How Do I Stop Dating Bad Men?

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-19-2003
How Do I Stop Dating Bad Men?
Wed, 09-03-2003 - 7:48pm
I have read several posts from people and I would just like to hear more about escaping the viscious cycle of bad men and low self-worth.

I truly want to just be happy being single. It seems that every time I resolve to walk away from the last guy and just be happy being me and trying to figure out what the hell I want to do with myself...I start looking for the next guy.

The next guy is never someone who values me..heck, I think the last person who actually valued me as a person (who I was involved with romantically) was my high school sweetheart.

Some have been worse than others...alcoholics...guys who just really didn't give a damn...guys who just wanted me for sex...I don't blame the men..I walked into each and every one quite willingly.

I would love any insight as to how I can stop this cycle and this feeling that I "need" a relationship to give me self-worth. I want to just be happy being me! :)



Avatar for northwestwanderer
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 09-03-2003 - 9:48pm
Hello and welcome, fellow Seattle woman ;-)!!

I really don't think there's any effective way to change one's patterns without counseling. The reasons for these patterns are usually too deep-seated to be able to go "ok, I'm not going to date bad men anymore". It takes time with a professional and the willingness to work through the issues, I believe.

I have grappled with similar issues and have made great progress but still fall back into old habits sometimes. Going back to my counselor for a periodic "tune up" helps!


Avatar for cl_shywon
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-20-2003
Wed, 09-03-2003 - 11:18pm
Hi, Heidi! Welcome to the board.

I'm not sure what causes the "need a boyfriend" syndrome, but the best way to avoid it is to make sure your life is full of other things that you enjoy. I've never felt the need for a boyfriend (although I do like them when I have them), but I know that boredom causes me to eat. It's the same type of thing. Some people eat, shop, or exercise when they're bored. Others lament about being lonely and needing a boyfriend. I don't suggest taking up my eating habit (since I've realized the pattern, I'm working on it...mostly with a new shopping habit...ick!), but you can come up with a healthy one. Take a class, volunteer, just go out exploring, etc. When you start to feel crappy, get up and DO something. You'll notice it makes a lot of difference. Before long, you'll realize your life is too full for losers, and you'll not want to waste your precious time on them.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Thu, 09-04-2003 - 8:15am
It's because you don't value yourself and cannot enjoy being alone (as opposed to lonely) - when I walk into a first date it is with the sincere mindset that I deserve to be treated like a lady and with respect - and if that is lacking there is no second date. Period. End of story. Am I ever physically attracted to these men - of course - is it relevant as to whether I'll go out again? A thousand times no. You haven't internalized your self worth yet. How about this - promise yourself you will not sleep with a man again unless you have been dating consistently at least three months, you are exclusive, he has agreed to be tested and use whatever birth control you want and he acts in a loving, caring and respectful way. A bad man likely would never wait that long.

One self esteem builder for me is volunteer work - since January 2002 I've been reading to children at a homeless shelter about once a week - I feel good about myself and of course the other volunteers are all positive, warm, giving people.

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-19-2003
Thu, 09-04-2003 - 11:42am
You'll stop dating "bad men" when you love yourself and think highly enough of yourself to know that you don't need men like that.

I think some therapy to find out what it is that makes you think you don't deserve better would be $$ well spent--and would certainly spare you more time and heartache than you've had in the past.

And I've mentioned this before, and some posters will be aggravated: do you pursue these men b/c you need A R'ship so badly--or b/c you need SEX so badly? Needs and hungers are natural--but if you've just gotta "scratch that itch," buy a vibrator; it'll keep you out of a LOT of trouble and heartbreak.


iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Thu, 09-04-2003 - 12:11pm
Self actualize and you won't need other's approval and acceptance of you based on what you offer, provide, give and supplement what you haven't got for yourself.

Basically, right now any relationship you walk into is based on "their acceptance and desire for you" - and your response to that. You're not being objective and discerning from a personally self-aware, self-responsible, and self-successful perspective of the type of people these men are. And you can't - until you love yourself enough to consider yourself "worthy" of better and unwilling to affiliate with someone just based on "how his desire for me makes me feel about me because I normally loathe and detest myself without someone's temporary approval overriding that perception."