“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 Life, 21 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.