You Think You Attract The Wrong Men, But You Don’t

Man holds telephone while angry woman shouts into it

If you’re single, you’ve probably gone through hell in the dating world.

Investing your time in guys who don’t follow through after a first date.

Wasting months on men who don’t want anything more than a casual relationship.

Taking years to wait for a man to propose when he was never really going to.

Yes, as a dating coach, I am very fluent in the way you can allow your optimism to override your realism when it comes to love.

And yes, it’s true. Loving and losing can hurt far more than never loving at all.

And after all of those false starts and rejections and disappointments, it would be very easy to come to the conclusion that, dammit, you just seem to attract the “wrong” men.

Except it’s not true.

What if I told you that in my 15 years of single adulthood, I went out with a lot of women who were, let’s just say…highly emotional.

After all of those false starts and rejections and disappointments, it would be very easy to come to the conclusion that, dammit, you just seem to attract the “wrong” men.

Girlfriends who left me at weddings, restaurants and holiday parties.

Girlfriends who told me I was a sociopath.

Girlfriends who threatened to beat up people with candlesticks.

Girlfriends who sent me anonymous hate email.

Seriously. And this is the stuff I can share with you in a blog post!

Anyway, once upon a time, one of my friends was listening to one of my dating horror stories and offered her diagnosis:

“You’re clearly attracted to crazy women. You must really love the drama.”

It was a reasonable conclusion to draw. After all, I did have a disproportionate number of stories about highly emotional women. But when I thought about it, she was wrong.

I didn’t like drama.

I didn’t like crazy.

I craved stability and normalcy and unconditional love and support.

That’s when it dawned upon me:

My problem wasn’t that I was attracted to crazy women…

Yes, I was attracted to women, and yes, a certain percentage of them were going to be crazy. That’s not surprising.

The real issue was how much time I’d invested in these women, hoping that they’d suddenly become calm. That’s where I was guilty. I continually put myself through roller-coaster relationships with insecure people, hoping that they would work themselves out.

They never did.

The wrong men never work themselves out either.

Thus, the problem isn’t that you’re attracting the wrong men. That’s just a myth.

The truth is that you don’t ATTRACT the wrong men, you ACCEPT the wrong men.

The truth is that you don’t ATTRACT the wrong men, you ACCEPT the wrong men.

When you’re dating a man who has been with you for five years and never proposed, the problem is that you ACCEPTED HIM.

When you’re dating a man who is verbally abusive, and shuts down when you attempt to reasonably communicate with him, the problem is that you ACCEPTED him.

When you’re dating a man who has addiction issues, employment issues, and emotional issues, the problem is that you ACCEPTED him.

I’m not encouraging you to be intolerant of men’s flaws. I’m telling you that if you think you ATTRACT flawed men, you’re incorrect.

You attract lots of men.

By your definition, 95% of them are going to be the “wrong” men. As such, you’re never going to stop attracting the wrong men.

What you ARE going to do different is to stop ACCEPTING them.

Stop accepting unacceptable treatment and justifying it because you “love” him.

Stop spinning your wheels, waiting by the phone, walking on pins and needles in fear he’ll dump you.

Stop investing your emotions in men who refuse to give you the love, security, and consistency that you deserve.

Finally, stop beating yourself up for attracting the wrong men. That’s a waste of time.

If you consistently find yourself in relationships with liars, cheaters, addicts, leeches, or commitmentphobes, your job isn’t to get them to stop lying, cheating, drinking, mooching or committing. Your job is to leave.

At a certain point, it’s not his fault for being fundamentally flawed.

It’s your fault for thinking that your chemistry is powerful enough to change your broken relationship. Remember, most men are the wrong men. The problem is that you give the men these men a free pass because of your chemistry.

You’ll never stop attracting the wrong men, but starting now, you can stop ACCEPTING the bad behavior of the wrong men… and save yourself years of heartbreak and pain.

Finally, you’ll be open to receiving the quality of love you deserve.

But it starts with you.

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  1. 1

    And all the single people say, “Amen!”

    1. 1.1

      and I married him to lol to late I divorced him and started over and this time around I get it I am a quality good looking gal I attract all sorts of men. I wondered why from bikers to millionares? then I got it and yes lights on don’t take him in period

    2. 1.3

      Ditto, Amen to say the least. I could say so much but you did for me…

    3. 1.5
      Dee Thompson


    4. 1.6


    5. 1.7


    6. 1.8

      Amen indeed !!!

  2. 2

    Perfect! And perfect timing for me! I had just realized I was doing exactly that when I read the article! Setting boudaries or stating what you want is something you do from inside out. You have to love yourself and respect yourself to simply know that you deserve that in any relationship. If you haven’t reached that point of self-love and self-respect it is only natural that you accept less than you deserve, which is exactly what you believe you deserve. And really, all these wrong guys are there to give us back to ourselves, if only we’d notice it and do our work… Thanks. Always love your posts.

    1. 2.1

      Amen.   Look for the lesson behind the pain

  3. 3
    lux aeterna

    Yep – I’ve been guilty in the past. And why? Because I always thought I could somehow ‘help’ these guys lose their flaws. A rescue complex maybe? I think so. Why do we women so often want to change (‘help’) the guy? What a waste of time and effort.

    1. 3.1

      men rescue woman as well I think it is because it gives you a sense of value believe it or not and they feel like hero’s low self esteem

  4. 4

    The lightbulb just went on for me. Now I don’t need to make myself – or the men – wrong. I can just say, “Next!”

    1. 4.1

      Awesome! Girl, I loved your statement, ‘Next!’ After all, why do we need to feel bad for someone else’s bad behavior?

    2. 4.2
      Kelly Mitchell

      Love this! Next is my new favourite word. Oh yes.

  5. 5

    Man that’s some great advice and it could be given to either men or women.   This is advice I could use myself.   I have put up with things I never should have and held out for changes that I knew in my heart were never coming.   Maybe it’s time for some self examination to figure out what it is that I really want so I can figure out how to get it, or more importantly, realize it’s there when I find it and move on when it’s not.   Thanks Evan.

  6. 6

    Evan, did you write this part for ME? Quote “When you’re dating a man who has been with you for five years and never proposed, the problem is that you ACCEPTED HIM.”   I had responded on the Rori blog about the LDR I had been in for 5 years, and you had posted on the bottom of my post to DUMP HIM.   I took your advise, I dumped him that night!   And you are 100% correct, I accepted him, the holding back, the stalling, the years I could have been doing something else, meeting the right one, all for nothing. But now I am seeing clearly, never again!   You rock Evan! On to bigger and better!

  7. 7

    GUILTY AS CHARGED!!!!   “Accepted” him for almost 8 years on a hope and a prayer that he would commit and stop cheating, got even worse in the end.   Mid-life crisis said the therapist (andropause).   Oh well, I’ll have my own battles to fight when it’s my turn to suffer hormonal changes.   LOL

    Figured it out late in the game, but glad I figured it out.   Painful yes, but a valuable lesson learned.   Even, you’re still the man!

  8. 8
    Dont Be a Slut

    Very well said. Having standards is 90% of the battle. Took me a long time to learn that.

  9. 9

    oops!   sorry for mispelling your name Evan!   My bad!

  10. 10
    Sheba Wheeler

    ooh, I’m posting this one on my Facebook page right now!
    This is perfect because I just had a discussion this morning with someone who said I was terrible at picking men. I kept telling her that these men didn’t show many of these behaviors in the beginning (because if they did I would have dumped them). I think what makes it hard is after some time has passed and you have fallen in love…THEN they show their true colors and it’s harder to let go.

    1. 10.1

      That is so so true. They never act like that until u have invested a bit of time..and then they change or become the real them i suppose. Now ur in love and kind of difficult to let go. So true

  11. 11

    I may have to learn to apply Evan’s advice a little better.   After reading his blog for lo these many years, the pendulum may have swung a bit too far the other way and I may be kicking them to the curb too soon.   That’s not Evan’s fault, that’s me trying to figure out where the balance is.

  12. 12

    Good post. It’s not that we attract the wrong men, they are just out there swirling around, crawling from under their rocks, looking for women. The problem is when they reveal their true colors, we don’t leave fast enough!

  13. 13

    “The truth is that you don’t ATTRACT the wrong men, you ACCEPT the wrong men.”
    Amen and Hallelujah! Nothing else really needs to be said.

  14. 14

    Margo said: “The problem is when they reveal their true colors, we don’t leave fast enough!” Bravo Margo!   So true!!

    I will never again, put my needs behind a mans. I don’t care how much potential I might see. If he’s not putting it out there, being loving, honest, and respectful; and then not moving the relationship forward, in a timely manner (if that’s what we both agree to), then I am walking…PERIOD!

    However, I must admit after reading starthrower68’s comment (post #11), I fear I may do as she has admitted to doing. It will take time to figure out the healthy balance, in a healthy relationship, and not jump the gun too soon.

    1. 14.1

      True colors! That’s the key! Using your instincts and once you begin to see the red flags knowing you are entering torrential waters – you have a choice , do I keep hanging on hoping he will finally get it, get me and swim against the current with the strong possibility of dying to myself or do I admit to myself and to him I’m not drowning for you & turn around walk away with purpose and desire in your heart to stay safe and save yourself and move on with hopeful thoughts to try swimming again on another day because woman you are worth it, you are awesome and deserve better! You are his gold and your man should treasure you and keep u close, adore you or he is not deserving of you precious woman!

  15. 16

    When people show you who they are, believe them!

    Not only is this good advice for the major red flags, but for more subtle qualities too that deep down you KNOW prevent you from being a match but you’re giving it a chance because no one else is on the horizon and you’re trying to be open to see if something can grow.

    Trust your gut.

    1. 16.1

      Good one! Trust your gut. Amen to that! I finally did that and it paid off. It saves you so much time, heartache and that dreaded recovery period after it doesn’t work out. The signs are always there. Sometimes, we just don’t want to see them or we dismiss the little hints that pop up early. Keep your eyes open and the gut engaged.

  16. 17

    Well said Evan! Women are so guility of overlooking the flaws as they desperately want a realtionship to work out and the fault is in fact their’s for putting up with it in the first place. If you consider yourself to be in a bad relationship with the wrong type of man,  the reality as harsh as it may sound is that you are choosing to be there yourself.

  17. 18

    Sheba, #10, I so agree with you about not seeing certain behavior from men at the beginning.   

    Evan, do you have any advice about how to stay open and keep putting yourself out there when it seems to invite heartbreak after heartbreak?   I try to make wise decisions about the men I date and some of them seem to do everything right- all the things that qualify them as boyfriend material. Then they become my boyfriend and change overnight to cold and casual- after I’ve let my guard down and opened my heart.   I follow your dating principles- most of them I practiced even before I started reading you- so I don’t think I’m making any major mistakes.   I’m kind, generous and supportive to the people in my life- including men.   It’s so painful to be met with this Jekyll & Hyde act from men that sometimes I don’t know how to keep going.   

    Thanks for your blogs, books and courses.   They have helped me more than you can imagine.   At least now I know how to keep dating and finding good people online whereas before I felt completely hopeless.

    1. 18.1

      @Dawn – I’ve encountered a few of these Jekyll and Hyde acts myself, but I have to say after reading this that it was still all me – I was projecting many more positive qualities on the man than they were showing me. I am known to do that and think very highly of people, and maybe it’s ok to be more discerning and critical for a while longer and really not take everything a man says seriously until he has proven over and over again he is in it for the long haul. I think it’s partly my desperation still and I don’t think I am truly ready for a relationship that I accept these behaviors, and I am rather embarrassed about it every time.

  18. 19

    The main problem. The first standard you should have “looking for a long term  committed  relationship, reliable, dependable, treats you well, financially stable, mentality stable, loyal, family orientated, good hearted, etc.” I have only name 10 things and there are more. Instead what women look for first for standard, “tall, handsome, etc” and men, “slender, young, hot, etc”. We all have standards the problem we want the superficial standards met first than we look for the kind of standards that matter long term as a mate. The women/men who are in very successful   long term committed relationships, there first priority of standard is the long term, than secondary was exterior  attractiveness.  

    At the end of the day we look for  exterior  qualities first than we try to force the secondary “long term, good hearted, etc – qualities” onto them. It does not work.

    The only thing that keeps you from having the long term emotional satisfying relationship you crave is your exterior/superficial standards.

    I am a man, I am fully aware of physical drive. I understand why they dont work out and I know it is who I choose.

  19. 20

    Sheba and Dawn, I thought it was strange that I keep getting the Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde behavior as well.   It must be very prevalent.   So what’s up with that?   Why do men come on so strong in the beginning and then suddenly become jerks after you/ve already fallen for them?   It is hard to give up on them, because you would like that great guy you fell for to come back, but he doesn’t, does he?   If they acted like that in the beginning, sure it would have been a no-brainer to kick them to the curb.

    1. 20.1

      Most of the time it’s to get in your pants…girls even myself have thought oh seems great and jumped into things too quickly. Some men are very charming when they want something.

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