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Why Do Great Women Date Shitty Men? Written By A Survivor

I like to think of myself as the full package. Actually, I don’t think, I know. I’m well educated, I have a place of my own, I’m like the funniest person I know, and not considering the way I talk to people when I’m driving in Jersey, I’m super sweet. And hello? I’m hot AF. And not just in the face, if you saw this ass in a bikini you’d be mesmerized. Oh, and I’m very humble. 

But despite being God’s gift to earth and mankind, since the beginning of my dating history, I have always gone for the worst men. Like, I’m talking diabolical, manipulative, terrible men who weren’t even hot enough to be that awful. Actually, let’s be real. They were butt ugly, and had uglier personalities to match. And yet, I dated them. 

And sure, we can blame my severe, unique daddy issues on my choice in men but after meeting and befriending so many other wonderful, beautiful women who had my same issue, I realized this was a problem that was bigger than me.

So instead of continuing the therapy sessions I stopped doing last year, I used my journalistic skills to speak to licensed psychologist and certified sex therapist. Below is the conversation that transpired between me and Dr. Rachel Needle to try and dissect why wonderful women date shitty men.  

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So Doc, you can’t see me but I’m pretty cute and I have an A+ personality. But I’ve always dated just the worst men you could ever imagine. You don’t know anything about my childhood or past traumas, but just based on your professional opinion: Why do you think this is?

Most of us have found that we’ve been attracted to someone whom we knew wasn’t right for us. We may even have a pattern of going for the same type of person, often those who are not good for us. There are a lot of reasons why we might do this: 

  1. We might, at first, not notice the less than favorable qualities or the things that might be red flags because some of the positive aspects might overshadow those things. 

We might be drawn to certain people because we’re repeating patterns from when we were children. Oftentimes, we’re drawn to the types of people that we’re familiar with— people that we knew in early relationships, usually a parent or caregiver. We sometimes want to have the opportunity to kind of redo that relationship in a different way. Maybe fix somebody, maybe we couldn’t fix the parents. So now we’re having the opportunity to fix somebody who is an adult.

But if I know that the parent in my life (hi, Dad) wasn’t great and I wouldn’t want to date someone like them, why would someone like me continue to feed into this cycle of dating men who don’t treat them well?

Their cycle can be a result of having low self-esteem, potentially not resolving trauma from childhood, or just not feeling worthy. So, even if somebody is successful and seemingly does not have self-esteem issues, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t internal issues that they may or may not notice.

Okay so cool, I have self esteem issues. That’s not a big secret. But considering that that’s a work in progress, one of my relationships was only good for the first three months and just terrible for the next SIX years. Why would I stay in something like that?

There are these positive things that happened in the first three months, and you want to hang on to them and think like, ‘that’s got to still be there.’ There are some people who don’t think they can do better or just are scared they won’t find anybody else. There are things that have become comfortable for them within that relationship.

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So how does a girl like me break out of this awful cycle in three simple, super easy, not emotionally-draining steps?

1.) Know what you want and have expectations for yourself and relationships. But at the same time, don’t make that list in such a way that you’re crossing everybody off. What are your non-negotiables essentially? And stick to that. 

2.) Don’t compromise on something that you’ve decided is important to you if you really understand why that’s important to you.Not because someone said it should be important to you or because you’ve learned it should be important to you, but why is it really important to you

3.) Figure out what would be healthier choices for you in a relationship. And work with a mental health professional to understand more about yourself, to be able to value yourself, and to recognize red flags before you have invested time and energy into a relationship or allowed it to even take up space or time in your life. 

Make healthier choices in who we love, who we’re attracted to, and who will respect us. And if you find that you’re not doing that and you’re repeating patterns of choosing the wrong person, then certainly seek out some help and explore that a little bit.

That’s such great advice. But for someone who’s super traumatized like me, sometimes I can’t tell if I’m setting good standards for relationships or just impossible ones. 

I mean, you want to ensure that your list isn’t impossible to meet, even for yourself, right? You want it to be realistic.What things are 100% an indicator of someone you cannot be with. And then, what are the things that are important to you, even if they’re not deal-breakers? They’re important, and you’d like to see that in a partner, but they’re not as crucial — there are other things that are more important.

All relationships will have their issues, and in areas where you have to find a middle ground, but compromising on things that are important to you, or will really put your safety or your mental health at risk, is not advisable.

Syeda Khaula Saad
Syeda Khaula Saad
Syeda Khaula Saad is a sex & dating writer at Betches despite not remembering the last time she was in a relationship. Just take her word for it.