How Can I Stop Being Attracted to the Wrong Men?

Why You Might Want to Stop Dating Your Type

Hey Evan. I have had a pattern of being attracted to emotionally ‘broken’ or emotionally unavailable men. I thought I was over this since doing counselling but I’m still drawn to this type of man. Worst yet I pull away once I feel a love interest is getting too close. How can I break this pattern and attract the love I desire?


I’ve covered this at length before:

I keep choosing unavailable men and can’t seem to break the pattern.

What to do with an emotionally unavailable man.

But today, Sheina, I’m going to give you you a killer metaphor that will allow you to take control over your destiny and live happily ever after.

I’m going to tell you something that perhaps your counselor hasn’t – in the hopes that it’ll jolt you out of your orbit and allow you to make different choices in the future.


You’re NEVER going to stop being drawn to emotionally unavailable men. EVER.

The same way someone who is an alcoholic still craves a drink or someone who is on a diet still craves something sweet, emotionally unavailable men are YOUR drug.

Thus, you are now given a choice – keep doing drugs or stop doing drugs. 

Ex. Right now, I’m on a diet. I’m eating 100 calorie shakes while my entire family eats red meat and guzzles down ice cream. Do I want to eat what they’re eating? YES! Will it get me what I want in the long run? NO! So the decision is actually quite easy.

Continuing with the mixed food metaphors… 

Very often when I tell women that bad boys are like steak and ice cream and while they taste great, you can’t eat steak and ice cream with every single meal. When I say this, they get upset, because what they THINK I’m saying is that the alternative is kale and rice cakes. 

Love – lasting love – is found somewhere in the middle.

In fact, true love – lasting love – is found somewhere in the middle.

It’s not steak and ice cream. It’s not kale and rice cakes. 

It’s chicken teriyaki with veggie stir fry. 

It’s a tasty, healthy alternative in between the two extremes. That’s marriage. 

If you’re someone who refuses to admit that chicken teriyaki stir fry (7 chemistry/10 compatibility) exists or refuses to date such men, you will continue to struggle, thinking the world is made up of only 10 chemistry or 0 chemistry men.  

But if you embrace this tasty, healthy diet instead of giving into your old unhealthy patterns, it won’t be long before all of your problems magically go away.

Dating, ultimately, is about choices. 

You can’t change to whom you’re attracted. 

You can change who you sleep with, how long you waste on a dead-end guy, and how you cultivate a relationship with the 10% of men who are attractive and emotionally available. 

That’s why I created Love U. 

I sincerely hope to see you there.

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  1. 1
    Michelle Chenault

    I have had an extremely difficult time with this pattern as well .. and I can tell you Evan is so right! I am FINALLY accepting the realities of my unhealthy choices and choosing healthier instead. Sure, I still want the “ice cream” but that’s not what I REALLY REALLY WANT nor is it best for me. Learning this has taken me years … so realize it is not an easy one .

  2. 2
    Emily, to

    If you have this pattern, know that whoever you feel attracted to is probably wrong for you. And you feel super attracted, run away. If you feel nothing, there’s your man.

    1. 2.1


      so true. But … why bother with a man if you feel nothing? Might as well stay single. So much less effort and work.

    2. 2.2

      Emily, that’s a binary choice between 10 chemistry and 0 chemistry. It doesn’t have to be that way. I used to have this pattern but over the years I broke it by evaluating men by how they treated me. I didn’t feel fireworks-style chemistry with my husband on our first date but I did feel some. But it increased over time as I got to know him, whereas as off-the-wall chemistry on the first date tends to burn out quickly. “Feeling nothing” with a man is settling and that isn’t fair to him.

      1. 2.2.1
        Emily, to

        “Feeling nothing” with a man is settling and that isn’t fair to him.
        Well, we’re all works in progress. We do the best we can at any given time. As this post says, if you’re attracted to emotionally unavailable, you always will be. You just have to train yourself to try a different, “healthier” type. How do I know that the guy who asked me out isn’t doing the same thing? That maybe he’s hung up on some married woman he can’t have and is forcing himself to date to get over her? You never know.

      2. 2.2.2

        With my first two husbands, I felt a 10 chemistry. Really over the top, judgement blinding fireworks. Luckily, that natural aging process worked in my favor, and when I went back into the dating worId once again in my late 50’s, I just wasn’t capable of feeling that skyrocketing chemistry, and that was a GOOD thing. I’m not completely dead inside either. What I feel for my husband now, is much more than “nothing” but slightly less than the fireworks I felt in my younger days. And we are extremely compatible ! I’ve given this metaphor before, what I felt in my younger days was comparable to crack cocaine, what I feel now is like that warm glow from a glass of fine wine. I have found my 7 attraction and my 10 compatibility. And it is a beautiful thing.

        1. sylvana


          it always surprises me to hear so many people say that they even experience 10 chemistry more than once in life. I’ve only had that with once man once who I was insanely attracted to, but I never even got to be with him in any way (not even sex). I couldn’t imagine what it would be like to date someone like that, let alone be married to someone like that.

          If I run into one I feel about a 5 or 6 with once every two years or so, I’m surprised. And those are usually not anything I would want to date (it’s mostly sexual attraction, but I wouldn’t consider them suitable as relationship material).

          To me, that 7 Evan talks about is about as elusive as a unicorn. That seems extreme high chemistry to me.

        2. Emily, to

          ” I’ve only had that with once man once who I was insanely attracted to, but I never even got to be with him in any way (not even sex). I couldn’t imagine what it would be like to date someone like that, let alone be married to someone like that.”
          I have been able to get my hands on a few 10-level chemistry guys, but only 1 wanted to seriously date me. I can’t imagine being fortunate enough to marry not one but two 10-level chemistries. And in my case, I felt that way about them. I highly doubt all of them were 10-level into me. And maybe not even one guy was. Who knows? Some people dont’ experience that level of chemistry. Some never look for it.

        3. SparklingEmerald

          “I can’t imagine being fortunate enough to marry not one but two 10-level chemistries”

          Actually, I think it was UNfortunate that I married two level 10 chemistry guys. Because ultimately neither worked out. At least with the 2nd marriage, we DID have many happy years together (and a wonderful son) but eventually it burned out. And after the thrill of mutual 10 chemistry wore off, and the joy of parenthood became less joyful when our son was a teen, we discovered we had ZERO compatibility. And it all came crashing down.

          I feel very fortunate that I found very high compatibility and moderate mutual chemistry in my golden years.

        4. Emily, to

          Sparkling Em,
          “And after the thrill of mutual 10 chemistry wore off, and the joy of parenthood became less joyful when our son was a teen, we discovered we had ZERO compatibility. And it all came crashing down.”
          You still rode the train a mighty long time. I’m referring that streetcar named desire. 🙂 In my experience, high chemistry/low compatibility relationships usually come crashing down after about 6 months, and that’s if you aren’t spending every waking minute together.

        5. Kitty

          Regarding 10 chemistry:

          Everyone has a “type” when it comes to 10 chemistry. Mine personally is charismatic narcissists. I don’t say this with pride or shame, it simply is what it is. However, I was raised with a very solid moral foundation and a very strong sense of right and wrong, and also a bit of caution about jumping into bed with people I barely know. Before long I always discovered that they were either in relationships and usually cheating or they were single and sleeping with multiple women with no desire for any sort of relationship. I never believed that I could change them so I just cut them off. I realized that I was not capable of “being friends” with someone who blew my mental circuits out so deeply.

          Of course I did pine for those men for a very long time and I tried time after time to find someone with a 10 chemistry feel who didn’t have all the negatives of a charismatic narcissist. I was never able to do that and I now have a 7 chemistry and 10 compatibility husband. OTOH that is hard to find as well.

        6. Emily, to

          How much time did you spend with these 10-chemistry guys? I ask because, from my experinece, most 10-chemistry connections are largley based on projection and fantasy. The more time you spend with them, the less chemsitry you feel. I had one 10-chemistry guy I really got to know (with the others, there was some impediment– one moved away, the other kept things casual). But the chemistry died with the one I got to know. However, if things had ended before I got to know him, I would have been pining for him,

        7. Sheila

          Emily, as I said I got rid of most of them quickly once I realized that they were taken and/or promiscuous because I knew that if I didn’t I’d get drawn into their webs. Except for one who I had to spend a lot of time with for reasons beyond my control. I got to know him very well and discovered I didn’t like him at all. He’s a charismatic narcissist and I mean that with almost every negative connotation those words will conjure.

          However I still felt a strong attraction to his energy. I probably still would if I ran into him today. So no, discovering who he was on a day to day basis didn’t kill the chemistry. It forced to me put up a lot of physical and mental defenses against it but his seductive energy never lost its allure. I don’t pine for him because I know that I don’t want to be with someone like that. Unfortunately he worked very hard to make sure I never want anything to do with him again. Anyway that is my experience with one man. I’m now happily married and glad that he’s gone.

  3. 3

    My dad was emotionally unavailable and I repeated that pattern in two marriages. NOW I am getting it right. My high-quality man is available emotionally, spiritually, physically, and intellectually. He took his first yoga class with me last Sunday! Now….I do miss “fixing” the two-legged strays, but I know where that comes from and I’m choosing every day to love healthier this time. Being self-aware and recognizing your patterns is the first step. Evan is spot on with this!

  4. 4

    “Emotionally unavailable man”, lol, that’s just a man.
    If your attracted to “distant”or “emotionally unavailable”men then good news for you, cos there’ll never be in short supply. But srsly, unless he treats you badly why not just stay with a man who’s a little distant and doesn’t often discuss his emotions? Are all emotionally unavailable men terrible people? Seems like a lot of emotionally available men are probably just as bad or selfish.

    Also, isn’t emotionally broken almost the polar opposite of emotionally unavailable? Seems like emotionally broken is the guy who always goes on about his sob story and the drama of it sucks some women in, and it never stops. Perhaps he qualifies as a “bad boy” (whatever the hell that means to women), because of his bad past and behaviour stemming from it, and that may be attractive to some women, but if anything he’s far too emotionally available.

    1. 4.1
      Emily, to

      “because of his bad past and behaviour stemming from it, and that may be attractive to some women, but if anything he’s far too emotionally available.”
      Bad boys aren’t emotionally available. They may be in need of comfort at any given moment, but they want the companionship and support on their terms and their time, with no “labels,” only to disppear and then reappear, possibly after other women were on the scene. And they give almost nothing back. Being “bad” doesn’t mean they have a criminal record. It means they defy society’s idea of a traditional boyfrined and do whatever they want.

      1. 4.1.1

        So just a whiny selfish crybaby? Who’s trick is to act like a baby crying for boob?
        Lol, and that’s attractive?

        1. Emily, to

          You missed the point entirely but you’re obviously doing it intentionally.

    2. 4.2

      No “Bbq” that’s not just a man. Unfortunately, since you know so little about this I am afraid you probably fall into the category. I don’t believe I said they are “terrible people.” I am not interested in settling for a man who doesn’t discuss….and that includes emotions. Since you know little about the topic, I highly recommend the book “Emotional Unavailability” by Bryn Collins. You’ll be able to answer all of your own questions and understand why quality women love emotionally available men. Cheers!

  5. 5

    I have encountered the term “emotionally unavailable man” a lot and don’t understand what it means. Can someone describe what such a man is like? Thanks.

  6. 6

    EM, please read the book “Emotional Unavailability” by Bryn Collins and you will get your questions answered.

  7. 7

    Right but what if he doesn’t need to discuss his “emotions” all the time? Not saying he never shows any emotion at all, but on a day to day, month to month basis, if nothing serious is going wrong, then what if he isn’t feeling any type of emotions that are worth discussing? Why can’t you accept that?

    I can see how being with a man who won’t converse on anything could be a drag, but a lot of men either don’t have any day to day emotions they feel the need to bring up, or if they do, don’t get any kind of psychological relief from discussing them. That’s more of a woman’s thing. Or often if they do talk about their emotions (or make some up) it’s as much a courtesy to clue their partners in and make them feel included, as well as give them something to worry (in a good way) over, as it is a consolation for them.

    Of course your allowed to want what works for you and there is no harm in a man being emotionally available if that works in his relationship, but I also don’t think there’s any harm in being “emotionally unavailable” either. Just whatever works for the couple, it’s not that one way is “higher quality” than the other.

    1. 7.1

      Ok, Bbq, my man is conscious which means he’s self-aware. Maybe that’s a better way to put it. He is always looking for what’s right instead of what’s wrong. He absolutely struggles with discussing his emotions due to his childhood programming. I think most men do with how society says men should be/act. Women fall in love “between their ears” by listening. So, if a man doesn’t talk or share…that’s a problem. Communication is key to a conscious and growing relationship.

      If you are single and looking, I would invite you to investigate what “high-quality” means in the dating world.

      1. 7.1.1

        I’m not but I find using the term “high quality” to be off putting, when used by either sex.

        It’s fine that you want your man to act and be a certain way, I have no problem with that. But the problem is you’ve decided him acting the way you want makes him “high quality”, thus designating the men who don’t as “low quality”. Well for your dating purposes they may be, but I’m sure you can see how applying a blanket term like low quality to all men who don’t express themselves how you prefer as low quality could come off fairly condescending. I like women who act a certain way (within a range) more than others, but I don’t try to name the ones who don’t as lesser than.

        You may have a problem withh the way some men act, but what if they don’t and don’t get anything out of acting the way you say is better? What gives you the moral authority to claim your right and they should change? How is this any different than a man telling women how to be better women for their sake but to the woman’s detriment? It comes off as very unconsciously arrogant to me.

        Perhaps they want you to understand them better and respect the fact they don’t need to constantly express their emotions. Perhaps you could meet in the middle rather than assume your view of how men in society should act carries any more moral or intellectual weight than theirs. Just a thought.

        1. Emily, to

          Sugar Sauce,
          “But the problem is you’ve decided him acting the way you want makes him “high quality”, thus designating the men who don’t as “low quality”. ”
          Yeah, I agree. A man isn’t “low quality” because he doesn’t want a relationship or is “emotionally unavaiable.” It’s just what he wants or where he is emotionally at that time. As long-time readers have learned on this site, there are a million possibilities that exist between one-night stands and marriage.

        2. Lynn

          BBq, I NEVER said “low quality” you did. You make a lot of assumptions and apply judgement to my comments; neither of which are things a high-quality or high-value man would do. He might ask for clarification, or ask questions to further understand, but not do as you just did. I don’t have a problem with the way some men act because I choose not to date them. These past six years I’ve done exactly what Evan said to do. Slow to hire and quick to fire. By the way, I didn’t come up with this term (although I wish I had). Look at the articles written by women and men on how to spot a man with value. Evan says the same thing, but in different words. It seems you have a problem with the phrase “high-quality.” That means it’s striking a chord inside you which might be worth you checking out.

        3. Chris

          I agree with you here BBQ. I think there may be a biological difference between men and women such that men tend to be more emotionally neutral day to day. Men are simply less inclined to frequently talk about their emotions because they rarely feel the genuine need to.

      2. 7.1.2

        I don’t think of men in terms of “high quality” or “low quality”. I think in terms of “a suitable match (for me)” or “not a match”. I also don’t like to think of “leagues” either. A guy is either “my type” or “not my type”. I don’t like ranking people in leagues, as if some people are beneath me, or I am beneath others.

        1. jo

          SE, same here. I think that ranking people is so reminiscent of grade school (the popular crowd, the untouchables, etc.). Once we become adults, one would hope that we’d all graduated beyond leagues and ranks. Yes, I know adults who still judge others accordingly, but I don’t have much respect for them.

          It’s more about, as you and BBQ say, who’s right for you, and who isn’t. Your type may not be someone else’s type, and that’s great. The person who’s right for each of us isn’t up to groupthink.

        2. Noquay

          Exactly, I think in terms of compatible as to lifestyle and values.

        3. Emily, to

          You all are on the wrong blog as this blog is known for ranking and numbers. Sparkling Emerald, you know better. You’ve been on here to witnesss what I’m talking about. 🙂

      3. 7.1.3


        Again high-quality and high-value man are simply terms that come off ridiculously judgmental and snobby – albeit in a comedic kind of way. I can’t imagine ever saying to friends or family, “I’ve found a new girlfriend, this ones really high-value” or “my wife’s as high-quality as the day I met her”, Lol it makes them sound like a new car or a some livestock. IMO its a obnoxious way to refer to people, even if they meet your standards.

        As to what this ideal “high-quality” type of man would do – is a high-quality man only allowed to ask for clarifications of your point of view or questions so that he can further understand the truth of what you say? But not to disagree outright?
        Sounds more like a high-quality doormat.

        Please pardon my low quality comments, sincerely, low-value man.

        1. Lynn

          BBq, those terms are not mine, they were coined by someone else. In my opinion, the terms were created to differentiate in the types of men showing up online. My man is self-aware, conscious, kind, compassionate, involved in service….I could go on forever. He’s also financially solvent, very intelligent, adventurous, physically fit and nice to my cats. Again, I urge you to look at the dating coaches who subscribe to this lingo to understand the reasoning.

    2. 7.2
      Karl R

      Bbq said:
      “Right but what if he doesn’t need to discuss his “emotions” all the time?”

      Why do assume that “emotionally available” translates to “talking about your own emotions all of the time”? Is that the only way you can conceive of to be emotionally available to your partner?

      First, that interpretation seems a bit egocentric. Second, I doubt that any woman would view egocentrism as being “emotionally available.”

      Perhaps the term means something very different.

      1. 7.2.1

        But it’s easy to listen. If it means something else then enlighten me?

        1. Karl R

          Or you could Google it, read a few articles about it, and enlighten yourself.

  8. 8

    That was in response to Lynn.

  9. 9

    For the record, I really like kale! But yes my husband is a good balance 7 chemistry and 10 compatibility. I used to agonize over emotionally unavailable men. Then, fortunately or unfortunately, I had to work with one and although we never had sex I did pine for him. But after 4 years of seeing him every day at work I came to see what a petty, manipulative, and hateful man he was. And how miserable his marriage was and how he was permanently shopping around for adultery partners. It was more than enough to see that I never wanted anyone like him ever again.

    I think the main reason that many of us crave emotionally unavailable men is because they don’t let us into their lives enough to see what low character they really have. By maintaining that distance and mystery they let us fill in the blanks by fantasy. Also, those of us who are innately drawn to emotionally unavailable men often are because we are unrealistic in some ways about human nature. I used to get aggravated and turned off by men who were nervous around me because I thought Real Men (TM) never got nervous or intimidated by something as feminine as attraction or love. But that’s just not true. Emotionally unavailable men don’t get nervous around you (or at least me) because they don’t care about you and will not feel any embarrassment or loss if you drift away. A man who is attracted to you and wants something serious from you will get nervous at some point. Some hide it better than others but eventually he will admit to nerves and butterflies if he trusts you enough.

  10. 10

    A book that was very helpful to me a few years ago is called “Marrying Anita”. It was about a Harvard-educated journalist who was born in California to parents from India. She got so fed up with her frustrations in finding a husband in the New York dating scene that she decided to go to India to find a suitable husband.

    The fascinating part of this book is how the author takes herself from the casual dating scene of New York which overemphasizes sex and emotional passion and downplays marriage, and puts herself in the radically different culture of India which is much more marriage oriented and downplays sex and passion. Anita brings her same bad attitude and poor judgment to India, and has no better luck finding a husband there than in New York. She also demonstrates many of the more cringey but (to me) relatable characteristics of many women who struggle with dating: she’s picky, critical, superficial, addicted to the excitement of impossible what-if “relationships”. Seeing how her failure to adapt to a different dating or courtship scene made me see how most of a woman’s success or failure in finding a husband (absent extreme circumstances) primarily falls on her. She’ll need a little luck of course but how she uses that luck is also up to her.

    1. 10.1
      Emily, to

      I didn’t read the book, but if a person’s goal is to get married, the way to achieve that goal is simple: Marry the person who wants to marry you. Move toward the people who are interested. I don’t mean that in a flippant way, but it really is that cut and dry.

      1. 10.1.1

        “Marry the person who wants to marry you. Move toward the people who are interested.”

        In my opinion Anita’s issue is that she is a hard core commitmentphobe. It’s almost a textbook case as she writes about her life without the slightest bit of self-awareness.

        In India as well as in New York, she chases after men who are unavailable or inappropriate in almost every conceivable way, and when available, appropriate men express respectful interest in her she sabotages the relationships or writes the men off for (often) silly reasons. It’s hard for a woman to move toward marriage-minded men when she is motivated by unconscious fear.

        1. Emily, to

          “It’s hard for a woman to move toward marriage-minded men when she is motivated by unconscious fear.”
          Maybe it’s not fear at all but maybe she’s not honest with herself in that she doesn’t really want a serious relationship or husband. Maybe she thinks she should want it because of how society is arranged but she’s subconsciously drawn to other qualities — attraction, hot sex, unpredictability, etc. I don’t know. I’m just throwing thigns out there. I think we put our time and energy into things we want. I have friends who, now in their 40s, say they wished they’d children, but they did nothing in their 30s to make that happen. They either stayed in dead-end relationships or didn’t date at all. So that tells me they didn’t want kids that badly.

    2. 10.2

      Kitty, thanks for the book suggestion. When my library opens back up, I will definitely read it.

  11. 11

    BBq, I think listening is a true skill and not easy at all.

  12. 12

    Evan stated it well at the end of his response; how much time are you willing to spend with such men before you cut them loose? We are attracted to and attract all sorts of men and emotional availability or lack thereof is not always something that can be spotted immediately but when it becomes obvious, Sayonara! Unavailable are not necessarily the 10’s on the chemistry scale, there’s plenty of 5’s, 3’s etc also this way as it has nothing to do with looks (except attractive men get away with bad behavior longer) and everything to do with factors far beyond your control.

  13. 13

    When I first got on Match 2 years ago I met someone like that. I went nuts for him and we had so much fun on our dates but I just couldn’t get him to be consistent about calling me. When he told me that his son had joined a traveling soccer team and that the two of them would only be in town every other weekend, that was my clue. That night we were canoodling at my place and I told him that I only have sex in a relationship. I never heard from him again. It was hard not to reach out, but I was disciplined about it. Ultimately my interpretation is that he was lonely, but didn’t have time due to his paternal responsibilities to really be in a relationship. If he’ wanted to he could have arranged his schedule so he’d have more time for a girlfriend. But he didn’t really want a girlfriend because he was still hung up on his ex-wife. Now he was a good person and I wish him all the best and hopefully he has now reached a point where he has room in his heart for new love.

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