Here’s How To Stop Attracting Toxic Guys

Do you have the uncanny ability to attract jerks wherever you go? It might be bad luck, but it’s more likely that you’re doing something to attract this “special” kind of guy. Here are some reasons that you may be a douche magnet:

  1. You have a “type.” We all have preferences in the men department, but if you’ve been sticking to your ‘type’ and these guys turn out to be jerks, maybe it’s time to shop around in other departments. As long as you’re choosing partners based on superficial qualities like height, income bracket, or six-pack, your judgment is going to be clouded. Just because he is a tall, tortured soul with a manicured beard and tortoise-shelled glasses doesn’t mean he’s going to be kind, compassionate, and selfless.
  2. You have low self-esteem. This may be a hard pill to swallow, but if you’re not happy with yourself, you’ll attract more jerks. Men can sniff out your lack of confidence and low sense of self-worth like a drug-sniffing dog, and some of them will have no problem capitalizing on that. Unless you change your low self-worth, you’ll find yourself with men who feel the same, and you’ll perpetuate the jerk cycle. Read some self-help books, see a therapist to work out deeper issues, and start being honest with yourself about things you need to work on.
  3. You let guys choose you. When it comes to guys, you just accept whichever one of them decides he’s in love with you. Why? Because it’s awesome to be pursued and liked and paid attention to. Just because a guy is into you doesn’t mean you have to return the sentiment. If you find yourself in a relationship with a jerk, examine if you’re really into him or if you just like being liked.
  4. You change when you’re in a relationship. If you find yourself constantly adapting or compromising your standards when you’re with a new guy, this is cause for concern. While there’s a certain amount of adjusting in any relationship, you should never feel the need to change things about yourself for the sake of a man. Resist the urge to give yourself a makeover with every new relationship; you’re fine just the way you are. Don’t settle for a dude that puts you down in any way. If he can’t accept you as you are right now, drop him like a hot potato.
  5. You’re scared. When you snag the guy you’ve been crushing on, you want to do whatever you can to hold him down. Why? Because your negative self-talk tells you that this is your last chance for a guy this hot/successful/witty. Can that crap talk and get to know the truth: there are billions (yes, billions) of available men available. There will always be someone else right around the corner. Never stay with a guy out of fear that you won’t find anyone else like him.
  6. You don’t want to be alone. When you find yourself in a relationship with a douchecanoe, you might be willing to put up with the drama if it means that you won’t be sleeping alone at night. As long as you’re stuck in this desperate line of thinking, you won’t be making relationship decisions based on anything but keeping yourself away from that dreadful ‘single’ title. The sooner you find out that spending time single can be freeing and fulfilling, the sooner you’ll stop clinging to relationships out of fear.
  7. You go all-in too soon. When you meet a guy with potential, you start planning the wedding, making plans to move in with him, and betting your life that he’s the ‘one.’ Moving this quickly leaves too much room for ditching logical thinking. It’s way easier to find yourself shacked up with Mr. Psycho when you haven’t taken things as slowly as you should have. Sit back and enjoy your relationship, and make sure enough time passes before you decide to go all-in. The more time you spend with someone, the clearer his character becomes, so be patient.
  8. Your standards suck. If you find yourself constantly putting up with things you shouldn’t, this is a clear sign that you aren’t holding yourself to a high enough standard. You deserve to be treated like the queen you are, so why are you allowing a guy to get one over on you? As long as you allow him to treat you like crap, you’ll keep getting the same results. Start speaking up for yourself when he treats you in a way that’s disrespectful or rude.
  9. You haven’t mastered the art of rejection. Remember when you learned to “just say no” to drugs in elementary school? Well, this phrase also applies to jerks. Some of us carry on relationships way too long after their expiration date because we’re scared to be the one to admit that it’s not working. The sooner you learn how to turn a guy away, the sooner you’ll ride off into that glorious single lady sunset, where awesome guys will be waiting for your strong, independent self.
Lauren is a freelance writer living in New Jersey. When she's not deeply immersed in pondering the cosmos, you'll find her hiking a mountain, reading something philosophical, or dancing in her underwear. Read more of her existential musings at