“We have met the enemy, and he is us.” -Walt Kelly
I used to have a gift for attracting the losers women affectionately refer to as bad boys. And I found those losers attractive.
Oh, I how I loved bad boys!
Despite the tears and sleepless nights they caused, they never bored me. They gave me plenty to talk about with my friends over a slice and coke at Nick’s Pizza. But mostly they made me miserable. Nervous. Jealous. Sad. Paranoid.
Still, I spent months daydreaming that by offering a sparkling insight, by putting on a sexy dress, or by telling a hilarious joke, they’d see me for the incredible woman I was. And I’d change them. They’d stop cheating, drinking, skipping work, or whatever their particular problem was — and transform into Prince Charming.
I would rescue them. I would.
After years of this nonsense, it finally dawned on to me to stop dating until I attracted a man who would make me happy. That’s right: He would have to make me happy. I stopped trying to rehabilitate losers. I ceased being Florence Nightingale to guys who refused to help themselves.
I started attracting (and, more importantly, being attracted to) the boring, nice guys I used to turn my nose up at. You know, the loyal, affectionate, reliable, successful, fun ones that do their share in a relationship.
And guess what? I stopped being miserable, nervous, jealous, and paranoid. I changed so much that a friend’s father commented, “What happened to you? You used to be so depressed all the time.”
Enough about me. What about you?
If you’re continually attracting bad men, you have a problem. Bad men are attracted to women they perceive they can abuse, emotionally or physically. Are you up for abuse?
If so, why?
Sit down, pour a cup of tea, and have a good chat with yourself. Why do you attract losers? Why do you find them attractive? If you find good men boring or ‘too safe,’ what does that say about you? Are you afraid of a real relationship?
Write your answers on a piece of paper. Give them some thought. Ask yourself what kind of man would give you the peace and joy you truly deserve. Write that down, too. Use your second list as a litmus test. The next time you date a guy, ask yourself if he possesses the qualities you need to be happy.
Ask yourself if you’re willing to be happy (not everybody is, you know). If your answer is yes, that’s great. If you answer is no, ask yourself why.
What are you afraid of? What’s stopping you? Are you willing to change it?
Proceed accordingly. -Terry Hernon MacDonald