I Know All Guys Aren’t The Same, But I Can’t Find One Who Seems Different

After years and years swimming around in the dating pool, I’ve started noticing a pattern — namely, every guy I date seems to have the same lousy qualities that make me understand why he’s been single for so long. I know that there are plenty of guys out there who would treat me right, but no matter how hard I try, I just keep ending up with more of the same and it’s driving me crazy.

I’ve looked everywhere. I’ve tried online dating, I’ve tried letting my friends set me up with people, I’ve tried not trying — I still end up with the same type of men. I’d expect this type of mediocre consistency if I was finding all my partners in crappy dive bars, but after scouring the entire dating scene and still ending up with the same results, I’m at a loss for where else to look for a guy that’ll give me the type of relationship I’m hoping for.

I feel like I’m wearing a douchebag magnet. If there’s a sign on my back that says “Please waste my time,” I wish someone would tell me about it. I feel like it can’t be normal to consistently attract such lackluster people, especially because plenty of my friends are in loving relationships with great men. Clearly there’s something about me that attracts guys who are afraid of commitment and are hung up on their exes, but I don’t know what it could be.

I basically expect that I’ll be let down. I try so hard to be optimistic about dating, but when I’m constantly met with garbage behavior from the guys I date, pessimism starts to look like a form of self-preservation. Of course, I try not to let it show — the last thing I want is for my negative expectations to turn into a self-fulfilling prophecy. But at least this way, I don’t get my heart broken as badly when the guy I’m crazy about turns out to be another cheating piece of garbage.

I don’t know where my friends are finding these great men. I’m friends with a lot of great women who share a lot of similar qualities with me, and most of them are currently in long-term relationships with guys who treat them like gold. I’m super happy for them, don’t get me wrong, but sometimes it makes me want to scream, “What am I doing wrong here?!” How did they manage to avoid all the toxic men that I can’t seem to dodge? How did they find a partner who wants something more than easy sex? Help me out!

If it’s a “me” problem, I don’t know how to fix it. Yep, I’m well aware that the common denominator between all these lousy men is me. But if there’s something I’m doing that’s causing me to attract them, I have no idea what it could be. I have my act together — I’m independent, caring, and while I’m no supermodel, I take care of myself. I have lots of amazing people in my social circle and the people in my dating life are the only exception to that rule. How can I change something about myself if I don’t know what I should be changing?

They always hit me with the same dealbreakers. The worst part about all this is that when I say that these guys are the same, it’s because they truly are the same. I never get the guys who have, say, serious mommy issues or are way too far on one side of the political spectrum, but I do get the ones who run at the first mention of the word “relationship” and think it’s kosher to sleep around after we’ve established that we’re exclusive. Seeing this a few times wouldn’t faze me too much, but when every. single. guy. I date has these issues, you can hardly blame me for starting to look at them all through the same lens.

Every time I think I find a good one, I’m proven wrong. All of this would be a lot easier to avoid if these men showed me their glaring red flags from the start, but instead, they hide their flaws just long enough for me to start letting my guard down. And then, once I finally start believing that I’ve found someone who breaks away from the crowd, bam — he reveals his true colors and forces me to put my walls back up again. I want to believe that there are really amazing men out there, but it’s hard when every “amazing” man I date ends up being the same douchebag in a new disguise.

I have standards, but they aren’t ridiculously high. Look, I respect myself and know that I deserve more than what I’m getting out of these guys. But I’m not a “princess” or anything. When I lament my inability to find a good man, I’m not mourning the loss of gentlemen from days gone by who would throw their coats over puddles so their lady wouldn’t get her shoes wet. All I want is someone who treats me like he values me instead of acting like I’m disposable, but even that’s proving to be too hard to find.

 I don’t want to attach stereotypes to an entire gender, but it’s getting hard. I’ve been lucky enough to be surrounded by a lot of amazing men throughout my life, so I know that the behavior I’m seeing from the guys I date isn’t indicative of the way men are as a whole. But when all I experience is the same nonsense over and over and over again, it’s tempting to fall into a habit of painting all guys with the same brush. I don’t want to be the type of girl who does that, but I’m going to need some man out there to prove me wrong before it’s too late.

I’m about ready to give up. I hate the idea of settling for less, but at this point, what other choice do I have? I feel like I’m either going to end up alone or with someone who doesn’t have it in himself to treat me like a priority. If something doesn’t change soon, I’m going to have to accept that one of these will be my reality, and honestly, I’d be fine with spending the rest of my life as a single woman if this is the alternative.

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