We all know the scenario: you meet a guy, things are going great, and then one day he becomes so different that you’re wondering if you imagined the entire relationship in your head. Did he always ignore phone calls from his mom? Has he seriously never cleaned his bathroom sink? How could you have missed all of this?
As women trying to navigate our way through the world of dating, we’re all guilty of investing our time in guys who were inevitably wasting it – but why? Maybe it’s wanting to give them a chance (or two or three) or the simple thrill of being with someone who keeps us on our toes.
Every person is different so before you begin to analyze your past relationships for clues to when you should’ve known it wasn’t going to work out, here are 5 reasons to consider why you choose the guys that are wrong for you.
1. You’re falling for his charm instead of his character
This reason is probably why the term “trust issues” was even invented. So you’re out at dinner and your date is genuinly impressing you with how sweet he is and how easily he can make you laugh. In general, he’s charming and can probably convince a rock that nothing is his fault. Although there’s nothing wrong with being charming, we tend to mistake charm for character. His ability to make your heartbeat quicken with his cute texts or how good he looks when he winks at you are not his morals. Instead, focus on the things that point to who he truly is. These include his sense of loyalty, if he’s honest with you (and others), and if he follows through with what he says he’ll do.
2. You’re looking in the same places
If you’re always going out to the same bars, running on the same trails, and passing your time doing the same things, you’re naturally going to meet the same type of people. We get it – it’s hard to get out of your schedule and it’s even more difficult to get out of your comfort zone. However, many of us either have no idea what type of person we’re looking for or we think we do and it just never seems to work out. There’s no harm in changing things up so the next time you want to go to a coffee shop to read a book, choose to go to an art museum instead. Along with going to different places, another idea is to try a new hobby and sign up to attend a class for it. Who knows – these little changes could make a huge difference and allow you to meet people you didn’t realize you were missing out on!
3. You’re ignoring red flags
Regardless of how nice someone is to you, no one can truly hide who they are. It may take a while to see glimpses of person, but the signs are there. Red flags are basically anything he says or does that make you feel like something is “off.” Your gut feeling will catch this – listen to it. Maybe you stop hearing from him after 5 pm every night or he’s been telling you he isn’t ready for you to meet his friends for the past 6 months. If you begin to notice things here and there that you know deep down definitely bother you, be honest with yourself instead of overlooking it. You could be saving yourself a lot of time and hurt.
4. You’re convinced you can change him
Maybe you’re in better shape than you think and have already caught the red flags and acknowledged them. However, what you do with this is what matters. We’re all weirdly wired to want to believe the idea that people will change for us if “they really care about us.” In reality, people change if they truly want to change on their own. Don’t get us wrong, we aren’t saying it’s impossible for him to change, we’re simply saying he probably won’t change because you have a plan to change him. There’s a reason why people fall back on old habits so if you do happen to accomplish changing him, you can’t be surprised if he eventually goes back to exactly who he was. To avoid this disaster, recognize if you can accept what it is about him you want to change and consider cutting ties if your answer is no.
5. You’re focused on a “checklist”
So you’re looking for a guy who is outgoing and loves dogs. Or maybe a guy who has his own place and can cook. Having an idea of the type of person you want to be with is a great start, but sometimes we get caught up on searching for these traits and miss the bigger picture. The truth is that a relationship goes deeper than how nice someone’s qualities look like on a list. Keep your expectations in mind when you’re getting to know someone, but don’t allow them to become the guidelines for whether the relationship will work. Being open may just be the trick you need to meet the guy you least expected to surprise you.