Do you seem to only attract jerks and losers? Does it seem like only weirdoes come out of the woodwork hoping to make you theirs?
The answer is not so much that you have some kind of jerk magnet attached to your forehead, but more to do with self-sabotaging feelings and beliefs you may be carrying around without realizing it.
When you have the same problem in each of your relationships, you must consider that the issue may in fact be you. Not to fear, all of these reasons are completely fixable.
Here are five reasons why you attract jerks:
1. You are not happy with yourself.
Relationship authors (including myself) bang on and on about self confidence. “Self confidence is sexy” and “Confident people draw the opposite sex like moths to a flame” they say. Or “love yourself so other people will too!” I don’t have to tell you that someone who is not happy with them self gives off a whole different vibe than someone who feels confident and worthy.
But how do you become happy with yourself if you just aren’t?
Change, baby. If you are upset about some aspect of your appearance, emotional life, job, family or anything else, do the work to change it. Work on building your confidence. Work on letting your past go so that you can move happily into a fresh and clean future.
Time and energy spent on self improvement is always worth it, after all, that’s why you are here right?
2. You are not happy single.
People who can’t stand to be alone tend to either stay in bad relationships for too long or jump from one long term relationship to another.
When you know that being single can be wonderful, you always have a positive alternative to clinging to a miserable relationship. Your relationships take on more of a casual, happy vibe. You attract happier people.
The reason is that mates can subconsciously sense that if things go badly in your relationship, you will not settle for being miserable with them.
Either you will do the work to improve the relationship or make the hard decision to break up, forgive them and move on. This is attractive because first it makes it clear that you have standards and second that they won’t get stuck with someone who clings to them just because they are terrified of being alone.
3. Your standards are too low.
Are your standards something along the lines of “if they’re breathing, we’re mating?” No one would really want to admit that their criteria for a suitable mate is so rock bottom, but in practice, so many great people sell themselves short.
It’s like they start putting on their rose colored glasses during the first date. They say things to themselves like “Well he was pretty mean to the waiter and I have doubts about his life ambition but wow, he’s hot!” or “I’m not really attracted to her, but she is so smart!”
The kind of behavior you accept in the beginning of your relationship is the kind of behavior that you will continue to receive. Don’t show up to a fast food joint and expect it to morph into something gourmet. Don’t date people who you would love to change.
Cultivate the idea that your love is a prize to be won rather than something you should just give out to anyone. Make the decision now to stop looking at yourself as flawed for not being in a relationship and start viewing yourself as “discerning.”
Make yourself a list of the top five things that you want in a mate and look for people who embody those qualities. Then stick to it! Online dating in particular is a good way to screen in advance for qualities that you are looking for.
4. You put up with too much.
Never, ever be afraid that demanding respect from your partner will drive them away. You deserve to be treated well. When you speak up about feeling hurt or disrespected in an honest and authentic way, either the relationship will end or they will come around. If you were being treated poorly, what did you lose? Speaking up is the first step.
Do not put up with things that you shouldn’t. Do not let a relationship limp along with your significant other behaving badly, while you hope to create change using telepathy. Address issues as they come up. If you allow yourself to be treated poorly, you will continue to be treated poorly.
5. You don’t look past the “gloss.”
As the old adage goes, “if something seems too good to be true, it probably is.” Since I just got done telling you that your standards are too low and to raise those, it’s easy to think “Well WTF Elizabeth, NOW you’re telling me that when Prince/Princess Charming finally shows up, I should be wary?”
In a word, yes! When you finally meet someone who seems like they have real potential and everything is going wonderful, wait and see to make sure that they’re genuine. Let them shower you in gifts. Let them be super nice to you. Enjoy every minute of it.
However, don’t sell the farm, get married, bet your life savings or move in with them during the first few months. It’s easy to mistake “psycho love bomb” for “this feels so right.” It’s also easy to find an example of someone you know who got married to their long-term partner after only a few weeks.
Slow your roll. Just watch what happens and enjoy. It’s all too easy to start acting like a kid on Christmas once you finally meet someone great. Don’t act like this person is the only one bringing you water in a large, dry desert. Enjoy the relationship and see what happens. If you have caught yourself another charming jerk, you will find out soon enough. Keep your hands firmly attached to your heart and your pocketbook while you wait and see.
There is no urgency! You don’t need to nail anyone down. If the person is truly genuine and right for you, they will also want to get to know you before they make a commitment.