After a series of bad apples, women often come to us and say, “I just don’t know what’s going on, I attract all of the wrong guys. There must be something wrong with me!”
Then she’ll stare hopeless and befuddled into the room, convinced that her love life is forever doomed due to the latest jerk that stomped on her heart.
The women who think this are onto something- no, there is nothing wrong with them, but there is something they are doing that makes them feel as if the bad guys are attracted to them- and that’s hanging onto the bad ones for too long. And frequently, it’s just long enough for those men to do some significant damage to a woman’s self-esteem, and maybe even create a few rifts in her heart.
It is also true that many of us women are attracted to charismatic men- however as a fabulous article in Cosmo recently pointed out “Charisma does not equal character.” While charisma might initially draw us in, character is what makes a relationship last. And once it’s clear that a man lacks integrity, its time to give him the boot- and this is often what women fail at doing.
It is virtually impossible to know someone’s true character right away. Many people put on fronts when they first meet someone that don’t actually accurately represent who they are. The only way to get to know who someone truly is by observing them continuously in different environments.
It is completely natural to date lots of people on our way to finding “true love.” And it is by dating the wrong guys that women are able to learn about themselves, and to learn what they need in a long term partner. However- casually dating is one thing- getting emotionally involved with someone who has “I’m going to hurt you” written all over them like graffiti- is another. Only a very special few men will deserve your love and affection- and they should have to earn it.
Yet many women sport rose colored glasses in the dating world, ignoring warning signs like an alcoholic does alcohol.
Why is that? Not because she is stupid or because there is something wrong with her, but because it is natural to want companionship- and yet difficult to find a compatible companion.
So we women are “eager beavers” in a way, picturing that story book ending as soon as we feel chemistry with someone, and letting that fake happy ending dictate our behavior- rather than our heads. And the smartest cookies of them all can’t seem to fathom why they let emotion get the best of them, but it’s part of human nature.
But remember, the longer you stay with a loser, the higher the likelihood that you will be irreparably damaged, and the lower the likelihood you will find someone who can actually make you happy- because you’re too busy pining away- or more than likely, bitching, about the loser.
Particularly for the idealistic of us, wanting- and often, waiting, for a guy to be better than he is- is also natural. We have a general belief that people are good- and so we dismiss bad behavior as attributable to situation, rather than to character.
And sometimes it is situation-driven. But often times, it’s not.
Here’s how to tell.