A Surprising Reason Why You Attract The Wrong Men
By: Dr. Aesha
Dear Dr. Aesha:
Why do I attract the not-so-good men? I just don’t get it.
Dear Fed Up,
Let me begin with a little story. Imagine that there was a little girl who went through some trauma and abuse. She never told anyone what happened to her because she thought it was her fault. She grew up thinking she was a “bad girl” and did everything in her power to prove she wasn’t. She tried to be perfect at school and at home but she could never shake the feelings of shame and worthlessness deep inside her.
Once boys finally became interested in her, she loved the attention. But when they started treating her badly, instead of walking away, she held on tighter because she was afraid of being alone. Even though she really wanted to be treated like a princess, deep down she didn’t believe she deserved it. So, each relationship began and ended the same way: with lies and heartbreak.
When she learned to forgive the people who hurt her, reject the lies that she was never good enough, and receive the truth about who she truly was, she finally met the man of her dreams who did treat her like a princess.
I was that little girl.
I share this story with you because it explains why so many of us sabotage ourselves. In other words, we say we want something—a better career, a better relationship, a better life—but deep down we don’t believe we deserve it. We have deeply held beliefs that we aren’t good enough, or smart enough, or pretty enough. Or, we’ve had experiences where someone or something told us we were a failure and we would never amount to anything.
The result? We attract into our lives what we believe we deserve. Let me put it to you the way my mother used to tell me: birds of a feather flock together.
If you can trace a pattern of relationships with men who mistreat you, abuse you, lie to you, or leave you, chances are there is something deep within you that believes you don’t deserve to be treated better. We only go after what we believe we can have.
My advice to you, Fed Up, is to do some soul searching to get to the heart of the matter. Writing in a journal is a great way to start. Ask yourself questions like:
• What do all my relationships—past and present—have in common?
• What thoughts do I have about myself (sit quietly and write down the thoughts that run through your mind. For example, I used to tell myself—“you’re such a loser” every time I made a mistake but I didn’t even realize I was saying it until I wrote it down)?
• When was the last time I thought this about myself? What triggered these thoughts?
• When was the first time I thought this about myself?
You may need to have support from someone else while you go through these exercises, someone like a spiritual leader or a coach.
But the first step is to figure out what you believe about yourself; once you change your beliefs, you will begin to attract different people in your life.
You deserve to be treated with honor and respect. I truly believe that!