreed to work on it

        you are right though, in a way i love drama and sometimes i create them myself. I like it and i dont think i want to change it, just want to control it. Is that unhealthy? I really liked him and i know he has strong feelings for me too. But if this is the best it gets, m ok with alot of things about him but not this. I worked hard enough to get the self esteem i have now and dnt want a lover who will bash my personality cos he feels weak when confronted. I will give him another chance to show
        he can act differently and better when we argue. Just hoping he does. Thanx once again. I appreciate

  5. I'm so glad we connected. I've been working on myself for so long, I'm growing its hard, thank you. Can you resend the book please I think my phone ate the first one,,,lol

    • Thanks Cindy - I'm glad we connected too! I'm also glad to hear that you're growing - that's what's most important for all of us - and yes it is hard. I'll send the link to the book to your email address - I hope you enjoy it and find it helpful.

  6. HI Jane,
    i read lot of your articles it really helped. there is one question in my mind that why i keep attracting to the wrong guys..i don't know what's really inside me that i fell in love with a guy who is a father of one and had a divorced or annulled in their previous relationship, at first i considered it because maybe it would be fine as long as we had a mutual feelings, i accepted him until such time i want a relationship but he won't like to commit with me..is there something do i need to change or improved with myself?

    • The single best thing you can do for yourself, Angel, is to not take any of what these guys say or do personally. This isn't about you. None of it. If you've been attracting these men who aren't willing or able to commit to a real relationship with you, or who have so much of their own unfinished baggage that they aren't free to be with you and you alone, these are issues that they themselves need to work through - apart from you - and they are no reflection on you and your worth! By separating this form ourselves, you won't get bogged down in second guessing yourself or questioning what you did wrong - practices that only beat you down and take away even more of your self-esteem and self-confidence. What you want to work on is recognizing these men earlier so that you can weed them out faster, before they take away any more of your beautiful you. Remind yourself of all that you have to offer, and all the qualities you possess that make you an irresistible gift to someone who proves himself worthy of you by writing down each and every one of these unique qualities that make you uniquely you. Make a list of these and look at it every day when you first wake up and before you fall asleep at night so that your mind can begin to have a new view on who you really are. You know all this already, my beautiful friend; but it's when we've been programmed to believe it's selfish to think this way that we need daily reminders of the truth of our beautiful selves.

      It's not about changing yourself, Angel; it's about realizing all that you are, all that you have to offer, and all that you have to believe in so that these truths become stronger than the doubts and fears that are only a result of our culture, our programming and the media and the negative self-talk that we find ourselves listening to in the process. When the reality of who you really are become a part of your conscious mind, you will no longer find yourself drawn to someone who is not on your page, who isn't able to see you for who you really are, and who requires you to settle for less that you deserve in order to have him in your life. You will see him for who he is so much faster when you're not looking for someone to complete you, but rather someone who complements the life you're already living!

  7. Thank you for such a great post filled with tangible steps we can use to improve our outlook on both dating and ourselves personally.

  8. wow!! this is helpful and what hurts is we set aside the guys who actualy care about us… i have a male friend who i have been friends with for years he is encouraging and all…and he likes me, and hes been in the dim light…i always tell him about the bad boys in my life and tells me i deserve better…and this friend is like me,happy and all,unlike the bad ones that make me upset and insecure…

    • I'm glad this resonated with you, Tash. You're exactly right; this exact scenario happens all the time - including in my own personal experience in my single days - which is why I always ask "could he be right in front of you"? It's something only we can see, and certainly anyone who isn't motivated by the same unhealthy pull that draws us into these relationships with the "bad boy" can't begin to understand what happens to us. Only when you've been there and experienced that kind of attraction do you understand the irony.

  9. Hello Jane,

    I wasn't able to do the 'list' bit of the exercise above because you specify to ignore the short-term ones. This is because for the last 10 years I've not been in any relationship (not even a short-term one). After I split up with my last boyfriend I decided I wouldn't settle for second best anymore (at that time, I'd only got together in what you'd call a relationship with men who I liked in a brotherly sort of way. I was sick of no passion in relationships. On the other hand, the kind of men I was really attracted to were always emotionally unavailable or not up for a relationship. I would (and still do) meet lots of men I am attracted to, but they're never into me. The ones that are into me aren't all that, to be honest, and I would feel as though I was in an unequal relationship. But men I see as being my equal in terms of attractiveness, etc, appear not to think the same. I don't get it - I have lots going for me. I think these men are the pattern I need to look at - yet you say don't count them!

    • If these are the relationships you've had, Liz, than by all means count them! We all come here from different places and with different stories and the point of this exercise is to see what patterns emerge for you out of the more significant relationships you've had in your life. So count these ones and do the exercise with them and see what comes up for you. It's never about a right or wrong answer or doing this the one "right" way; it's about asking yourself the questions that give you a new perspective and a new way of looking at yourself and your relationships and the men in your life to see what's underneath our usual answers. It's there that we find more to our story if we're open - and willing - to see it, my beautiful friend. Start wherever you are and with whatever you have to go by!

  10. Dear Jane,
    Maybe the things that I'm writing here aren't related to the subject or maybe my feelings are silly but I need your help. about 4 years ago, I met a guy in our university who was such a good guy and I loved his personality and appearance. he showed that he cared about me and I tried to do the same. we sometimes talked together but just about the things that were related to our classes and lessons and he never told me about his feelings. we graduated and I almost forgot him. but about 1 year ago, we both entered the same university again and I understood that I still love him. when we talked, He was happy and he remembered everything about me. I gave my number to him to text me about something related to our job. we sometimes send messages together but he never tell me anything about his feeling and I think he cares about me because of the things that he does to me. my friends tell me that he thinks he's not worthy of me. I don't know what to do.should I talk to him about my feelings? or should I forget him?

    • Take your time, Annabell. In time, you'll know where he stands and how he feels about you. There's never any rush to the real kind of love that you're looking for. Enjoy getting to know him better and letting him get to know you better and he'll see in time that you're as interested in him as he is in you, if that's what he's thinking. You can always talk to him about your feelings, of course, but you'll know by his actions and by how he treats you in time.

      In the meantime, live live live your own life. I can't say that enough! If you keep the focus on you, and keep doing those things you enjoy doing and spending time creating your own beautiful life full of friends and experiences that love and support the beautiful woman you are, what he does or doesn't do won't matter as much. Trust yourself here, listen to your gut instinct; listen to your heart and your head, and enjoy getting to know someone like this. Your feelings are never silly, Annabell, they're always valid because they're your feelings!

      • Dear Jane,
        Thanks for your reply. One of the sentences that you wrote me was almost as same as the words he told me when we were talking about our New Year wishes. He said that in time, I will get everything I want. Hearing this from both of you surprised me. Now I almost know what to do. I'll let it go and, as you said, enjoy my life. I appreciate your help. By the way, can I have a copy of the book as Cindy and Aileen?

        • I'm glad this is resonating with you, Annabell. Trust yourself, trust your gut instincts, you know what you need here. And if you subscribe to my newsletter at the top righthand side of this page, you'll automatically be provided with a link that you can click on to download a copy of my book. Start by focusing on you, Annabell, and you'll find that so many other things start to become that much clearer to you. When we focus on one thing at a time, it makes this journey that much easier and keeps everything more in balance. One step at a time! :)

  11. Hi Jane !

    I like this article. As I am single , i did THE questions. I only have 2 ex boyfriends.
    It was very helpful & gave me a better view on what I want.
    I think as I am entering the on line dating thing
    I have to check the list as a reminder. It feels kind of strange that I
    Need "the list" . As I was talking to my friend she laughed and said
    "The list never works" ...
    I told her for maybe some of us will. If I think in a positive way, it's kind of a guide line .

    My question is. When I date a "hot" guy and know that he is not relationship
    Material... If I have to be honest , I miss the sexual connection. So I go with a guy which I know can
    Give the attention. That's it.

    Is this keeping me away of the "right" guy ... ? I mean could it have an effect, the way I am
    Behaving on my path of finding a great partner?

    • So glad, Maris! This is where knowing yourself and what you truly want in a relationship, in someone, is everything. You're always the one doing the choosing, so if you choose the "hot" guy who you know isn't relationship material - and yes, we always know, even if we don't want to believe it! - simply because of the attention, or the sex, or the intense physical attraction, then you're choosing someone who can only give you that. And that's where you come in with your own answers to your questions. Can you choose someone like that, or will you get "hooked"? Can you separate that "spark" you have with someone like this with real love, or will this muddy the waters, confuse you enough to make you question yourself, and affect your self-esteem and confidence in yourself as a result? Can you consciously choose him knowing what you're not getting from him, or is "playing with fire" going to leave you burnt, triggering your old issues you've been working hard on, and set you back because you can't stay emotionally detached like you thought you could? It's similar to the FWB (friends with benefits) scenario in that you may think you can do this, but can you really?

      And so that's how it can effect the way you are behaving on your path to finding a great partner, Maris. While you're with someone like this, spending your time and energy with someone who isn't who you're truly looking for and isn't that full package, you take time away from being with getting to know someone who is on your page, who does want what you want - and most importantly - who wants to give you what you're looking for!

      But it's not so cut and dry, Maris. If it was, none of us would be going there for just dessert when we could have the full course meal! All these factors that keep us attracting the wrong guys and being attracted to them come into play and it's no coincidence that we end up going where we never thought we'd go again time and time again. It's because these beliefs we have about love, about soul mates, about chemistry, about attraction, about sex, about potential, about attraction, are all so strong within us that they pull us places our healthy, thinking, self-loving selves would never have us go in the first place. So we sometimes have to go back time and time again to settling for dessert until we see for ourselves that we want that full course meal and we aren't willing to settle along the way.

      But we get lonely, we get scared, we have our own needs to fulfill, and so if nothing else is available except the dessert we can convince ourselves that it's ok. But is it? Or can we get those needs met in other ways besides someone or something outside of ourselves? Can we create lives for ourselves where we have the people and the activities, the hobbies and the passions and the events that give us that attention and excitement and that meaning that we've created for ourselves so that someone like this doesn't have such power over us? That's the question each one of us has to come to. Is it worth it? Is he worth it? And then what about you? What are you worth? It's deep, I know. But that's how you get to the good stuff!

      Love your questions, Maris; keep them coming. I wish I'd had a forum like this when I was here! :)

  12. Very deep! Haha
    I think that I can get burned playing with fire. I just read a book by Dalai Lama, he mentioned that
    Sex is for short term happiness. And you want more ( like more more more mindset) and that you can get
    Confused what makes you happy for long term. The question I ask myself ; if I think I am worth it! Why do I want to feed my hunger with short term happiness activities ? Like quick sex?

    I think I would love to date and have my own man and make love to him!
    I can't have a friend with benefits. I am too sensitive for this kind of relationship .
    It would only make me crazy haha...

    But while dating I do miss the physical satisfaction .
    I am going to think about this .

  13. Jane. I just finished reading this article you wrote on "Why You Keep Attracting The Wrong Guys". For the first time, I actually did all the excercises you said to do. Whew! It appears many of the men had some similar traits. Not very nice ones to say the least. The things I'm at odds with is, I came from a family (unusal) as I read many of the comments. A mother and father who loved one another and had a great respect for one another. There respect and love did not have to be spoken, you could feel it in their actions towards one another. There were never deep rooted problems in the home. Actually, our home was a haven for children/adults to come to where they felt safe and could be themselves. It always seemed as though our home was a refuge for others who had hard childhoods. Okay. with that said, after viewing my excercises, I realize each and eveyone of the men I had relationships fromcame from very dysfunctional families. Many did not love their mothers, their fathers were not kind or caring about their wives. I have to say, when I was younger, I did not realize all this. I was very naive. I thought I could help them, but after time, they were reliving their past through me. I did not deserve that. Now, after reading this and doing excercises - I realize - why men like those in my ENTIRE family to include my father, brothers cousins, uncles come into my life. They are good men. Respectful of women, providers, kind, understanding, I could go on. I'm not saying everything is perfect or was perfect, but on the whole it was. I do not disrespect those who had a hard childhood. I realize it makes them strong, as I have learned to be stronger in some ways, but if you have issues from the past - work them out, don't take it out on those who are good hearted and caring. Don't get involved until you care about who you are. As Forest Gump sai "that's all I have to say on that." thank you Jane. I know this is long, just trying to understand. I realize I did not recognize all this until I was in the relationships after awhile.

    • What I meant to say after reading my comment, is why haven't men like my father, brothers, cousins, uncles come into my life. They are good men. As I said, respectful of women, caring, kind, providers, strong, I could go on and on. I'm not saying eveything is perfect, but pretty close to it.

    • I hear you, Denise, and how blessed you were to be brought up in such a home. It can be as much about the cultural messages we receive, as well as the expectations - both the ones we were aware of and the ones we weren't - that were put on us will the most well-meaning of intentions. Sometimes it's the relationship that was modeled for us that created a type of idealism that we go on to apply to someone who we're attracted to for other reason, applying the same "formula" that worked for your mom and dad, with men who aren't willing to meet you in that way yourself. See if any of this resonates with you. Sometimes we have to do some digging to find out where our hidden messages lie.

  14. Thank you Jane. I have to ponder this for awhile. The bottom line, is I have moved on with the person"who didn't know" if he wanted to have a relationship. And now, it's okay. Not that I got in touch with him. I will leave that as it is. My thought process now is to care about myself. And if when or ever a relationship develops, I have to be myself, but watch out for red flags. Yes, your comment resonates in my thought process. I will do more digging to find any hidden message. I hope I have an epiphany regarding your message. Thank you so much Jane. Each day brings me closer to myself and to relax at it.

    • Hi, Denise
      Your post resonates with me because I posted something similar here a while ago. I thought I had a great relationship with my father, who ultimately is our first interaction with the opposite sex so I didn't know where the issue was. I also thought my parents' relationship was normal, but as I started questioning all of it, I had to get to the core and be extremely honest with myself. That's when I found out that my parents' relationship was very dysfunctional and that my relationship with my father was not as great as I thought. There was drama that started shocking me by the age of four but somehow my brain blocked it precisely because it was sort of traumatic. With guidance from people who know how to help in these situations, I had to process that, relive it to see why I kept attracting the same men and also why I got the feelings of fear and shame I had there my entire life. It was very difficult but it shed plenty of light on the subject. That was just two weeks ago so I am still sort of letting everything sink in and just see how with baby steps I get out of these situations. Maybe you won't find any traumatic experiences like me. I hope not, but I can tell you that there's always more to our story than we think. Explore your own feelings and look at your life as it if were a movie. No judgement, just observation so that you can start seeing the patterns. Our minds are amazing and a little tricky but I think it pays off to get to know ourselves well to be happy with ourselves as we are. To understand why we act the way we do. Lots of love.

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