You’ve been dating for a while now and it seems like it has been an endless wheel of disappointment. You seem to be dating the same type of man, over and over again, even though it’s clearly not working out for you.
What you need to do, is figure out what exactly is a bad man. Is he someone who treats you badly, doesn’t respect you, controls you, or cheats on you — or all of the above?
To define the ‘bad boy’ is the first step to solving the solution. Then, you have to actively avoid them. Keep out the bad and let the good in. Easier said than done, we know, but here’s some solid help and advice to kick start your journey to finding your soulmate, not just a badmate.
After all, Albert Einstein once said: “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
1. Write down all similar traits previous partners have
Chances are, there are going to be various attributes or physical elements that your past beaus have in common. Even if it’s something small or you think is slight, write it down. You’ll probably start seeing a pattern form — maybe they’re all physically fit, maybe the majority are popular men, maybe they’re all intellectual, maybe they’re all super close to their mum — whatever it is, write it down. Multiple traits, if you can. You’re looking for as many patterns as possible.
Once the patterns have become apparent, guess what? You’re gonna seek out the exact opposite.
2. Then, write down what first attracted you to these men
This is a crucial step because, really, it’s you who is allowing these bad men into your life. Bad men will always exist, but they’re only involved with you because you let them in. So, look at what attracted you at the start. Was he aloof? Was he really full on, showering you with attention? Did you just ‘go along with it’ then found yourself attached down the line?
Take a good long hard look at what got you sucked in (we mean attracted to) with these bad men. This way, when/if it happens again, you’ll be able to recognise this pattern of behaviour in yourself — and swerve.
3. Next, pen down what you are actively looking for in a long term partner
A bit like how life mood boards work, this is a love and romance mood board – except just in a written format. Or if you want to create a proper mood board for this, full steam ahead! You just need to get it clear what exactly you want and need from your life partner in physical and mental and emotional attributes.
This is the list you’ll need to come back to, whenever you meet someone new, to remind yourself of what you ultimately want and need.
4. Look at the vibes you give off / things you’re saying or doing
Whilst it’s easy to always blame the other person, we know it takes ‘two to tango’. Yes, they’re bad boys but you’re giving off something / seeking something that means they’re finding you. So delve back into your own behaviour that led to these men. Look at your texts, for example. The things you say, how open or closed you were, the frequency of the communication etc.
Are you perhaps coming off as needy, or desperate? Are you making these men an immediate focal point of your whole life? Are you showering them with too much attention? Take some time out, get some friends feedback if need be, and be brutally honest with yourself about your own part to play in your dating history.
5. Learn to detect alarm bells
Many of you will seemingly not have foreseen this bad guy’s behaviour. Everyone around you, however, could have spotted it a mile off. When someone wants something so bad — to be loved, to have someone to love, it’s easy to put the blinkers on to anything that could take this ideal away from them.
Unfortunately, most of us will fall foul to this trap at some point in our lives. But to break the cycle, you have no choice but to detect early alarm bells early. Any warning signs that make this man a bad choice of partner needs to be recognised as soon as it surfaces.
Even if it’s on a first date.
6. Once alarm bells ring, walk
You’d be surprised how many of us recognise and see the warning signs, but choose to ignore them. Then, down the line, we’re a crying mess that he turned out to be a bad life choice. What were you expecting? That the beast turns into Prince Charming?
Once again, we choose to ignore the alarm bells so we don’t have to forsake the love and attention we think we’re getting from this person. Unfortunately, it takes a lot of strength, as soon as you see any issues or bad signs, to say thanks, but no thanks and immediately leave. This is the only way you can start changing your bad man cycle into a positive experience.
Whilst it’s not on your shoulders that these bad men exist, it IS your responsibility as to whether you entertain them or not.
7. Online dating? Alter your patterns
If you’re using online dating sites as a means to meet men (no judgement here, we’re all so darn busy) then look at who and how you interact.
Stop swiping right to the guys who resemble past patterns — physically or in their description. Also, stop ignoring guys who might be a perfect match for what you’ve outlined in point 3. If you keep ignoring the decent guy based on superficial reasons and accepting messages from the bad ones, you’re going to be stuck in the same scenario forever. Ain’t nobody got time for that.
8. Focus on what you want, not what you think they want/need
If you’re looking for a man, it’s easy to concentrate first and foremost on what they will want, or shall we say, what you think they want. Often we get so swept up in trying to pacify the guy and become someone we think they will want to be with, we lose ourselves in the process. This is neither healthy for the relationship, or for you.
What you need to start doing, is focusing on yourself first and foremost. Heading back to point 3, look at what you want from a man, not what you can offer him. But more than that, look at what you want to do with your own life and search instead for a man that shares the same ideas, goals and ethos as you.