From the moment you meet him you know he’s bad news. But you don’t give a damn: you want him. Against your better judgment, you stay with him, hoping that he will change even after he breaks your heart. And after you are really over and out, you immediately fall back into the arms of an equally bad man. Why are we actually doing it to ourselves?
Sigmund Freud explained it before as “repetition compulsion”: when you (un)consciously search for a relationship that resembles a previous one, to give it a second chance, as it were. Because of the disappointment of your precious love, you look for a similar sweetheart for a do-over. That resemblance can lie in his humor, looks or hobbies. You were so convinced that you can fix bad man #1, that you want to prove it to yourself that number 2 should work. Or number 3 or 4… You understand.
Broken radar for bad guys
When you have fallen short of emotional needs, such as appreciation and respect, in previous relationships, your bad guy radar no longer works properly. For example, in Psychology Today, psychologist Gilbertson explains why many of them fall for bad men over and over again. So, if you don’t know what it’s like to be treated right, you don’t realize when Mr. Nice Guy is on your doorstep.
Bad = familiar
Now you may think: but you learn from mistakes in previous relationships, right? That is true for some ladies, but for others the emotional consequences are so severe that it obstructs them in subsequent love relationships. In addition, “victims” of bad men are blind to the alarms at the start of a new relationship. “Actually, it would actually make them closer to the partner because it feels familiar,” said Gilbertson.
Narcissist is irresistible
Why do we fall for a narcissistic man at all? At the beginning of this year, English scientists also wondered about this. They asked 146 British women between the ages of 18 and 24 about their dating experiences or wedding plans. They were also asked how attractive they found narcissistic qualities in a man. Oh boy, no good results came out.
Women with above-average experience and who wanted to get married in the future had the greatest weakness for narcissistic men. They knew these bad types weren’t easy ones, but that was insignificant because of the associations with status and money.
What to do when you fall for bad guys
Do you consciously or unconsciously always fall for that wrong man? Gilbertson gives a very valuable tip. Prevent relationship issues by “leaning” less on your partner. Before you dive into a (new) relationship, make sure you think about yourself first.