I Got Tired Of Dating One Crappy Guy After The Next So I Stopped By Doing These 12 Things Instead

Often we find ourselves in crappy dude central, wondering how we got there. My dating life came to this dire point and I needed to make some serious changes if I wanted to start dating people who were worth my time. There were habits I needed to let go of and new, healthier ones that I needed to strengthen. Here are the 12 things I’m doing that are key to avoiding attracting toxic guys:

  1. Reflecting on past relationships I take honest and thorough looks at my past relationships. I try to see what I could do differently next time as well as what I did well. This reflection keeps me learning and growing so that I’m never stagnant. It also helps keep me away from those crappy dudes.
  2. Identifying what I’m actually looking for How can I ask for what I need from someone else if I haven’t even figured out what that is myself? First, I needed to identify what it is I’m looking for in a partner. For me, I realized that I only want a serious monogamous commitment. This meant that once I learned about my desire I could pair myself up with people who also wanted the same thing (and I could avoid anyone else).
  3. Being kind to myself This may seem tangential but it’s actually directly related to repelling crappy dudes. Before I can expect others to be kind to me, I had to learn to be kind to myself. I’m certainly not perfect at it, but I make a regular effort to treat myself with love and care. Then I can demand that from others.
  4. Listening to my intuition I used to ignore my gut when I was with someone. It would blink flashing red lights at me, telling me something was wrong, and I’d tune it out. I didn’t really know how to listen. Now, it’s crucial for me to hear what my intuition has to say. I pay attention when it tells me that something is off and I also pay attention when it tells me something is right.
  5. Leaving when a dealbreaker arises It used to be that I’d shrug off deal breakers and make excuses. I’d say, “But he’s so sweet, it’s probably fine.” This was bull and just left me continually ending up with the wrong guy. Now when I catch wind of a dealbreaker, I’m off running. I leave because deal breakers aren’t things that I compromise on. ever.
  6. Knowing that chemistry doesn’t equal compatibility Oh man, this is a biggie. I used to regularly mistake chemistry for compatibility—and I wondered why I kept finding myself with the wrong people. I’d feel that spark of connection and I’d assume that meant we belonged together. Now I’m learning that chemistry is an entirely different thing than compatibility and both are very important to have.
  7. Building my self-esteem It used to be that I drew all of my self-worth from people around me. As a result, my self-esteem was dependent on external things like compliments and how others treated me. This was a trap. Now I work to build up my own self-esteem by doing esteemable acts. I try to take care of myself and to do things that are loving. This helps me not even want to settle for crappy dudes.
  8. Waiting to sleep with them A surefire way to attract men not worth my time was to sleep with them immediately. This is because many just left right afterward. What’s a much better alternative is waiting to sleep with a dude. It sounds trite, but it’s been a huge factor for me in attracting the right kind of guy. Holding off on having sex weeds out those crappy guys I’m now trying so hard to avoid.
  9. Avoiding unavailable men My favorite kind of men used to be the ones who were totally emotionally and/or physically unavailable. I’d fall for someone who had a partner or who just has too much going on in their life to show up for me. Instead, this now means going after people who are clearly available. They’re physically and emotionally there for me to be with.
  10. Refraining from trying to fix anyone My favorite used to be fixer-upper projects. I’d find a guy who had some serious issues and I’d want to help him until he was better. This was a terrible idea because I can’t fix anyone. Now I try to find people who are already whole. It’s much more vulnerable, but it’s totally worth it. This way, I’m also less likely to be with dudes who aren’t actually good for me.
  11. Refraining from trying to be fixed In my past, I wanted others to fix what I perceived to be broken. I felt like my entire being needed fixing and a relationship could do that. Going into a partnership with that mindset is sure to bring undesirable results. Today I know that I’m whole all on my own.
  12. Having a life outside of the person I’m dating It’s easy to get all caught up in codependency if the person I’m dating is my everything. Men who are codependent generally fit into the crappy category. Instead of being like this, I have a life outside of whoever I’m dating. I keep doing my hobbies and keep seeing my friends. This keeps me away from codependency and also away from dudes not worth my time.
Ginelle has been writing professionally for more than six years and has a bachelor’s degree in digital marketing & design. Her writing has appeared on Birdie, Thought Catalog, Tiny Buddha and more. You can follow her on Instagram @ginelletesta, via her Facebook page, or through her website at ginelletesta.com.