Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Dating Fail: Why I Keep Attracting the Wrong Men

In the past 24 hours, two very poignant incidents have occurred. I have been contacted by an ex boyfriend/best friend with whom I haven’t communicated in almost 2 years. Our relationship/friendship ended quite abruptly and unceremoniously and I was just beginning to get comfortable with leaving him in my past. But he just wanted to get in touch, and oh—by the way, is also requesting a favor. I’ve been told that another ex boyfriend, who recently started following me on twitter again--and is quite possibly surveying much of my online life--has decided to start a blog/vlog/website that will include “tell all” exposes of all the women he has dated. (Please pray for me on that one!)

In the past 2 weeks, I have been stood up twice, blatantly lied to once and met someone who seems great but has a whopping 3 children, 2 divorces and 1 healthy dose of the “I’m never getting married agains” under his belt.

In the past 4 months, I’ve been stalked by someone I barely knew; had a man invite another woman onto our date; and developed feelings for someone who seemed to be open to a relationship--only to later learn he was suffering from a deep depression over his split with his last girlfriend.

Scary isn’t it? Yes, it is both scary and just a little comical, I think… Dating fail? Absolutely.

In the past 2 years, I’ve grown tremendously and developed a sense of self-awareness that makes me shudder to think about how blind I was before. I’ve admitted to and worked through my issues with commitment and marriage, learned to communicate clearly and concisely about what I will and will not accept (without being a jerk), and stopped entertaining behaviors that are not in line with what I want to have in a relationship. I’ve recognized that my most prevalent issues in the past included: saying I wanted one thing, but accepting something totally converse; and failing to end unhealthy, cyclic relationships that I’d convinced myself would eventually work out--despite all evidence to the contrary.

So it is with this self-awareness that I accept the challenge to examine myself because I am the common denominator in each of the inane situations above. The problem is I have no idea what I’m doing to attract them!

Remaining unscathed by it all has been relatively easy, because I don’t allow drama to rule my life. As soon as the messiness is exposed, I kindly excuse myself from the situation. But what did I do to attract it in the first place?

I meditate every day, I journal and I pray. I start out each day with the intent to treat everyone around me in the most loving way possible--even when it is REALLY hard to do so. I work out. I take baby steps towards my goals. I read, I write… I do all the things that I know will help me to be a better version of myself. But what am I missing?

To be fair, my dating life does not consist wholly of folly. In the past few months, I have also had meaningful email communication with someone who I adore (though it is long distance and he is singularly focused on his career at present), and have begun getting to know a second very sweet, considerate gentleman who also lives in another state. Examples like these remind me that there are still men who have not thrown respect, common courtesy---and quite frankly common sense—out the proverbial window. Theirs is the type of energy I want to continue to attract. Perhaps I’m being tested to prove that I’ve really learned to evaluate, moderate my behaviors and work for what I want. Or maybe I just have more to learn….

Why do I keep attracting the wrong men? Honestly, I don’t have the answers…but I am open to receiving them.


BESOS LYNN said...

I must first say that I was captivated by your story. So now I say, BRAVO to you. Really, I am not sure how old of a woman you are, but let me share that it takes some of us are entire lives to figure out what you already know, about yourself and about the relationship that you will accept! Seriously, you are doing nothing wrong. Despite your best effort to repel "crazy" it always seems to find you, right? Think of it this way, maybe you are suppose to teach them something. Maybe these encounters are more for these men to evaluate themselves. These encounters will help you fully appreciate a GOOD man when he finds you! My mom always said you have to kiss a lot of frogs before you find your prince. Good luck on your journey!

YaHighness said...

@Besos Lynn I couldn't have said it better myself.

I was also captivated by your story because it's not only you "attracting" the wrong men, it's a lot of us. I place quotes on "attracting" because it seems moreso of a fault you are placing upon yourself, when I don't believe it to be. I have had crazies and men, who I thought would make me happy. At the end of the day, it's deeper than that. What will you accept, in the terms of how a man treats you? And when you discover this, it takes time and carefully evaluation. Hence, why it may seem like they are the wrong men. Indeed, they are the wrong men for you, but may be the perfect man for another woman. I agree with Besos Lynn when she states that maybe you are placed in their lives to teach them how to be a better man, to love, or treat a woman. I know in my case, I've heard that a lot. Sometimes, when we fault ourselves as if we are doing something wrong, we miss the positives in a situation. Sometimes, we have to kiss some frogs (we may get sick & tired)and mold them for the next woman. As sad as it may be, but that's reality.

Your Mr. Right is coming and you will appreciate the blessings in disguise when that time comes. Keep believing..keep loving..and never give up.


Kim Jackson said...

Your comments are so beautiful--thank you both! And you bring up an excellent point: I have been so dedicated to making sure I see the lesson in everything, that it never occurred to me that the other person might need to learn something as well from the relationship not working. Maybe I am their assignment as much as they are mine....I love that thought!

It can be frustrating at times, but in the end, I am glad that all the wrong men are moving out of the way so that they are not taking up space in my life when the right man for me comes along.

Erika said...

Maybe it's that you recognize these guys earlier and more clearly now.

Everyone likes the light, even those mired in their own crap like the light. Unfortunately sometimes people latch on to "light giving" folks in an effort to get their own. For instance the unstable guy who can't get himself together but figures a stable woman can.

You also have folks who try to "steal" someone elses light, figuring they can take it away better than get their own. Finally you those who try to quelch "the light" because they feel you don't deserve it, or because the feel better making someone else feel miserable.

At the end of the day, you can't worry about why you attract these folks. Flies like honey too, and as long as you are "sweet" they will come. Just stand firm on the lessons you've learned and shoo them away.

A said...

Erika -- Yes honey!!! I needed to hear that too!!! :)

GG said...

Me too, Erika! that was really eye opening for me!

Kim Jackson said...

Wow, Erika!!!! You are so on point! Immediately after reading your comment, I realized how absolutely right you are, though I may not have recognized it at the time. Thank you so so much for chiming in.

stacey said...

Hi Kim, firstly can I say,I really enjoyed this post, you have a wonderful style. For years I attracting the wrong men too. I could not understand why despite my best intentions I kept meeting jerks, someone else's man, and some dude who was only really interested in my from the waist down. I realise now that this was in part because I was looking in the wrong places, and also that despite the good talk I talked, there was some work inside of me that really needed to be done before the sort of man who I wanted would want me back. But its sounds like your doing the work, so I guess like my old pastor used to say, its time to make friends with patience. Delay is not denial.

Kim Jackson said...

Hi Stacey! You bring up a good point--where you meet a man can be key in determining what type of man he is. If you meet a man at the club, there's a possibility that he is just there for one night, like you might be; but it's also highly probable that he spends a lot of time at the club, and that he is looking to meet someone he is interested in "from the waist down" as you put it :). This is a generalization of course, but done to make the point that it's something to pay attention to.

Anonymous said...

Who cares if you attract them!? Just don't keep them! Erika hit the nail on the head when she said everyone is attracted to light. It's a beautiful thing when people want to be in your presence but not everyone is worthy of your intimate time. THAT is a decision you get to make.

It matters not who is attracted to you or who approaches you, because at the end of the day YOU get to make the decision to smile and thank them for the compliments and keep walking, or to settle and entertain it.

Kim Jackson said...

LOL Jess! I love the simplicity of "Who cares if you attract them!? Just don't keep them!" True that!

Rick said...

Oh Kim....and the rest of the lady family..i really applaud the uplifting messages you guys left on the blog. But now I have to issue the first male voice on this subject. At the end of the day, you attract the wrong men because you are/were unclear about the man you want.

Women constantly over complicate men. We are extremely simple. If we like you, then we will date you. If we don't, then we wont. Start with that as the basis of attracting the right guy.

Texting or emailing for months on end means he doesn't take you seriously. If his first date doesn't involve him picking you up and taking you someplace then he's not looking for a relationship you.

In the end, it's all about what you allow the man to get away with in the early part of your courting. If you see something that is off, dont be a hero, leave.

Todd said...

Interesting read. After reading a very good article on relationships last week, I've finally come to the conclusion that the reason most marriages and relationships run into sustained trouble is because people don't concentrate on finding a mate who has a good set of values. How many times have you heard one of your female friends say "girl he looked so good on paper, I can't understand why it didn't work." The reason is that it's hard to see someone's value system on paper. A man with a good job, good education, his own property, his own car, goes to church, and shares similar interest that you have can turn out to be the worst guy you've ever dated. This is why the first initial conversations/interviews that you have with a potential suitor are very important. Find out the things that he values the most and really pay attention. Find out the things that piss him off. What are his pet peeves? Does he love his family, does he take care of his kids, does he answer to a higher power (God) other than himself, is he compassionate? How humble is he? Is he reasonable? Ask him questions that test his ability to keep his cool. How does he feel about the nation's poor? How does he feel about the nation's rich? Has he even thought of these things on his time? Does he believe in survival of the fittest or does he believe more in fairness? Does he spend time thinking about real life issues or is he only concerned about the latest celebrity gossip and what's on ESPN? Is he well rounded or does he live in a box? Does he value peace and quiet? Does he value good communication? Is he a drama king who loves to quarrel or is he a man who has a good temperament and good reasoning skills? All of those questions will more than likely determine the ease or unease of your relationship with said man.

Often times we will hear that money is the number one reason couples break up. I will beg to differ and say that "incompatible value systems" are the root cause. If we both share similar values such as honesty, truth, patience, understanding, not taking anything too seriously, knowing how to prioritize, having a good work ethic and putting family first, regardless of what money issues arise, we should be able to work through it because of what we both value verses what we don't value.

But all of this takes time, patience, introspection, and a bit of critical thinking that should be done in a separate room from your emotions. Emotions love messing with all of the aforementioned. First I would say find out what general personality traits are typically conducive to any good relationship (honesty, compassion, good work ethic, critical thinker etc). Then find out which ones typically are bad (poor communicator, selfishness, anger management issues, shallow thinker, low self-esteem etc.). Then I would suggest that you find out what are the personality traits that you value the most in a person and try to find a man who possess them. Jobs come and go, good dates come go, sickness and health comes and goes, good sex comes and goes, but a partners value system will be the one static determining factor that will determine how all of those life ebbs and flows are dealt with. I wish all of you amazing ladies good luck in finding that good man who is made just for you.

P.S. Just like a chair, I think the Blog is Rocks.

Keep up the good work.

Kim Jackson said...

Thanks so much for your comments Rick and Todd! I love getting the male perspective on dating/relationships and learning to understand the cues that we women sometimes give and how our behaviors are perceived. Good reminders from both of you and even more reason to keep searching for someone who embodies the values I'm looking for, and to be unafraid to walk away from anything less.

Tamika said...

WOW, I have to say everyone offered really good perspectives on the issue at hand. This is the first time posting to this blog and it's so positive. Thanks for the insight Rick and Todd and the rest of the sista friends.

I learned something from a really good read and that was if we do not like the projection then we have to change the projector(ourselves). Im truly still working on it and it's reassuring to know I'm not alone.

Good Job and keep shining.

GG said...

I agree, Tamika. So much good food for thought here! Obviously, this is a popular topic. Thanks for sharing KJ!

Anonymous said...

Well said I have been guilty of over staying even after the red flags grew horns and gave birth to other red flags!!! All I can say is run don't walk when you find yourself in these types of situations.

Anonymous said...

Well said I have been guilty of over staying even after the red flags grew horns and gave birth to other red flags!!! All I can say is run don't walk when you find yourself in these types of situations.

Anonymous said...

I needed to read this because I was having a very difficult time figuring out what was written on my forehead that kept the wrong men around. My situation is similar to this. Almost identical.
This was very inspiring. But if I have to kiss another frog....I'm gonna scream. :-) I am really loving this site. And the comments are very inspiring as well. Be blessed!

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