You’re Smart AF, So Why Do You Repeatedly Date The Same Dead-End Guys?

Getting older usually means simultaneously getting wiser, but sometimes even when you do know better, you still are attracted to guys who don’t treat you as well as you deserve. After dating a few douchebags, you know exactly what you’re getting yourself into, but here’s why it’s so hard to stop.

  1. “Bad boys” are typically exciting. A lot of times, we crave that “high” that comes with dating jerks because they’re not boring and are typically the life of the party. They’re always down for a crazy night out, an adventure, and have many epic stories of their own to tell. Even if you’re not an adrenaline-junkie craving the rush that comes with dating a toxic guy, it’s still addicting and intoxicating to be around people like this.
  2. They’re generally more passionate. Have you noticed that those same loser guys you’re attracted to are often the most passionate about everything in their lives? They’re passionate about you (or at least appear to be) and are passionate in bed. They’re also passionate about their careers and interests and are willing to take risks to be successful at something they love. Passion is definitely attractive, but misplaced passion can also lead to chaos and stress.
  3. There’s no dream too big for them. They’ll do absolutely anything and everything it takes to accomplish it, as well. When someone works hard for their goals and has dreams as large as you do, it’s definitely attractive, which may be the reason you continue to end up with guys like this. It’s inspiring to be around someone who has crazy big dreams, and watching them take risks to accomplish them often fuels your own desire to accomplish yours as well.
  4. Let’s face it: they’re confident AF, sometimes to the point of cockiness. It’s no secret that confidence is sexy, which is why a-holes come off so charming and appealing. Whether their confidence is misplaced or not doesn’t often matter. They know that their confidence works when it comes to women, and they don’t hold back.
  5. A lot of times, they act the way they do because they’re physically attractive. This is superficial but it’s true: douchebags like these usually aren’t nice because they’ve never had to be since they’ve been able to get by on beautiful eyes and a six-pack. They’re hot and they know they are, which leads them to believe they can act however they please and still get any woman they want.
  6. They take charge. They won’t ask you where you want to go to dinner or what you want to do when you make plans for Saturday night. They decide (with no consideration about what you actually want) and then let you know. This might be refreshing compared to other guys asking you out and then when you ask what the plan is, they reply with, “I don’t know, you can pick!” These dudes make decisions without your input, which is attractive (although eventually starts to get annoying).
  7. They don’t let fear hold them back. Whether they’re truly unafraid or they’re simply acting like they’re not, they come off as fearless and brave, which is attractive as hell. They ask you out without any hint of hesitation or fear of rejection, which is honestly rare these days. They also aren’t afraid to stand up for you (or themselves), which is super attractive and may be one reason you keep dating them. As much as you might be able to defend yourself, no woman wants a guy who hides or backs away from confrontation, especially when it’s in your name.
  8. If you don’t respect yourself, you’ll continue to date men who don’t respect you (even if you realize that they don’t). Another way of saying this: we accept the love we think we deserve. If you don’t have self-respect or standards for yourself, you’ll continue to date toxic guys, even when you know that they suck and aren’t good boyfriend material. If this is the case, you’ll keep choosing to date these losers until you take time off from men and dating, and work on yourself. Self-respect is essential to choosing guys that aren’t so awful.
  9. You might have daddy issues. Many, many women have daddy issues, which can be one of the reasons they continue to date toxic guys even when they know better. They are attracted to guys that resemble their father, especially if their father was lacking in a lot of ways and a jerk himself. They’ll date these guys looking for the affection and love that they didn’t receive from their fathers and believe that if they are able to eventually “fix” or tame him, they’ll resolve their daddy issues (even if this belief is subconscious). You might be looking at relationships with toxic guys as a challenge that you need to complete in order to heal any pain your dad may have caused you.
Kerry is a freelance writer from Boston, Massachusetts who now lives in the Sunshine State with the love of her life and her 15 month old daughter. She writes frequently about her personal experiences (find more of her work on She has an Etsy shop with cute items: she's not writing, she loves to spend time outside, at the beach, and with her family.