Dating isn’t how I remember it before I was married. I don’t have any idea when things changed so drastically, but man have they. Even though I haven’t figured all of that out yet, one thing I do know that stays the same is for some unknown reason girls tend to go for the emotionally unavailable man and we detour from the sweet guy. Every female in the history of forever has done this. Women are always talking about it, so I know we are in the same boat. “Why do I always end up with the wrong guy?” “How do I always end up with the guy with 100 issues?” “What do I do wrong when it comes to men?” I am not an expert at all; wait, maybe I am—if you consider someone being an expert at picking the wrong men.
How to Avoid the Wrong Guy: a Checklist for Strong Women
1. Determine whether or not you are ready to commit.
Why do we do it? I honestly have a few theories. The first thing I have noticed since my divorce this past year is that when I am running in the other direction from the “Nice Guy” it’s because I am not ready for the commitment. I think, at times, we go for the emotionally unstable guys because we know it won’t go anywhere serious, but it does provide us with the sense of having someone there when we are otherwise lonely. I know this is the case for me, and, trust me, I know the behavior is toxic. In the end, I am the one I end up hurting. Still, we do it.
2. Pay attention to what you’re fixing and why.
Another reason we choose the wrong men is because women are drawn to people who need help. We want to fix things. Deeply rooted in our genetics is our will to help others. We want to take care of something. Women have a desire to care for people, things, our partners, etc. In order to do this, we are sometimes drawn to the wrong person for us. I also believe that sometimes we pick these guys so we can deflect our own struggles. After all, it is easier to try and fix someone else than it is to work on our own flaws. This also hardly ever works out in a good way. For me, it normally ends with my issues becoming worse and making things worse for the other party as well.
3. Move on from what’s easy and keep your eye on the goal.
I am not saying, “The nice guy never wins,” as I am sure so many of you have heard. I think we simply rush into things. We ignore the things that are truly important to us. It is so much easier to push aside some of the things that we value in a relationship because we get a glimpse of attention. The whole dating process has had to become something I take so much more seriously. Why waste my time or someone else’s if I essentially know things won’t really work out? How about, instead, I challenge myself? It will take more work and effort on my part for sure but will pay off in the end. You know yourself better than anyone else does. Listen to yourself, follow the standards you have set, and don’t settle with someone you think you can change. Trust me, you can’t. I have tried this method and failed miserably! For instance, if one of your must-have values is a Christian man, then don’t date all the men who claim to be “spiritual, but not into the God thing.” You may or may not be able to lead them to church or to God. It’s not your place, though, and it may never happen. My point is not to leave that to chance if it is important for you.
4. Look at yourself and decide if you are ready for the right guy.
Ladies, make sure you are ready to date. If you are still healing, hurting, or working through a past relationship or breakup, then chances are you aren’t ready yet. Give yourself time to heal and work through the pain. Breakups, divorce, or grieving loss of a partner is so hard, and regardless of how it ended, I am sure it left you with open wounds. Tend to those wounds. Heal. Find yourself again during your loss. When we rush into something, we are the one who generally ends up getting hurt more. This applies to being with the good guy or running for the not so good guy. Working on yourself first will allow you to really see people for who they are and what they believe in. This will give you a chance to stick more with the values and morals you want in a partner and hopefully keep you from making toxic decisions in a future partner.
You know yourself better than anyone else does. Listen to yourself, follow the standards you have set, and don’t settle with someone you think you can change.
5. Give yourself time for the whole process.
I am not a professional, a doctor, or a trained life coach. I am simply a woman who is a serial serious relationship seeker. I have spent the better part of my life moving from one to another, with little time to heal and reflect in between. Based on my past patterns, I know how I made my decisions and that I’ve run from the real issue: allowing myself time to heal. Without this crucial step, people continue to make the “wrong” choice. We don’t give ourselves the space to work through the whole process. I think if we all took more time to really work on ourselves, we might be looking for the right person and not just the “right now” person to fill a void.
Challenge yourself to dig deep, heal, and seek the right path for yourself. Make a list of values you require in a partner. Be specific with yourself and then stay true to you and your long-term desires. Then you won’t have to worry if you are talking to the bad guy or the good guy. You will find the guy who is perfect for you and where you are in life. Maybe, if we give this a try, then it will result in less disappointment for everyone.
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