- Publish Date
- Thursday, 12 October 2017, 1:00PM
So, my darling, this article is for you if you ask yourself why you only seem to be attracted to men that are bad boys or a "douchebags" that always end up hurting you.
Do you date men that your friends can’t stand, warn you to stay away from but you just can’t seem to help yourself, and it always ends in tears? I have dealt with this topic so often that I am now an expert on "the douchebag."
As a former douche-magnet myself, I can now spot a “douchebag” (a label that’s interchangeable with jerk, player, prick, dick or twat) from 100 meters. And it breaks my heart every time another woman is crying her eyes out to me after being screwed over by this type of man. Now, just to be clear, women can be douchebags too. A douchebag is someone who treats people badly.
Here is my best advice to help you realise why you are attracted to them, how to avoid or get rid of a douche and save yourself a whole lot of pain.
First of all, I think it’s important to realise why you are attracted to people that make you feel rejected and unloved. You are the one choosing them, after all. After years of therapy and then in my training to become a therapist myself, I found the answer (most of the time) lies in your childhood and your subconscious. We learn what love is from our home environments and in relationships, we gravitate towards the familiar.
Our unconscious minds cause us to seek out emotional situations that resemble our childhood circumstances or first romantic relationships, regardless of whether those experiences were negative or positive.
Here is a little equation to show how it works. If your home environment was abusive then Home/Love=Fear/Abuse, if home was drama and chaos then Home/Love=Drama/Chaos, if home was critical and cold then Home/Love= Critical/Cold.
See where I’m going with this? If home was drama, you may attract partners that have addictions, crazy issues and lots of dramas. If home was lonely and unkind, you may attract partners that ignore, withhold affection or criticize you. If home was fearful, you may attract partners that are emotionally or physically abusive.
If you keep seeing a pattern that is showing up in your relationships, ask yourself “In my childhood, Home (Love) was =______________________?”
For you, it may feel like love to be uncomfortable in a relationship. In your subconscious, love and therefore sexual attraction is equated with the negative feelings that you grew up with. This is why nice, stable people may seem boring – it doesn’t feel like love.
We attract and are attracted to the type of people who treat us how we treat ourselves or subconsciously think we should be treated. Now, most women don’t like hearing that. However, if we didn’t believe at some level that it’s okay to be treated like crap, we wouldn’t put up with bad behaviour from a someone for more than a second.
Here are some red flags – and signs you should kiss him goodbye:
Does he take you out?
Now even if he is broke, he can still make an effort. Going to the beach, a museum, the movies or even going for a walk, for f@%k sake – cost hardly anything but shows he wants to spend time with you with your clothes on. If he only texts you after 10 pm wanting sex, it will never magically turn into the relationship of your dreams. Start as you mean to continue and be too busy for a booty call.
Does he listen to you and show interest in your life?
Does he ask you about your life and what’s important to you? If all he talks is about himself, then the relationship will be all about him, as well. A man who only cares about himself is called a narcissist and will never be able to give love in a healthy way.
Does he pay for things?
These are modern times, and men shouldn’t have to pay for everything, but if he doesn’t even offer or try to treat you some of the time, then he is selfish. A man that is stingy with his money is usually not generous with other things either. And honey, you’re worth more than that.
Is he single?
Does he have a girlfriend, wife or live with an ex? Stay away until he is. If he is truly the love of your life and wants to be with you, he will leave her to make that happen. Just so you’re clear these are all examples of not being single:
He is with someone, but _____________________ (you fill in the blank) doesn’t love her, is leaving soon, she knows about you and says it’s ok, is not having sex with her anymore, is staying to help raise the kids but they are just friends, can’t decide if he loves her or might be getting back together.
These excuses all mean he is NOT single and unless you’re into open relationships or a part of a religious sect that advocates polygamy – I advise you to stay away.
Is he emotionally available?
Does he say that he does not want a relationship or a commitment or hung up on another woman? Listen to him and hear the story that’s being told. Not the one you are making up with a fantasy ending. If he needs space as big as the outdoors, assume you are going to be left out in the cold. Find a man that wants a relationship too.
Is he angry?
Does he hate a particular race, his family, the government, his ex-girlfriend, certain clothes you wear, your friends, other drivers, animals, strong women, successful people or clowns? Now we all don’t like certain things, but hatred is a rot that is festering inside someone. If you are in a relationship with an angry man, you can be guaranteed that one day he will spew it all over you.
Is he controlling?
Does he tell you what to wear, where to go, who you can and cannot talk to or how you should live your life? The controlling man was a speciality of mine. I had a boyfriend who came up with “the five-minute rule”. If I talked to a man for more than five minutes when we were out together, he would come up and stand behind the guy tapping his watch. According to him, I was disrespecting him by paying attention to another man. He would do this with men thirty years my senior.
A man that’s controlling will take away your self-esteem, friends, family or whatever else is getting in the way of keeping you under his thumb. Love should be supportive and allow you to grow, not keep you on a leash!
I do believe that things happen for a reason and our relationships teach us what we need to learn. So, don’t beat yourself up over the crazy relationships you’ve had. There have been valuable lessons in every one of them. Identifying what your relationship patterns are is the first step in changing them. Paying attention to the warning signs and being honest about what’s not working for you the next.
If you are with someone that makes you unhappy – leave! It is that simple, and I have never regretted breaking up with someone that I was unhappy with. It may have hurt and been scary in the beginning, but it has always been a relief in the end. You deserve to be happy!
Go look in a mirror right now and say out loud “I am a gorgeous, intelligent, sexy woman! I am amazing and will only be with men that treat me with the respect I deserve!” Say this every day until you believe it in every cell of your being. It’s true and as soon as you believe it, a real man will show up wanting the kind of relationship you want too.”
Read books on relationships, go to a therapist or coach that can help and ask for support from your friends and family. You may trip up now and then but dust yourself off and know that you are an amazing, gorgeous woman who will meet a man who knows it too and treats you with the love and respect you give yourself and know that you deserve.
Caroline Cranshaw is a hypnotherapist, life coach and the author of The Smoking Cure. Find out more about her at nzhypnotherapy.co.nz