Shutterstock.com

Some people have more luck than others when it comes to dating, but sometimes people seem to repeatedly scrape the bottom of the barrel for partners. They keep ending up dating people who are either wrong for them or just an all-around jerk. If this seems to be your lot in life, you have probably wondered why this keeps happening. Are you doing something wrong? Why do you keep picking bad men?

You don’t think you deserve a good man.

If you keep picking bad men, you need to take a good look at yourself. When you are considering someone as a significant other, do you ever see them as being far too good for you? Do you look at a man and think that he is out of your league or that you cannot compete with the other women vying for his attention? Do you think that you are not worthy of a good man’s attention in the first place? Do you categorize yourself as too ugly, too stubborn, too stupid or too ambitious to deserve a good man? 

If you always find yourself wanting, you may be picking bad men because you subconsciously think that you deserve a significant other who does not treat you well. This, however, is a lie. You are worthy of good things and good people in your life. So, next time you look at a man, ask yourself if you think he deserves your best friend or sister. If the answer is no, then he does not deserve you either.

You think you need a man to complete you.

Some people believe that without a significant other, they are somehow lesser. They feel they need another person to give them a sense of worth and meaning. Without a partner, they feel that they are either less than those around them or incomplete. Women are particularly prone to thinking they truly need a man. 

When you start thinking that your sense of worth and meaning is tied to another person, you become desperate to hold on to the person you have, or you will accept almost anyone as a partner when you are single. This means that you inevitably set the bar very low for what makes a person an acceptable significant other. After all, you cannot function without one. Bad men are also more likely to be drawn to a woman like this since she is less likely to leave him regardless of how he treats her.
Good men, on the other hand, prefer women who are confident, independent and have their own lives separate from their partners. 

You keep doing the same things over and over.

The definition of insanity is said to be repeating the same actions over and over and expecting to get a different result. If you keep ending up with bad men, you might need to change your dating style. If you typically meet men at the local bar, try dating some of the guys at your gym. If you found all of your problem men online, start looking for dates among the people you talk to face to face. If things have not worked out in the past, try something new. This could mean looking for dates at a different location or going on different first dates. Rather than always going to dinner on a first date, for example, you could start doing something active such as going for a hike. It may take trial and error to find out why your dating pool seems to consist largely of bad men, but you need to start eliminating possible reasons if you are going to find good men to date. 

You keep looking for the wrong things.

Everyone has a mental checklist of what they look for in a significant other. For some people, a sense of humor is the most important thing.
Others insist that any potential partner be highly intelligent. Some people value practicality in a significant other while others desire a partner who is extremely generous. The must-haves and deal breakers vary, but everyone has their checklist. Your checklist might be the problem if you keep choosing bad men. You are more likely to cut out bad men than good men if your checklist for a partner includes character traits such as insisting that your partner have a strong sense of responsibility. If you focus, however, on things such as looks, age or traditional markers of success such as money or job titles, you may very well overlook good men in favor of latching onto bad men who have found success in unethical ways.  

You expect to be able to change him.

Hollywood and romance novels alike love to tell stories of how the bad boy falls in love with the good girl and the power of the resultant love transforms him into Mr. Perfect. The other favorite story line insists that the bad boy was always a kind-hearted soul underneath his cold exterior, and he simply needed a girl willing to put up with his terrible behavior long enough to reach his gentle heart. These make great stories, but they are just that, stories.
In real life, the attractive jerk is not actually a secret romantic who was made cynical by his tragic past and can be saved by your pure and glorious love. The attractive jerk is actually just a jerk who happened to win the genetic lottery when it came to looks. You are not going to be able to change a bad boy or a jerk into Prince Charming. If you continue to live under that delusion, you are never going to stop picking bad men because you are going to remain convinced that your bad men can become good men. You will not change because on a subconscious level you will see no reason to change. You are not picking bad men, your mind will say, you simply have not tried hard enough to reach their gentle heart!

You are not clear on what you expect from him.

Defining the relationship is always an awkward and uncomfortable conversation, but it is one of the most important conversations you will have with your significant other. It is also one in which it is overwhelmingly important to be brutally, frankly and fearlessly honest. If you pretend you want one thing and actually want another, you cannot be angry when your partner fails to read your mind and gives you what you claimed you wanted.
This means you cannot play coy and give your man the answer that you think he wants to hear. You need to give him the truth. Otherwise, you have no one to blame but yourself. If you claim you want a casual relationship, do not expect your man to suddenly show up with roses and diamonds. If you say you are find with limited contact, do not act like you have been abandoned when he does not call you for a week. If you keep pretending to want something you have no interest in, you may not actually have picked a bad man. He may actually be trying to give you what he thinks you want, or he truly believes you two are on the same page. His inability to read your mind is not a character flaw. If you will not tell him truthfully what you want, then that is on you.

If you keep picking bad men, you need to take a careful look at your own habits. It is highly unlikely that every man you ever meet is wrong for you. More often, the problem is in how you go about looking for a good man or how you define such a person in the beginning. Who you date is your choice, so be sure you are wise when you choose.