Do you feel like you’re doomed to keep making the same relationship mistakes? Learn how to stop falling in love with the wrong guy and how to start preparing for a healthy, lasting love relationship that will make you happy. I wrote these 10 tips for a reader whose sister keeps dating men who mistreat and abuse her.
“My sister keeps dating jerks who don’t love her,” says Samuel on 8 Signs He Doesn’t Love You. “No matter what I say or do, she just falls in love with guys who treat her like crap and even abuse her. She’s smart, but she ignores all the signs your boyfriend doesn’t love you on this blog and every woman’s magazine. She doesn’t respect herself and I’m left to pick up the pieces when she finally gets dumped by her latest boyfriend. What can I do, how can I help her see the signs a guy doesn’t love her? She deserves better but I don’t know how to convince her to choose better men to date. Do you have any advice for me?”
The bad news is that Samuel can’t change his sister’s behavior or stop her from making foolish choices in relationships. She keeps falling in love with the wrong guys because of things that are going on in her psyche, her spirit and soul. She choose bad relationships and destructive men for her own reasons, and her brother can’t “fix” her problems for her.
The good news is that you can change your own self! If you really want to learn how to stop falling in love with the wrong guy, you have the power to change. You can liberate yourself from the chains of obsessive unhealthy love. You can free yourself to love a man who is healthy, honorable, and loving.
You can have the relationship – and even the marriage – you’ve always wanted. My advice on how to stop falling in love with the wrong men can help you protect yourself and prepare for a loving relationship that withstands the test of time…but you have to actually put these tips into practice. You can’t just scroll these tips for good healthy relationships and forget about them. You have to learn about yourself and why you keep choosing men who aren’t good for you.
10 Tips to Help You Stop Falling in Love With the Wrong Guy
Safe relationships are built on honesty, acceptance, love, and healthy ways of communicating and interacting. You want to be in a relationship with a man who is safe and loving – so why do you keep choosing unsafe relationships? I welcome your thoughts below, in the comments section. I can’t give personal advice, but you may find it helpful to work through your thoughts in writing.
What is an unsafe relationship? In an unsafe relationship, you can’t express yourself authentically. Your boyfriend doesn’t listen to or care about your thoughts and opinions. You can’t be honest about how you truly feel, and your boyfriend isn’t interested in talking about deep, meaningful life and relationship issues.
Your relationship isn’t safe when it suppresses your personality and holds you back from a positive, happy, healthy life. Unsafe relationships bury us, instead of helping us blossom. In this article I link to books about recognizing safe people and creating healthy boundaries. Remember that in order to truly learn and grow – especially if you’re currently recognizing various signs of a bad relationship – you need to dig into your own psyche.
1. Learn the true reason you keep falling for the wrong relationships
It’s not about the guy. It’s about you.
The reason you keep falling in love with men who are wrong for you isn’t because they’re too charming, sexy, smart, or smooth talking. The real reason is you. Your perceptions of who you are, your beliefs about what you deserve, your thoughts about what a relationship should look and feel like…it’s not about him. Don’t give up the power you have by allowing yourself to believe that men control your thoughts and behaviors. They are not in control of your life. You are.
You are smarter and stronger than you know, but you’re letting yourself fall in love with men who aren’t good for you. It’s your job to figure out why that is. If you take responsibility for your life and future, you will find freedom and joy!
2. Deal with any shame and self-hatred you have towards yourself
Sometimes we choose unsafe relationships because we feel terrible about ourselves. We hate ourselves, we feel ashamed and dirty, and we choose men who treat us badly. Choosing unsafe relationships is about punishing ourselves, and not believing we deserve anything better.
Are you struggling with unresolved feelings of self-hatred and shame? I know how that feels. I grew up hating myself, feeling so ashamed of myself and my family. I didn’t know what a safe relationship was, so I allowed myself to fall in love with the wrong men. I allowed myself to be abused and mistreated because I didn’t think I deserved better.
And sometimes we choose unsafe relationships because that’s all we know. For instance, we may choose men who are abusive or emotionally unavailable because that’s what we learned from our moms and dads when we were growing up.
3. Stop romanticizing Hollywood love, relationships, and marriages
One reason we choose unsafe relationships is because we’re bewitched by the fake Hollywood ideal of love and marriage. We pretend everything is fine in our own relationships – we ignore the pain and disappointment of our boyfriend’s behavior – because it’s easier to believe that everything will turn out ok in the end. Just like in a Hollywood movie.
Learn what a healthy, loving relationship looks like in real life. It’s calm. It’s respectful. It’s full of life-giving discussions and activities, not dramatic fights or melodramatic gestures. If you’re bewitched by Hollywood-style tv shows and movies that depict shallow but exciting relationships, then you’ll keep falling for the wrong guy. Why? Because Hollywood doesn’t have time or reason to reveal what healthy true love is all about.
4. Learn the difference between healthy hope and wishful thinking
Here’s the difference between healthy hope and wishful thinking: hope is based on a real reason for the possibility of change, while wishful thinking is based on vague dreams. For example, if I ignore the signs of an emotionally unavailable man because my boyfriend is going to couples counseling with me or is reading books on how to be Mr Right instead of Mr Wrong, then my hope is healthy. But if I cross my fingers that one day my guy will change – even though he’s not doing anything to grow or learn – then it’s just wishful thinking.
Are you in a relationship with a man you hope will change? Sometimes, hope that isn’t based in actual reasons can keep us from facing the cold hard truth about a guy we love. We don’t want to accept the reality of who he is, so we keep wishing he’ll change one day. If you want to learn how to stop falling in love with the wrong guys and choosing bad relationships, you need to see men for who they are.
5. Accept your fear of abandonment
We are ALL scared of being rejected and alone! It’s a normal fear, it’s built into us. God wired us to seek connection and relationship, to be partnered-up and familied. So, a big reason we choose unsafe relationships is because we’re scared of being left alone or rejected. We don’t choose healthy, safe relationships because our fear of being alone makes us desperate and needy. We drive healthy, available men away. We reject them before they have a chance to reject us.
Do you find yourself falling in love with the wrong men quickly and impulsively? Maybe it’s your fear of abandonment, your fear of growing old alone. You are normal…and you need to learn healthy ways to deal with this fear if you truly want to stop falling into bad relationships with the wrong men.
6. Learn how to set healthy boundaries in your relationships
In Boundaries in Dating: How Healthy Choices Grow Healthy Relationships, Drs Henry Cloud and John Townsend describe how to make healthy choices in dating relationships. Setting and maintaining healthy boundaries will change your life! Boundaries in relationships will increase the freedom, honesty, and self-control you have.
If you keep falling in love with guys who aren’t good for you – if you tend to choose and even marry the wrong men – this book will change the way you handle relationships. The insights you’ll gain from Boundaries in Dating can help you fine-tune or even completely readjust important areas of your dating life.
Why do you need to learn how to set boundaries? Because fear of healthy confrontation keeps many women in unhealthy relationships. It also stops us from standing up for ourselves even when we know we’re getting pushed into dating the wrong guys. Sometimes a coworker or even a family member wants us to date someone we know isn’t right for us, and we’re reluctant to make waves or assert ourselves.
And sometimes we get so deeply enmeshed in a relationship with the wrong man, we don’t know how to begin untangling ourselves. Sometimes the “wrong guy” is unsafe or abusive. Unsafe men can’t be confronted, can’t take negative feedback, and are defensive when you’re sharing your honest feelings. Safe men are open to feedback and are willing to talk about their weaknesses and mistakes. If you keep choosing unsafe relationships and the wrong guys to fall in love with, you may not know how to extricated yourself.
7. Be aware of your need to care for and even rescue the wrong men
Both men and women choose unsafe relationships because they want to rescue the other person.
This helps them avoid facing their pain and unresolved issues – as well as their character flaws and personality deficits. Rescuing and saving a partner allows them to focus their time, attention, and energy on the other person.
If this is you, you need to stop trying to fix his life and solve his problems. Take a deep breath, and sit back. Relinquish control. Observe your boyfriend impartially, with objective eyes that see clearly. See how you’ve been trying to save him and all the other “wrong guys” you’ve fallen in love with. God created you to love and nurture people, and this is awesome in healthy relationships! But it’s destructive when you’re in an unhealthy relationship with the wrong man.
8. Rebuild your self-identity and love for yourself
Ah, my favorite tip on how to stop falling in love with the wrong guys: learn who you really are and how much you’re really loved! God created you for a reason; He put you here for a purpose. You are not an accident. You were lovingly and deliberately created, and you are deeply and unconditionally loved by God.
Do you know who you are and why you’re here on earth? It’s time for you to find out! We all need to learn how to love ourselves and find meaning in our lives. When we don’t have a strong sense of who we are and what we want out of life, we are in danger of falling into the trap of choosing unsafe relationships with the wrong guys. We try to date men who have money, big egos, expensive cars and homes, and powerful jobs. Then, we get our self-identity from the guy instead of God.
If you’re in an unsafe relationship with the wrong guy, read How to End a Toxic Love Affair Now – Before It’s Too Late.
9. Surrender and trust God to bring you the right guy
It’s not easy to wait for the right relationship, which is why you may keep falling for the wrong guy! I waited impatiently to get married…and it wasn’t until I was 35 years old that I finally spoke my wedding vows to the right guy. I met him 17 years before that, but I wasn’t ready to marry him.
Take a deep breath (another one!). Know that the right man is out there, and you will find him when you’re ready. Don’t rush into the wrong relationships with the wrong men because you’re eager to get married. Marrying the wrong guy is the worst mistake you could ever make. At worst it’ll destroy your life, your relationships, and even the lives of your loved ones. At best, marrying the wrong guy is a lot of work and heartache for you and your family.
10. Learn how to wait for the right relationship
In The Wait: A Powerful Practice for Finding the Love of Your Life and the Life You Love, DeVon Franklin and Meagan Good describe how valuable it is to wait for the right relationship before you rush into sex. Waiting for the right guy gives you the chance to find a deep connection with him, and to build a healthy relationship that is pure, loving, and filled with respect.
Take your time. Get healthy. Connect with God. Invest in your own growth and maturity. Know that you’ll meet the right guy when the time comes.
And remember that you deserve better than to keep falling in love with the wrong men! You are here to love and be loved, to honor and be honored. You are here to be in healthy relationship with a man who is right for you, who was created for you. Value yourself enough to pick a guy who is healthy, whole, and grounded. Don’t fall into the trap of wishing you were in love with the right man; instead, get emotionally and spiritually healthy so you are able to choose a guy who is right for you.
What do you think – why do you keep falling in love with the wrong guys and getting involved in relationships that aren’t right for you? I welcome your thoughts and comments below, big and little. I can’t offer advice, but writing can help you gain insight and clarity into your choices and life.
If you feel stuck in an unsafe relationship, read How to Decide if You Should Stay or Go.
Your thoughts are welcome below! I don't give advice, but you can get free relationship help from marriage coach Mort Fertel.