Is there something in my DNA.....

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-19-2001
Is there something in my DNA.....
Sun, 07-07-2013 - 7:39pm

that attracts losers?  More importantly is there something that makes ME attracted to them?  For examples: Ex #1.  I knew he was a "bad boy".  I knew he drank & cheated before I married him.  Yet I married him anyway believing that love would fix it all.  Stupid I know.  Then there was my second ex.  I didn't even want to get married again but I let him talk me into it knowing that I doubted a lot of the things he told me. MAJOR stupid I know now but that's how down I was after ex #1.  It didn't take long for me to find out that he was a user and wanted me to support him.  Then there is the young one where I work that practically chased me around the office but will never go out with me because of our age difference.  And now I finally talked on the phone with a guy I've been chatting with on a dating site.  He seemed very nice and I decided that I would go out with him.  But then I figured to be safe I should do some investigating.  Telephone harrassment, 2 years prison for driving/drugs that also came with a 10 year suspended license. Great, so maybe he has changed but I would have to do all the driving, he only lives 30 minutes away but still, I don't think so!  I'm 52 friggin years old, you'd think that by now I would have learned something about men.  All I've learned is that they can't be trusted, at least not any of them that there is mutual attraction with.  So I seriously wonder if it's something within me, like a sickness or mental disorder.

Community Leader
Registered: 07-16-2001
Mon, 07-08-2013 - 10:06pm

I think it's the excitement, plus our nurturing nature that just wants to be the one who rescues them from their badness. Like the ultimate fairy tale. Fiona rescued Shrek, right?  So why can't we do it?  

I can say that a man's "bad boy" exterior doesn't necessarily predict how good or bad he'll treat you. I've gone through two guys since May.  One looked like a bad boy and one looked (and seemed) like an innocent country boy. The country boy was actually more "bad" in how he treated me (wasn't as open) than the first one. I'm actually considering giving the first one a second chance since he still seems interested. At least with him, I know what I'm getting into. 

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-04-2003
Mon, 07-08-2013 - 7:59pm

The other posters gave you some great advice.  

I'll add just my brief two cents worth.  Once upon a time when I didn't know better, I fell for the bad boys.  And once upon a time I stayed in an abusive relationship.  At the time, I'd rather be in any kind of relationship instead of being single & alone.  Until one day the light bulb went off in my head & I had about all I could take from the abusive A-hole along w/the other exboyfriends I used to be with.  I realized I love me more and I'd much rather be single than be in a bad, abusive, and toxic relationship.  Because I have standards and I love me more.

Avatar for floridagirl52
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-16-2006
Mon, 07-08-2013 - 12:22pm

I agree with Musiclover. I say that it's not a woman's fault if unsuitable men are attracted to them, and I don't think it's wrong to get involved with them. The problem arises when you stay with one of these men. I don't think you can always see the red flags in the very beginning (but quite often you can if you're paying attention), and this is another reason to be a little cautious at first. I personally would much rather walk away and be alone, but I've had years of therapy! (Which I recommend). I don't think therapy means there's something psychologically wrong with you--you don't have some kind of disorder. I like to think of a therapist as more of a coach, someone you can talk to confidentially, who is not biased, someone to "keep you honest." 

I got divorced many years ago, and at the time I promised myself I would never stay in a bad relationship again--and I've kept that promise. About 10 years ago I started dating a man, but had suspicions. Turns out he was an active alcoholic, and I just ran for the hills after six weeks. I knew I was cured of bad relationships at that point!

You just can't control when a suitable man is going to fall from the sky, despite what "The Secret" says. But you can certainly control getting involved with inappropriate men. It's a drag sometimes being single, and believe me, I get very lonely. I've said it many times: it's harder to meet men at our age, and hard to even meet available friends that you have things in common with. So, no easy answer there. I think all you can do is seek out things and people that are meaningful to you.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Mon, 07-08-2013 - 12:01pm

If you think that there is something wrong with you where you constantly make the wrong choices about men, then I think you should invest your time in some therapy to figure it out--it will be worthwhile in the long run.  I think it's good to look at your past decisions and try to figure out why you made bad choices.  You realize that you chose ex no. 2 due to low self esteem.  My 1st DH was not a bad boy at all--he was a very normal guy, good family, went to Church, etc.  My 2nd DH had psych issues that i didn't know the full extent of before we got married, but there were a lot of red flags.  I recognize now that the fact that my 1st DH left me and made me feel unattractive contributed to choosing the 2nd DH--he always told me how attractive I was and after a few years of dating and nothing coming of it, wow, here was someone who really wanted me!  Being very conservative myself, the bad boy part (motorcycle, tattoos--although I really hate tattoos) was a little exciting I guess.

So it's been 5 yrs and I haven't had a relationship since, although not for lack of trying.  I really hope that I'll make better decisions.  I guess in one way I'm not that desperate any more cause when guys on OLD contact me who are obviously wrong for me I don't respond just to get a date.  I've also turned down a couple of guys in person recently cause I wasn't interested--it's harder when you're physically attracted to someone but know they are wrong for you.  You can't really blame yourself about this recent online guy cause you had know way to know of his criminal record and he seemed nice.  Now as long as you are smart enough not to get involved now that you do know, you can break this cycle and make a good decision.  I don't think it's a mental illness as much as it is low self esteem sometimes.

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-25-2013
Mon, 07-08-2013 - 10:00am

If you google "Why women love bad boys," you'll find lots of articles on this psychology. Here's an excerpt from one on

Is it a certain type of woman who is attracted to bad boys – or is it all women?

Generally all women are attracted to the bad boy because women have an instinct to nurture; they fall in love with a man’s potential and want him to grow, evolve and change. And that is one aspect that even the research surrounding attraction when ovulating cannot explain – why women fall in love with the potential of a man and waste time and effort trying to change him or, why some women constantly choose to be in relationships with bad, unemotionally unavailable or even abusive men; some women divorce one bad man and marry another bad, unhealthy man.


Women who have deeper unresolved emotional and psychological issues are attracted to bad boys because they subconsciously believe they deserve to be treated badly or don’t feel loveable or good enough or because they have what I call the Twisted Definition of Love. Some woman like the thrill of the challenge and it creates the dopamine rush – the excitement involved in the anticipation an

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