Posted by: Flower | 2008/08/03

Seem to be attracting wrong guys...


I am young single lady (ready for a serious committed relationship), but I seem to be attracting guys that are already attached i.e married (will never even entertain them in any way), guys who have already paid lobola, staying with baby momma' s. Is there something that I am doing unaware to be bringing this onto myself?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Hi Flower,
I hope other readers can give you useful responses based on their own experience --- I generally am not troubled by attracting the wrong sort of guys. :} It could be that you have just been unlucky in meeting predatory guys who are looking for someone as a supplement to their existing relationship ( which are, of course, no use to you ). Its possible, I suppose, that you are looking in the wrong places, or in some way suggesting to them that you may be available to them, in ways you are not recognizing --- a personal counsellor could help you to clarify that

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

Our users say:
Posted by: Flower | 2008/08/04

Lolo, response very insightful. I definitely had a good relationship with my dad (very grateful for that).

I do not end up dating these men, as soon as I hear their baggage-that is it, but the next guy I meet, will also have have some sort of issue. True what the doc highlighted there  about guys wanting a supplement.
At this point, I have stopped I can' t really say I am looking in the wrong places.

Reply to Flower
Posted by: Lolo | 2008/08/04

Mr Wrong

Do you keep picking the wrong guy? Here' s how to do better next time...

Getty Images Most of us have been through a phase of choosing completely unsuitable partners. But why is it that some of us have never grown out of picking the wrong men?
Here are some of the common issues that cause this vicious cycle:

The fear of being alone
Mallaby says there could be unaddressed abandonment issues, stemming from childhood. " Perhaps your parents divorced, or one died when you were young –  this would explain why you are afraid of being left alone." 

Societal pressure may be another factor. Although society is more tolerant now of women who marry later, or not at all, we are still saddled with ageing labels like " old maid"  or " spinster"  when we are single and independent adults. (Vastly less sexy than the eternal and rather distinguished " bachelor"  for a man.)

Not to mention nagging relatives who want to know why aren' t we married yet, and when are we going to find ourselves a " nice man to settle down with." 

Apart from the enormous fun single women have and the independence they enjoy, a good man, frankly, is hard to find. But society makes us feel like less of a success if we take our time looking, or indeed choose the single life over coupledom.

Not only is society intolerant of singles, but it rather unrealistically romanticises the very idea of partnership. " The proverbial knight in shining armour, the notion of a soulmate, The One, or Mr Right, is a lot of BS!"  says Mallaby.

All of these factors may distort a woman' s idea of what a normal, healthy relationship is.

Resolving the past
Mallaby suggests that if you had an absent father, you could be replicating the childhood environment so you end up choosing someone who is emotionally unavailable and largely absent (just like your dad was). This is often the case with women who date married men.

" Although she keeps repeating the same pattern, her expectation is that at some stage the outcome will be different  when this man leaves his wife for her, it will validate her, and mean that she is in fact worthy of his love." 

Because such a resolution is unlikely with the men they choose, these women are just denying themselves satisfying and mutually rewarding relationships.

Similarly, in abusive relationships (whether emotionally, verbally, psychologically or physically/ sexually), it' s often a case of one partner trying to resolve a past problem.

" We go into fix or rescue mode. There is a deep-seated need to right the wrongs of the past, and that' s why women stay in abusive relationships. They won' t leave until the situation (or partner) is ' fixed' ,"  says Mallaby.

But instead of giving a woman the power over past hurts that she is seeking, this kind of relationship erodes her sense of self-worth.

Reverting to the familiar
For women who are used to unfulfilling relationships, choosing wrong partner after wrong partner feels right because it' s familiar. It' s the way it' s always been.

In this context, there is more than a little truth to the saying that women choose husbands who are like their fathers.

" It' s like a dance,"  says Mallaby, you are used to one type of partner, you know your steps and those your partner takes. So you look for someone who can fill that mould, someone who can step into those shoes and lead you in the same way you know and are used to." 

But, she warns, " It' s not necessarily healthy, and you can' t see this until you are aware of that role, and can learn alternative, more healthy dance steps." 

The same can be said of men who choose wives who are like their mothers. Conditioning or programming is an extremely strong factor in determining our approach to rela­ tionships. " This is why the ' inner child' s perspective'  used in therapy is so important.

" You have to understand the root cause of the behaviour of seeking out certain types of men, and bring it into adult awareness,"  says Mallaby.

This is so often at the heart of unsatisfactory and abusive relationships. " In many cases, early negative experiences in relationships with significant others leads to self-esteem issues,"  confirms Mallaby. This makes us vulnerable to future destructive relationships.

Essentially, one has to develop a relationship with oneself based on forgiveness, acceptance and nurturing. " Too many young women are incredibly critical of themselves, often going into ' critical parent'  mode.

" They don' t believe anyone would want to be with them, and feel they have to put on a faç ade, afraid that if they show their vulnerability they will once again be rejected.

" We therefore tolerate abusive behaviour —  all too often feeling responsible for or deserving of it. This only leads to a cycle of abuse that further erodes self-worth.

" The first step is identifying this cycle and gradually challenging some of these entrenched beliefs of ourselves as ' unlovable' ,"  says Mallaby.

Reply to Lolo

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