No one wants to be the target of abuse, and no one “deserves” it more than another person. Still, when I look back at my dating history, I just see a slew of personality disorders and toxic disasters behind me- is my picker broken?! While I’m not responsible for who these men were, I do recognize these 8 things about me consistently draws these types in.
I don’t trust my intuition.
You know that feeling you have in the pit of your stomach when something just isn’t right? I feel that, too, but don’t always act on it right away. When something just seems “off,” I tend to turn to others to gauge their thoughts and opinions. Seeking out other peoples’ perspective is not always the best idea. We all have different preferences and thresholds for what we tolerate or accept. One person’s “normal” can very well be beyond your comfort level. It’s best to take personal hesitation as a red flag and proceed with caution without soliciting input from someone who isn’t even in your situation. Are they dating this person or you?
I give people second (and sometimes third, fourth, and fifth) chances.
This one guy was rubbing me the wrong way before our first date. I had nothing really solid against him — he seemed great on paper, but there was something about how he was that made me suspect he wasn’t serious about dating. Then, right before our scheduled meeting time, everything started to unravel. He changed some of our plans and wanted to reschedule. Part of me wanted to toss the whole idea away and walk, but I assured him I was still down and we could continue as originally planned. The date ended up being a horrible disaster and confirming any suspicion that this man was simply not looking or ready for a serious arrangement. When he tried asking for a re-do, I even considered it for a minute! Thankfully, I had enough sense to not allow him to prove me right a third time and let the prospect go.
I have a horrible habit of reminiscing about the “good old times” I had with former partners. And I am totally guilty of running back to exes because of “history,” which should have remained just that! It’s like I secretly hold onto hope for an apology from them or changed behavior after they showed me who they were when they had their chance during the relationship. I need to work on missing someone in my memories but staying away in real life.
I’m really curious.
I dated this one guy who I had a strong sneaking suspicion was a true-life psychopath. Like not the off-handed comment kind when a guy pisses you off —”he’s such a psycho!” — no, more like legitimately clinically insane. He was violent, controlling, impatient, aggressive, callous towards authority, and moody. He had every sign of a total “RUN.” Yet with him and even other guys who just may have been a bit broken or damaged, I stuck around to know why they were the way they were and try to be sympathetic or understanding. Some people don’t need to be figured out; they need to be swiftly avoided for your safety.
I project my insecurities.
I fall into a pit of self-doubt at times. How can I judge a guy if I myself bring x, y, and z baggage to the table? I force myself to be accepting of his flaws and vices solely based on the fact that I think I’m unworthy of expecting higher standards and setting firm boundaries. Sometimes I think I should just take what I can get. This is an awful habit and such an untrue way of thinking. No matter who we are and where we come from, we’re allowed to stick to our guns when it comes to our expectations. We all deserve healthy love.
I have a lot going for me.
Toxic people can be leeches and users. They’re not going to want to latch onto someone who brings nothing to the table. They want someone who makes them look good and who gives them what they want. The better they feel about themselves around you the better. Your glow is attractive to them not because they value respecting you for your worth, but because of how they can benefit from your shine. Being desirable to toxic people doesn’t always mean you’re tragically broken and gullible, it can mean you are actually attractive and highly desirable and they’re going to try to capitalize on it.
I’m a giver.
This goes back to how self-serving toxic people are. They want all you can give them and more and I’m naturally willing to do for others. The last date I went on I brought the guy a present even though it was the first time we met and on him to make an impression on me because his birthday had just passed. That’s just the type of person I am and it’s a user’s dream.
I’m easy to contact and connect with. I always have my phone on me and typically respond to short messages right away. I’m transparent, honest, and not someone who leaves other people guessing. This makes it easy for toxic people to reach me and know exactly what I’m thinking while they maintain their secrecy and play games.
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