5 Guaranteed Ways to Attract a TOTAL Jerk

In Advice and Encouragement, Dating, For the Guys, For the Ladies by Debra Fileta14 Comments

“I’m out to snag a jerk”….said no one ever.

In fact, that’s pretty much the LAST thing anyone would ever say or wish for in a relationship.

But far too many young women and men are saying they want a healthy relationship with their words, but doing just about everything possible to attract the wrong kind of person.

And actions always speak far louder than words.

Human beings are like magnets, and we send out certain vibes by the way we act, speak, and behave that draw the right (or totally wrong) kind of person to our side. I interact with way too many young men and women that are doing everything wrong, yet completely dumbfounded as to why they aren’t landing a healthy relationship.

So if you’ve ever found yourself stuck in a “less-than-desirable” relationship (to say the least), here are some things you were probably doing:

1. Do Pretty Much Everything in the Relationship: Want to attract the wrong kind of person? Then go ahead and DO everything yourself. Be the one to always call, make plans, and pursue communication. Initiate as much as you can and give, give, give whether or not you get anything back. Do all the work for your partner, and they’ll be sure to stick around (though not necessarily because they’re into you). As a “bonus”, it will also guarantee that you’ll be stuck in a one-sided relationship.

2. Make Excuses: What do you do after you’ve given everything you can and received little to nothing in return? Step 2: Make excuses. Tell yourself that he was just busy last week, or that she just has too much on her plate. Remind yourself of that one-time when he said those sweet words, or she made that little bit of effort. It will make you feel better, and it will make you stick around longer in a bad relationship instead of realizing that you deserve better.

3. Give Your Goods: Sexual intimacy is like the Novocaine of relationships. It numbs you to what’s really going on around you by giving you a sense of false intimacy, closeness, and relationship with someone who may or may not actually be invested in you. If you really want to attract a jerk, give him/her your goods. They won’t say no. In fact, they will ask for more, and more, and more. Not only will they spend you physically, but they will also spend you emotionally- because in the end, they will give nothing back in return. Empty promises. Broken commitments. Half-hearted truths.

4. Give 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th chances: It’s a wonder that some people let these things happen to them one time…but the bottom line is: you live, you learn. What really amazes me, is that some people not only let themselves get taken by a jerk completely undeserving of their time MORE than once*. And many times, the same jerk comes right back around. If you want to keep a jerk by your side, keep giving more chances. Try again. Hope for the best. Give trust before it’s been earned. You’ll be sure to get your heart broken one…more…time.

5. Keep believing he/she will change: Oftentimes, emotions trump reason when we’re desperately in search of love and acceptance. We truly convince ourselves that this time around, things will be different. We erase the record and start from scratch, rather than waiting for evidence of genuine change, growth, and healing. But as we sit in waiting, expecting change in someone we CAN’T actually control, our own lives (which we CAN control) pass us by. Opportunities are missed, talents are wasted, and dreams disappear into thin air.

Relationships that could have been…never come to be, because we’re holding on to the wrong ones, rather than letting go and opening our heart to the right ones.

If you’ve been known to attract a jerk or two…maybe it’s time to reevaluate and make some changes. Maybe it’s time to take inventory of how your actions and behaviors have given the wrong kind of people permission to enter into your life. Maybe it’s time to close that door, start from scratch, and remember that God wants you to know that you deserve so much better than this.

Debra Fileta is a Professional Counselor, speaker, and author of the book True Love Dates: Your Indispensable Guide to Finding the Love of Your Life21 Days to Jump Start Your Love Life, and 21 Days to Pray For Your Love Life – where she writes candidly about dating, relationships, and how to find true love. You may also recognize her voice from her 150+ articles at Relevant Magazine or Crosswalk.com! She’s also the creator of this True Love Dates Blog!  Connect with her on Facebook or Twitter

*As a Professional Counselor, I often work with women in abusive or toxic relationships. For many of these women, “just leaving” their abusive relationship isn’t easy, because of years and years of family of origin issues, negative self-talk, traumatic memories and even risking their very lives. This article is primarily written for those who are dabbling with unhealthy relationships, not those who are involved in a toxic relationship where there is abuse involved. If you are the latter, please know that there is hope and a light at the end of the tunnel. Seek help here. 

*If you are NOT in an abusive relationship but would still like some guidance and/or advice in your current relationship struggle, I’d love to help! Schedule a Skype Relationship Session and we can connect face-to-face.

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14 Comments on "5 Guaranteed Ways to Attract a TOTAL Jerk"

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You are so right! I had just started college when this guy started showing interest in me and I guess that just took me by surprise because I am not used to this kind of attention. He was a real charmer, too, (got me to kiss him even though i didn’t really want to, too) but since we had met at the end of the semester, we only communicated via facebook and texting and so on for most of the time. Anyway, I was obviously way more into him than he was into me and I basically did all of… Read more »
This describes 99% of my last relationship. I never thought I’d be the type of person to date someone who would be that much of a jerk, but what people don’t realize is that often these people either genuinely believe or lead you to genuinely believe that the misunderstandings and lack of communication weren’t that big of a deal or that they’ll do better. Promises to do better are only followed by more excuses as to why none of the promises were fulfilled. They don’t always seem like jerks and will lead you on an unpleasant roller coaster ride of… Read more »

“people don’t realize is that often these people either genuinely believe or lead you to genuinely believe that the misunderstandings and lack of communication weren’t that big of a deal or that they’ll do better. ”

Brittney, you totally said what I wanted to say. Your story is exactly mine but I’m so happy that I finally got the courage to leave him and the relationship. Now I’m single and happy and contend and praying for the right man and the right relationship.

I wish you the same.


At the core of this behavior it seems is low self esteem.
A belief that : no one else seems to want me… let me cling to this person who showed a bit of interest like a drowning man clutches at straw.

The day you realize hey I deserve better and start establishing healthy boundaries the better it is.
We complain: down with love! Love stinks! but the truth is we haven’t been doing love right… we ought to love our neighbor as ourselves and in loving ourself we don’t cling to something that brings hardship and pain.

Taura B.
I have read several blogs & articles on this subject. And heard the saying “you are who you attract”. . . . But what about the opposite of this blog topic . . . . .for instance, “why does it seem like your not attracting anyone to you?” or “why does it seem like your invisible to the opposite sex?” I know I’m not the only one that wonders this. You do what you know to do; follow after God, seek to know him & understand his will/plan for your life. Have him heal all you past hurts, issues &… Read more »

Yes! Exactly what I was thinking! I don’t have a problem with unhealthy relationships. I simply don’t have relationships. Other than family and friends, that is. What to do about that?

Shawn Branch

It seems like jerks are the only type of guys women want in my area. Why is that?

Are we to assume we’re talking about dating fellow believers? If so can fellow believers who exhibit this one-sidedness be called jerks? If their actions are because of past hurts are they still considered a jerk? Or are they fellow believers who are hurt and in their lack of healing have not made the best choices or are paralyzed by fear which causes them to not contribute. Do believers deserve second chances & patience? Or do we lump these behaviors into one group regardless of being or not being a believer and say it’s all the same, so walk away?… Read more »

Wow, this was a great read. I can identify with all of them but mostly 1,4 & 5. For #5 I think of the saying “Zebra’s stripes don’t change”.

Oh my gosh….. Thank you so much for your all your articles! I especially liked this one as it seems you are writing about me. The previous me anyway. Growing up in an alcoholic, very dysfunctional home caused me to not have a healthy view my worth and value. I’m four years now divorced from an alcoholic after 24 years of marriage. At 49 years old and after coming out of another unhealthy toxic relationship of over three years six months ago I’m the healthiest I’ve ever been. God has provided such clarity, wisdom and peace in this season of… Read more »
Now Taura…you took the words right out of my mouth!!! I have often wondered the same thing. I became a new creation when I got saved and at first I fell for some not so ideal women! It took me twice for that to happen to realize I need to set my bar a little higher because God says I am worth it! After all, He sent Him Son to die on a cross for me and for you and the world! With that in mind we need to be looking for equally yoked people that want to stand side… Read more »

Hey Rachel…I get where your coming from, but won’t a true believer be different and therefore not in the same group?! I know when I got saved God made me a new creation as the bible says, the old is wasted away and I don’t want to do the things I did before that dishonors God. If they are true believers I don’t think they could continue down that path with a clear conscience!
I am still broken and saved and I surly don’t want to treat any woman that way!
Just food for thought!

God bless you

Raymon- I agree. First, though, I think we definitely may encounter this behavior from other believers… or at least the initial behavior. In my experience, interacting with other believers, but especially cultural-christians, is the most difficult part of the Christian walk. To be honest, until a couple years ago, my experiences in fellowship were primarily with cultural-christians, but I didn’t realize that until I relocated and began attending a new church. For some reason, there were a higher number of committed-and-growing Christians in that church. I learned from that experience that one of the biggest differences between cultural-christians and true-Christians… Read more »
Harriet owalla

This is so true…sometimes we hold on to stuff that we need yo let go of.great insight