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Why Women Pick the Wrong Men.

~This could also be titled: Why we pick the wrong partners, because truly this goes for both sexes~

Yes, we are truly at fault because we pick them ourselves.

Rather than victims, we’ve been volunteers.

My 20′s and 30′s were spent dating wonderful men that I remain friends with to this day, yet my 40′s have consisted of 2 terrible relationships.  I realize now that a traumatic event altered my self-esteem when I turned 40 and that’s when I stopped listening to my inner knowing.

Since that time, I’ve come to the very clear conclusion that we as women pick bad men because we don’t validate our own knowing. Sure I had legitimate stories of what was wrong with my ex, but the common denominator was me.  I stopped listening to myself and I fell into an abyss of childhood pain I hadn’t resolved.  My self esteem was in the can and I was choosing men that matched that low level of self worth.

So how do I know when I’m validating my knowing?  By validate, I mean listen to that inner voice that “knows” something isn’t right.  Your good old gut, it talks to you if you listen.  

If we grew up in a tumultuous childhood (and who didn’t?) we were unheard and invalidated.  We grew up wanting that validation from the world around us and because we never experienced it in our past, we never developed the self validation reflex.

What does this mean? It means we’re vulnerable to men that lay it on thick in the beginning.  We let ourselves be put on a pedestal and lavished with false love. This false love may feel authenticating, but it’s truly not.

We ignore the signs of trouble because we’re enjoying someone outside of ourselves validating us with courtship and romance.  We don’t letgitimize the inner knowing of “uh oh something’s wrong here”, and  instead continue to look for proof that we’re okay by forcing an unhealthy relationship to work.

When things do go wrong and it blows up in our faces, we still continue to plow ahead and “make things work”.  How many of us have done this? Trying over and over to fix it, make it work, figure it out?   Sure relationships are hard and communication is tricky, all good things require some degree of work; but a dysfunctional relationship has big warning signs early on.

If you’re a woman that grew up being being heard and trusting your own guidance, chances are you will run when true dysfunction arises. On the flip side, if you’re a woman that grew up in a difficult childhood,  you will try to make it work at all costs and continue to seek validation outside of yourself from your partner. Why?  Because when your own bucket has holes in it, we look for someone to fill it.

We get glimpses of it being filled and although most times are difficult, we plod along hoping they will fill it again.   The good times are so good they feed that empty space inside of you and you ignore the warnings in your belly.  Lack of good self esteem causes women to justify their partner’s poor behaviors, while healthy “I know who I am and what I deserve” skills clearly note the concerns in your gut.

We must learn to fill our own buckets, make ourselves happy and then from that place of fullness~chose a partner.

When a woman trusts herself and truly provides her own validation, she stops making poor choices.  She trusts her inner knowing and stops picking bad men for relationship.  When we recognize that the highs of early romance are feeding that empty part inside that wants to be validated and finally stop ignoring the telling signs of dysfunction, we can start to choose healthy partners.

Listen closely to this: it’s time we realize that we’ve not been victims, we’ve been volunteers; and most importantly, it’s time to choose better for the one we should really love the most…. ourselves.


~all photos from  Queen by Tom Curtis, Bull by Simon Howden, cake by, man by divorcedwomenonline

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13 Responses to “Why Women Pick the Wrong Men.”

  1. Nita February 24, 2012 at 3:04 PM #

    Need to read this. Been alone three years after being dumped.
    Past two week, had a very fast paced fling with the classics “bad boy ”
    Crimnal past, no job, hustler. Felt so good to feel the rush of a new relationship.
    Feeling that void I had thought i had overcame after being alone for so long.
    But I saw signs early on. After our second tryst and a scolding from a friend,
    I finally pulled back, began to analysis and realized I had done this before with the last ex….
    Who was also a “project”. Different person, same pattern. Decided to end it quick, despite that rush.
    I need more alone after all, or just time to regroup. But, I finally recognized my “flaw” of picking men (and women, bisexual here) that are “projects”. A little hurt, because I recognize that I want to be close to someone, thankful that I have finally recognized my “pattern”, and with a little more work and self love, I can find real love.

    • tamara February 26, 2012 at 2:08 PM #

      Thank you for sharing Nita and congratulations for seeing the signs earlier than you ever have before~
      I tell clients to make a list of all the things they truly desire in a partner. Then look at that list and see how much of it you actually match. Until we get so healthy that we ourselves have everything to offer that we desire in a mate, we can’t attract that person in. On a completely different note, until our self esteem is healthy and we realize finally, that we deserve better~we keep attracting in the same low vibrational story.
      much love to you and many blessings sister!

  2. Lamar February 4, 2012 at 11:37 AM #

    Great, Great insight.

    I agree, with all the above reasons, for choosing the wrong partner, and I would like to add that after finally realizing, that O.k., somethings just not adding up, so you do have to go on a journey…..and this one’s alone…with no one else….but this journey is back to birth, sometime…further than childhood and know what your mother was experiencing while she was carrying you, because some of those attitudes, and word, and things they engaged or interacted with, was a direct contact to the unborn child, so we have to do a deep spiritual cleanse to get rid of some spiritual garbage, some roots…of unforgiveness, root of bitterness, roots of anger…etc….cleansed those things and then, we are clear and free to make great choices, because our hearts and our own self image is crystal clear to see our ownselves and the other person as well..then we can trust ourselves to make better judgments when are choosing.

    • tamara February 5, 2012 at 1:04 AM #

      So well said Lamar. Thank you.

  3. Ed November 26, 2011 at 5:46 PM #

    I wholeheartedly agree, well half-heatedly, because that is all that’s left of my heart after my marriage just ended for good (on Thanksgiving Day no less). I agree with the reasons why we choose the wrong person and that it goes both ways. As a child of divorce who was largely invalidated and ignored by my father, I left one unfulfilling marriage and soon found myself in a relationship with someone who promised to be everything my wife wasn’t. I was wined and dined and intoxicated with te newfound passion and I went with it despite all the warning signs I saw and felt. And of course as soon as the passion quickly faded all I was left with were the issues. I call it words unspoken heard loud and clear. And now that my marriage is over, those words are screaming in my head…

  4. Karen Jones November 6, 2011 at 9:37 AM #

    As a relationship coach working with women exclusively for the past 14 years, I’ve seen a very consistent pattern: women falling for men who cannot give them what they want. The reasons why someone can’t come through vary (still married; long-distance; addictions; family issues, etc.), but the end result is the same: agony.

    And the consequences are dire; if you go into a relationship already believing you aren’t worthy of having what you want, and you end up with a partner who can’t/won’t meet your needs, you’ll have even more evidence that your fear/belief is true.

    Doing the work needed so that you have self-love and self-acceptance is critically important, before you try to end up in a committed relationship. You will attract who you are (and not necessarily what you want).

    When you love who you are, feel worthy of having your needs met, and have the capacity to love and accept someone else, you’ll attract that kind of person to date, and, eventually (if that’s what you want) to spend your lives together.

    Karen Jones
    The Heart Matters

  5. Nancy Shields August 31, 2011 at 3:21 PM #

    BRAVO my friend,

    Great post and so very true! My website for women is all about loving ourselves first before we can ever love anyone else. I find we can have temporary romantic love; which isn’t TRUE lasting love!

    I love your analogy of the bucket – I often use the analogy of a hole in the heart and we try so hard to find someone to fill that hole. The hole can be filled by loving self and trusting in our Source!

    I agree about childhood – I often state that unless we visit our childhood and change our core beliefs we will continue to pick men that represent our fathers and mothers……

    Living in the possibilities of everlasting love,

  6. Rose August 31, 2011 at 7:25 AM #

    So true..I hope quite a few of my young women friends take a look at this.
    Have you ever read Steve Harveys book. Act like a lady, think like a man..
    Really good short easy funny read..

  7. Antonia Nelson August 30, 2011 at 10:33 PM #

    What if the men we pick are exactly the “right” men. Exactly the right ones to help us change and grow, if they didn’t come along,…. would we?? We pick men who are right where we are, only we can’t see that. The saying goes., “it will be as good or as bad as we need it to be to change”.

  8. Laura June 5, 2011 at 5:06 AM #

    I agree this goes both ways. I don’t think a troubled childhood or a certain age are prerequisites to loving the highs of early romance. Some of us mistakenly allow passion to prevail. I love the movie Sense & Sensibility. And I love C.S. Lewis’s quote: Experience is a brutal teacher; but we learn, my God, we learn.

    • tamara June 5, 2011 at 10:17 AM #

      Most definitely~ xo

  9. Todd June 2, 2011 at 10:12 PM #

    The “validity” of your point about validation is right on-the-money! If you ask the question, “Why do men choose bad women?” – the answer is the same. I believe the tendency to not validate (or even invalidate) one’s self is the catalyst to entering bad relationships and enduring them. To validate yourself in a relationship is to stand-up for, expect, and demand respect from a significant other. Mutually, a healthy relationship then also provides that same respect from one’s self toward the other party, inherently. My opinion.

    • tamara June 2, 2011 at 10:14 PM #

      Thank you Todd. Big lesson for us all! Thank you for commenting, I really appreciate your male perspective. This article goes for both sexes. :-)

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