Just about all of us have felt ourselves falling for someone we knew was wrong for us. Your might know that a certain guy is destined to lead you to heartbreak, but it’s sometimes hard to listen over the fluttering of butterflies in your stomach. Although you can’t always control how you feel about someone, there are things you can do to protect yourself if you feel your heart pulling you towards the wrong guy:
Avoid bad news guys from the get-go. The easiest way to keep from getting in over your head is to not get involved in the first place. You know when it’s a bad idea. Maybe he has a reputation for cheating or doesn’t even know you exist. Maybe he’s simply bad news all around. Whatever it is, acknowledge it and consciously keep your distance.
Don’t allow yourself to get close to him. It’s just not worth it. You know you’ll be setting yourself up for a world of regret. You can take preventative measures to keep from getting to attached to him. It’s not that difficult if you’re aware of the issue right away. Funny enough, once you aren’t spending time with him, he most likely won’t seem that wonderful after all. Out of sight, out of mind.
Identify his issues. Maybe it’s something glaringly obvious, like the fact that he already has a significant other. Maybe it’s more subtle, like an alcohol abuse problem paired with crippling insecurity. You can see the red flags, so don’t ignore them because you’re infatuated. Listen to your gut, your brain, and your intuition.
Be aware of your own unhealthy patterns. Do you always fall for the same kinds of guys, and are they always the wrong ones? Ask yourself why that is. Figure out what’s causing the problem so you can fix it. Otherwise, you’ll continue this endless pattern of poor choices and failed relationships. Wouldn’t you rather improve and change so you can be happy someday?
Tell yourself to get a grip. Be honest — do you secretly love the drama? Do you only want what you can’t have? It’s time to force yourself to get over it. That kind of melodramatic attitude might make for cute, “quirky” characters in romcoms, but in real life, it’s toxic.
Get a reality check. It’s not just bad luck or crappy fate that has you always falling for the guys who don’t work out: It’s poor choices, bad taste, or a secret issue that you’ve buried deep down inside. These guys aren’t worth pining over.If he’s a douchebag who treats you like crap and doesn’t give you the time of day, what are you doing even thinking about him?
Know that your actions are completely controllable. Maybe you can’t help your attraction to him or the chemistry between you, but you can absolutely choose what to do about it. You can minimize contact, change the way you speak and interact, and draw some firm boundaries. You aren’t a silly little girl who doesn’t know better. If he’s the wrong guy, make the smart choice to cut him out of your life.
Don’t be self-destructive. Sometimes you know a guy is terrible for you and you go for it anyway. Whether it’s in the name of independence, spontaneity, or whatever other excuse you come up with, it’s still a bad choice, and you know it deep down. Don’t expect others to feel sympathy for you when you’re knowingly making choices you shouldn’t.
Recognize when it isn’t gonna happen. Be realistic, for crying out loud. He’s happily taken? Don’t even mess with that. He doesn’t think of you that way? This isn’t a movie; He won’t magically change his mind just because you’re persistent. He has a ton of issues? You aren’t going to save him. If you know that a relationship can’t ever happen with him, don’t torture yourself by going for it anyway.
Stop picking “safe” guys. It might be tempting to for the polar opposite of the “bad boy”, but lowering your standards too much just to be on the safe side isn’t a good idea either. Being single isn’t the worst thing in the world. You deserve a guy who has his crap together and will stay faithful to you, but you also deserve one you actually WANT to date.
Stop picking dangerous guys. On the other hand, you can’t throw all caution to the wind no matter how hot he is. If you know he’s bad news, don’t go there. If his issues have a chance of causing you emotional or even physical pain, get out immediately. Move on to a healthy and functional love that has a realistic future.
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