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I have come to learn that we manifest in our lives what we believe we deserve. I was a late bloomer to love because I never believed myself attractive enough for men. It wasn’t until my early twenties when I realized that I was pretty and got guys’ attention.

I’m now 27 and have had a series of very short non-relationships and one “serious” relationship no one approved of. Looking back, I feel like I’ve only been able to manifest love out of men I can’t have.

Men with girlfriends. Men with wives. Gay men. Older men. 20 years older men with four kids, two ex-wives and an ex teacher to boot. (Yes, that last one was the only serious relationship I had and although he was the loveliest guy, I don’t need to tell you why it didn’t work out).

Although 99% of the time I back off when I find out their status, two men I have hooked up with were taken. I feel terrible for what I did. But the affairs I have had with single men have never turned into relationships. Or I simply do not feel any potential.

I desperately want to find someone on equal footing with whom I can finally share my life and achievements with, and eventually settle down with. But I finally snapped this week when I plucked up the courage to talk to a man I’ve seen around at my social sport, and he mentioned he had a partner. It’s like an omnipotent force is attracting me to men I can’t have!

What are your thoughts, Evan? I much appreciate your advice and wisdom, but need to know if this is all in my head or if it really is a thing.

Samantha

You said:

“We manifest what we believe we deserve.”

“It’s like an omnipotent force is attracting me to men I can’t have!”

Fascinating.

These two statements say the exact same thing, except one is true and one is false.

How can that be?

“We manifest what we believe we deserve” takes personal responsibility for your choices. If you believe you aren’t beautiful, you’ll settle for men who don’t find you beautiful. If you believe you aren’t loveable, you’ll settle for men who don’t love you, etc.

“It’s like an omnipotent force is attracting me to men I can’t have!” takes no responsibility for your choices. It absolves you from your actions and ascribes your affairs to the unconscious whims of a cruel universe.

That, of course, is nonsense.

But there is one sliver of truth to the “force” that draws you to unavailable men; you actually can’t help it. It’s deeply ingrained in you — probably from childhood — to value and venerate men whose ultimate approval you could never actually have.

There is one sliver of truth to the “force” that draws you to unavailable men; you actually can’t help it.

That part of it is unconscious. You really do LIKE these types of men.

But that’s where individual choice comes in.

Just because you like a certain type of man doesn’t mean you have to choose him.

You’re an adult.

You have experience.

You have free will.

You have a conscience.

Subconscious emotions can’t be an excuse for our own questionable behavior.

Subconscious emotions can’t be an excuse for our own questionable behavior.

You may prefer hot fudge sundaes to salads, but you don’t eat them at every meal.

You may think drugs are a great high, but you don’t take them every day.

Certain things are objectively bad for you.

You may be drawn to them, but you should know better.

Married men are no different.

You know better.

I remember one time in 2006 when I went on a date with a smart, sexy, sassy actress here in Los Angeles. We had great verbal banter on the phone and email. She was a curvy brunette — just my type. Our first date crackled with chemistry and sexual tension and ended with us making out in my apartment.

As soon as she said goodbye, I knew I couldn’t see her again.

I’d been on some version of this date dozens of times and I knew that this story wouldn’t have a happy ending. We were too similar. Too driven. Too opinionated. Too…something.

I could have hopped into bed, made her my girlfriend and had a torturous 3 month relationship.

I chose to pay attention to my life experience and take a hard pass.

I met my wife only a few months later.

I may have been chasing chemistry with my actress.

You may be chasing familiarity to an unavailable father figure.

But at the end of the day, it’s up to you to break the pattern and summon the willpower to run from men who are taken.

At the end of the day, it’s up to you to break the pattern and summon the willpower to run from men who are taken.

Millions of married men exist. Most women avoid them like the plague.

So, while I’m sympathetic, please don’t chalk this up to powerful unseen forces.

You know exactly what you’re doing, Samantha.

You just have to stop doing it.