Some women are magnets for the wrong men.
I am one of these women.
It took me years to realize that I kept attracting these men because I needed to learn to direct the focus back on myself. I’m convinced that every person with whom we cross paths is part of our growth and personal evolution. Attracting the wrong man means attracting what needs to be worked on within ourselves.
If it weren’t for these “wrong” men, there wouldn’t have been a newer version of me who is stronger, more assertive, knows what she wants, and doesn’t tolerate bullsh*t.
I thought I was done attracting the wrong men. I thought that because I was focusing on myself again, the cycle of meeting cheating, commitment-phobic, and emotionally unavailable men would end.
But an astonishing fact revealed itself to me recently: I will continue meeting men who are wrong for me.
I’m not attracting them, however, I’m still crossing paths with them. I realized that between the phase of attracting the wrong man and figuring out why we have attracted him, there is an important phase to which many of us are oblivious: accepting him.
We don’t intend to attract the wrong man, but we do choose to accept him. Part of why I unconsciously accepted them in the past was because I needed to work through what I never gave myself—love, attention and protection.
When we accept these men, we accept a whole lot more than just being with them, we accept intolerable behaviors and emotional turmoil.
At first, I wasn’t ready to accept this huge responsibility that fell on my shoulders. I wasn’t ready to hold myself accountable. It was easier to believe that I had no choice but to stay and accept my dismal romantic fate.
I was wrong. But I was unsure how to not accept this fate. Then I was reminded of Eckhart Tolle’s words:
“Once you realize that a certain kind of food makes you sick, would you carry on eating that food and keep asserting that it’s okay to be sick?”
We all know the answer to that question.
We always have a choice—even when we claim that we don’t, we are simply choosing to believe so.
It might sound rough, but every woman who ever fell in love with the wrong man knows deep inside that she put the duct tape on her mouth and willingly kept it there. She silenced herself for a reason. Not because she wanted to be weak or play the victim role, but because she thought she could change him.
But some men never change. Some people are not meant for committed relationships and no matter how much we, or someone else, try to fix them, they will never change.
I learned the hard way that I shouldn’t go low for anyone. Don’t smash your wings because the one you love won’t learn how to fly. Love is a tremendous experience. Don’t let the wrong men shatter it or define what you deserve.
This is how I learned to stop accepting the wrong man:
1. Accept reality.
“All the time traveling in the world can’t make someone love you.” ~ Tim Lake, About Time
Between thoughts and emotions, there is a reality. If we follow our gut, we can successfully tune into it. Our reality might be that this man will never change or he isn’t in love with us. It might be that he doesn’t love us enough or is loving us in the wrong ways. Whatever this reality is, believe it and know that you can’t change it.
2. Change yourself.
“Don’t let go too soon, but don’t hang on too long.” ~ Morrie Schwartz
You can’t change reality, but you can change your reaction to it. Once we accept what is, the correct actions will surface automatically. A big part of staying with the wrong man is thinking that things will change. Accept that it won’t and you’ll stop pouring energy and effort in the wrong places.
3. Learn from the Past.
“Perhaps, the problem is not the intensity of your love, but the quality of people you are loving.” ~ Warsan Shire
Dwelling on the past is useless, but learning from it can be helpful. Before we start a new relationship, or even if we’re in one now, we need to remember what we went through before. Maybe you thought the problem was you, or he convinced you it was. But what if the problem wasn’t you or how much you loved him, but simply that you weren’t right for each other?
When we remember the pain that certain bruises have caused, we become careful not to put ourselves through those situations again.
Author: Elyane Youssef
Image: Jonathan Kos-Read/Flickr
Editor: Nicole Cameron