Do you seem to only attract and date jerks and losers? This is a pretty common complaint.
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 truthful reasons why you always attract jerks.
1. You don’t like what you see in the mirror.
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 unhappy with themselves 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’re not happy and you make sure everyone knows it.
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 pear-shaped 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 decisions.
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. You have low (or no) dating standards.
Are your standards 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 are 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 at 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 let people walk all over you.
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 are blind to what’s good for you.
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, what the heck, Elizabeth? Now you’re telling me that when Prince/Princess Charming finally shows up, I should be wary?”
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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 with 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.
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.
I hope this helps you date better and let the right person for you rise to the top. Trust your gut feelings and make no apologies for it. Always remember that you have so much to offer.
Elizabeth Stone is an author, dating coach, and personal development coach who helps women restore themselves to improve their relationships.
This article was originally published at Digital Romance Inc. Reprinted with permission from the author.