Why do I always pick the wrong guy?


Do you feel you always choose the ”wrong guy”?

“It hurts the most when the person that made you feel so special yesterday makes you feel so unwanted today.” Healthyplace.com

What makes women pick the ”wrong guy” time and again?

”’He started courting me with a rush of intensity. When I finally started to open up to him, he reacted with aloofness and indifference”.  ”He suddenly doesn’t come home anymore”.” He made someone else pregnant”. ”He doesn’t talk to me anymore”. ”He blames me for everything”.

Women are swept off their feet by ”prince charming”. 

They have a romantic idealisation of the relationship rooted in the subconscious mind – which blinds them to any red flags other people see.

They don’t know any better. They don’t possess the skills and people knowledge that could help them make better choices.

They set their sights low – because they don’t expect much for themselves. It can be linked to a low-self-esteem. She accepts the first guy interested – fearing he might be the last one that will show interest.

They come from an unstable upbringing. Examples are absent father figures, being abused or neglected as children, growing up in a home where the abuse happened frequently. This is what they know and accepted – it is familiar and comforting to them and although it causes angst – they believe ”Better the devil you know than the devil you don’t”.

Fear of being alone or on their own. They choose to commit to a new relationship quickly before they got to new the guy well – than being on their own.

Extreme physical attraction. Sexual tension you can feel. While interest is essential, it might numb your brain to tell you about other worrisome qualities the guy has.

What makes women stay in a bad relationship?

Many women choose to stay. Why?

The no-one answer is: ”I love him so much”. The guy’s charm intoxicates them. The memory of how nice it was when it started is still fresh in their minds, and they cling to the hope that it can go back to that time. The truth is: what you accept, will continue. This includes all the bad behaviour as well.

Some women are too scared to leave – they are being manipulated and controlled by the guy. They fear being physically hurt or financially punished. Some guys even threaten to commit suicide should the woman leave.

Some women believe they don’t deserve better. The guy they choose is a reflection of how they feel about themselves. ”You probably think that you aren’t good enough and guys like that are the only ones who can be interested in you.” Maria Parker, psychologist.

Some women feel they have invested much in the relationship and find it hard to just break-up and leave. Often there are children involved, and they decide to keep it going for the children’s sake.

She believes she can change him. This is a human folly – we can never change a person. We can only change ourselves.

He helps to pay the bills. This is one of the biggest reasons women have to stay – they cannot provide for themselves and their children financially.

Some women are too scared to be alone. They would rather face a future of abuse and unhappiness than facing life alone.

How does a bad relationship affect a woman?

It shocks, it traumatised, and it erodes self-worth. The woman might try to rationalise reasons for staying. The longer she stays – the harder it becomes to leave. It can affect the woman’s mental and physical health (high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity).

“A good relationship test is how a person responds to the word ‘No.’ Love respects ‘No.’ Control does not.”  Dr Henry Cloud

What are the stages of leaving a bad relationship?

  • Firstly the woman feels she must try to make it better because she invested so much already. She tries to minimise the abuse by keeping quiet, prevents triggering his anger – she walks on eggs all the time. Many are very ashamed of what is happening in their relationships.
  • Slowly she starts to realise the relationship is abusive, and she loses hope.
  • Eventually, she realises that she has to leave for self-preservation. These are the lucky ones – many others don’t go, and they are destroyed as a person or killed.

How to stop choosing the wrong guy?

Take a look at each relationship you had (list the guys’ names) and answer the following questions:

  • What made you decide to go for him? Was it his good looks, his financial position, his charm, his qualifications, his house and car, his need or lack of anything that made you want to be his partner?
  • Did he turn out the way you thought he was? Or did he turn out to be someone entirely different?
  • What changed in your relationship that it became a harmful/toxic relationship?
  • List his qualities you only saw afterwards that was toxic to the relationship?
  • What gave you hope that it would get better?
  • What made you lose hope that it would get better?
  • What made you decide it is time to leave?
  • What made it hard to leave?
  • Which coping skills or knowledge (if any)  have you gained through this experience?
  • What would you look out for or do differently next time?

What are the qualities you should look for in a long time partner?

A long term partner is someone who is responsible and who is good in all aspects of their lives.

It means they are authentic, honest (trustworthy), accountable, caring and supportive. They bring value as a human being into a relationship by enhancing the partners’ life. In times of crisis, they step up. They are the go-to-person when something is broken or stuck. They are always the same – they don’t shock or hurt you through their actions. Note that it takes time to get to know a person’s qualities this well.

Each of us has our ideas of what qualities our ideal partner should possess. It is a good idea to have a little black book where you list yours. Also, make a list of dealbreakers – things you are not prepared to accept. It can be cheating, lying, anger explosions, any form of abuse, sarcasm, etc.

Choosing to be single isn’t selfish, it’s just smarter to be on your own than with the WRONG person.


You can chat with a counsellor on our helpline for more guidance. It is a text-based chat, and you may remain anonymous.



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