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Self-reflection on failed relationship after fail relationship...


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I’ve been tearing my hair out since my last relationship ended, sorting out feelings, validating my decisions, and focusing on myself in order to heal properly. One questions that’s popped up often - from myself and from friends/family - is “Why you? Why do these things happen to you?” I could never understand why it was that I would be attracted to someone, get the courage to ask them out, and, regardless of the time spent dating them, find that they either lied, manipulated, cheated or took advantage of me, among other things. I have asked myself often what it is that attracts damaged women to me. With such a bullet-riddled track record, maybe I’m the problem.


With the extra time I’ve got now since I ended things with my ex, I decided to replay the dates/relationships I’ve been in over the past decade or so and do some searching.


Going back to relationships I had in high school. The first girl lasted a month. She “seemed” interested in me - the next boy came along, she swore she had no feelings for him, even though she’d run off the bus to talk to him. We go trick-or-treating on Halloween with her girl friend, they run off and ditch me in the next neighborhood over. I go looking and looking for her for 2 hours, thinking it’s a game, but it’s her way of dumping me, I find out. 3 days later she’s with that “other guy”. Petty high school stuff, but I shouldn’t have gone searching for her. I cared too much.


Second high school relationship - lasted 10 months. Girl was sweet as can be. 9 months in we’re leaving a movie theater and she starts flirting with other guys all of a sudden, acts like I’m not even there. She asks if I can drive her and her friend to a dance club 30 miles away - it’s 9pm. I say ok, and try to get directions. I hit a curb and get a flat tire. With the way things are going I’m frustrated. I kick the tire and swear once. The next week she leaves for a week-long vacation. Comes back and never calls. 2 days later I call her, there’s another guy in the background and she’s teasing me by making kissing sounds with him. Claims she didn’t like that I got mad about getting a flat tire and it’s over. More high school drama.


First big relationship - met a girl online, chatted with her for 6 months, we met in person and dated for the next 11 months. Her family loved me - her mother died a few months befor e we met. She was seeing a psychologist. She kisses another guy a month into the relationship - I let it slide. Pressures me into my first time having sex, I say no at first, she gets mad saying I don’t find her attractive. I give in. I find out a little while later that she’s still close with her ex. I find out soon after that she stole him from her own best friend and that’s how they wound up together. Any time there was weather or I couldn’t make it 40 miles to see her on a whim, she’d tell me she was just going to hang out with her ex. Sometimes he stays the night, but she insists no sex, and sometimes they’re out until 2am. I trick myself into thinking it’s ok, until one night we’re all out and he grabs her butt right in front of my face, and she’s giggling. The control games continue on, and the last straw is when she says “F you” to my best friend after he defends me while she’s yelling at me for some stupid stuff. I drop her, she comes back begging, I turn her down.


2 months later I’m talking with a female friend I met at a local coffee shop a year or so before. She says my story about how I dumped my ex was inspiring and gave her the courage to leave her abusive boyfriend. We stay friends, and 2 more months later she asks me out. We hit it off GREAT. 2 more months later she wants to take it to another level. She’s 17 and I’m 21. I turn her down, she hurts and we stop talking/seeing each other. 5 months later she’s back with her ex. ***I bumped into her again a few years later. She seemed thrilled to see me. Hugged me, sat by me and we played catch-up. She was living with her new boyfriend and it wasn't working out, so I gave her my number. She never called.***


A year later I ask a girl from work out. She’s always been flirty with me, so I go for it. She says she lives in an apartment and her dad pays half the rent. There’s a guy in her life whom she swears is a friend, but he’s a little TOO close. She gets high on a daily basis - it bugs me, but I overlook it. We go out for a month before I find out she lied - her father doesn’t pay half the rent, the other guy does because he lives with her, and co-workers tell me that he in fact is her boyfriend. I quit talking to her outside of work-related matters, and she doesn’t understand.


2 years later a girl from work asks ME out. She claims her divorce is finalized and done with, so I figure I’ll give her a chance. We go out, she talks about the divorce and herself for - I kid you not - 3 hours straight. Not once does she ask anything about me. Not only that, I found out 2 weeks later the divorce is NOT final and she has her ex-husband threatening to kill her. Needless to say, we never hung out again.


And my most recent ex - well, there’s only about 400 posts related to that.


Any extra insight is appreciated, but I believe my problem is that I try to force things - I look the other way when red flags get raised and bend over backwards to “make it work” when clearly it can’t unless the other person changes - this enables the behavior. If they’re comfortable with who they are, how would that ever happen? I am also a doormat. I tend to base my self-respect upon how much others respect me, and I believe that they will respect me more the more I do for them. This leaves me feeling shorted - as the result is never what I expect. I’ve heard often from my friends - both male and female - “I don’t know how you put up with that”. It’s only when I step back and look at THEIR relationships that I’m working too hard to fit a square peg into a round hole, so to speak. I need to stand up for myself more, and I’m making that my resolution this year.


Thanks for reading. Thoughts?

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Why go back to the first clumsy attempts at relationships back in high school? It just seems to make you see patterns that might not really be there. Did anything go right from these relationships...such as very unique wonderful memories with that person that are now forgotten since the relationships eventually ended? It also seems you are typecast as the nice guy...here is why: you seem to be the guy women turn to right after a divorse to talk about it; until someone better comes along; while they are still seeing their bf, etc. Not a good pattern.


My advice to you is to grieve a bit over lost loves, then get back and date again. Try not to be the best friend of the girl but a seducer.

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Well, that's kind of why I dismissed the first two as silly high-school stuff, but I think some of my behaviors were evident that early on. Every relationship I've been in has had good times and the ones that lasted longer than a month did have high points that I look back at and think fondly of, but I'm just trying to focus on what I've been doing wrong. Some tell me it's just bad luck, but I think it goes further than that.


Yes, I do tend to be the "friend" type - I've fallen into the friend zone inadverdently far too often with girls I've wanted to date.


Sometimes I think the women at my work know me best - I interact with them on a daily basis. They either try to set me up with a girl (both times were disasters - one I could swear was strictly interested in women and had a mouth fouler than a truck driver's), the other paid no attention at all to me) or tell me themselves that I’m such a sweetheart and if they were my age I’d be in trouble, etc., because I make them feel good about themselves - I joke, flirt, and just try to be an all-around friendly person to them. On a couple of occasions I’ve even had a couple of women I work with in their 40’s/50’s ask me out. That to me feels kind of bad - not to disrespect women in that age range, but I tend to have more women that age after me than my age.

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you are a good guy, that is the problem. You need an edge. Everyone on here will tell you that being a bad boy isn't the answer but you need to be one at least for a while and see how women react. When I say be a bad boy doesn't mean get with as many women as possible, become a cheater, or verbally abusive to women you are in relationship with but be not such a good guy. If they do things you don't approve of, then you end it instead of "just going along with it".


You are too much of a push over in "their" eyes. If you let them push you they will and that is a big turn off. Women, in general, want to be with a guy that is firm, bit dangerous, bit rude, bit off the edge, and a bit of an a--hole. It is what it is

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I find it hard to strike that balance. It’s tough being a tad jerky! But maybe it's worth a shot.


I had a friend - my best friend for a long time - who was the polar opposite. He’d tell women that their wedding rings looked like they came out of a cracker jack box, one example. I mean, he was BOLD. But he always got their attention and held it that way. But he was a total jerk. One time we were at a bar and he went to the washroom. The bartender asked me what I was doing around a guy like him. His own wife told me she wished he was more like me, and that she was attracted to that side of him for so long, but after the marriage it got old.


I guess what’s confusing is that I’d have all these women saying “Why can’t more guys be like you” and “You’re so sweet”, so I start thinking the nice guy thing DOES work. Then in practice, it falls flat. One girl even said she wished she had a guy like me, only to turn me down when I asked her out, saying I wasn’t her type.


Maybe this last relationship was meant to be my push - to be blunt and honest and not care so much. Maybe when a girl asks me if something looks good on her, I should tell her it doesn’t if it applies. Maybe I should worry less about what she wants and more about what I want and BE that few extra minutes late.


I always thought the nice guys were the ones the girls wanted - that they’d look into the future and see someone who cared for them and nurtured their children, etc. I wouldn’t think that they’d want a guy who was a bit of a jerk to spend the future with. Maybe I’m looking at it wrong. Or maybe society’s going to pot and this is what fuels relationships? I just don’t know anymore...

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I'm a women and like you had bad relationships with bad girls, I've also put my eyes on guys who were completely jerks. I can speak as a "nice" person, like you. I had to end relationships that were going nowhere and I ended full of bitterness and sadness. But what doesn't kill you it make you strong. And I can see that you're insightful and humble to recognize that there's a problem within you. Not everyone does the same thing. I did the same and I realized that the problem wasn't the guy, it was me for allowing me to be with people who treated me so badly. It was because of a low self-esteem. As long as you try to increase your self-esteem you will be able to see girls who really deserve your love.


Jerks aren't able to keep a relationship neither. They used to be with girls with really low self-esteem, like I did in the past. Girls are attracted to jerks most of the time, because they seem to be confident, but this doesn't last for a girl who really loves herself, she won't admit a guy who treat her like dirt...


The balance is difficult, but it is worth to try it... don't you think?



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Hey Seymore,


Stop focusing on the past and your failed relationships. They have nothing to do with you right NOW. If you really want to change, you need to let go of the bitterness of the past and understand that what is done is done. There's no point to look at patterns because the only thing that defines you now is YOU.


If you meet a woman and she seems unstable - stay away. If you see that a relationship is failing or that a woman is taking advantage of it and you - stand up for yourself! Just because you're dating the wrong women, doesn't mean anything about YOU as a person. You're better than that - you're better than them! Figure out who you are and what you want and don't settle for less. Stop being miserable about another failure and strive for something GOOD in your life.


I know its hard when you're feeling dejected about continual failures, but focusing on them will just cause wrinkles and stress. You're wasting your time when you could be using it to move on with your life to find ultimate happiness. Every relationship in life will be a failure until you find the one that is RIGHT. So don't beat up on yourself - you said yourself it wasn't right. Be happy its over and done with and start living your life without regrets!

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Thanks. Cute cat


Well, I wasn’t so much beating myself up and being bitter as much as going through each relationship and figuring out where I went wrong. It’s not something that’s making me sad or angry or whatever because I know I can’t change the past, but I’m trying to find a pattern that I’ve carried in my behavior in the past. I look at it like this: You have a red button and a blue button. You keep pressing the red button and get zapped, but you want the delicious cake instead. So you go back over all attempts and say “What did I do wrong?”, realizing afterwards that you in fact should have tried pushing the blue button and to stop pushing the red one. Then you realize...blue button = delicious cake. Odd analogy, but you get my drift.


As far as the past having nothing to do with me NOW, I disagree. My choices in the past have had an effect on who I am now, the things I’ve learned, and if I don’t learn, I’m going to repeat it again.

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It seems to me that you don't get to know these girls that well before you make the decision to "date" them.


I think you need to decide for yourself what it is you are looking for in a woman. Now granted, everyone has faults and flaws, but you need to determine what you can and cannot live with. You need to come to a conclusion about what are specific dealbreakers for you.


It's not being mean, rude or inconsiderate to know what you can and can't deal with. If you know something major is going to bother you, don't try to overlook it. Not only are you not being true to yourself, but you and you partner will begin to resent each other.


Maybe part of why these relationships in the past haven't worked is because these girls have sensed that you aren't being honest about who you are ?

Or maybe because you are trying to be something you aren't ?

Or maybe you've just had bad luck.


Regardless, it can't hurt to adopt a new slower approach to dating, getting to know someone better before making a committment.

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I don't try to be someone I'm not - if I've had a problem in a relationship - like if she would be doing something I didn't like, I'd bring it up, and usually they'd either say "Deal with it" and I'd try, or they'd say "Don't go - I'll change", and not follow through. I wouldn't simply act like I was cool with whatver it was.


I'm too accepting. I get along with people of all types because I'm so accepting, which is a plus, but I don't have the self-respect to draw a line.


So it's not luck, and it's not like I'm not being me - I just don't ever put my foot down, I guess. I just sometimes think it may be too much to ask for a girl who won't smother, micromange or manipulate me, one who can think for herself and doesn't have anger problems, who doesn't use drugs, doesn't cheat and is honest. Someone who likes the things I like, who enjoys sex more than once a month and doesn't withold affection or use it as a reward. Is that unreasonable?


I just think about that and wonder if I'm picky, so I just settle for the problems that come with the women I date - thinking of them as hurdles that every relationship has and attempting to fight through them.

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As far as the past having nothing to do with me NOW, I disagree. My choices in the past have had an effect on who I am now, the things I’ve learned, and if I don’t learn, I’m going to repeat it again.


I meant it has nothing to do with you NOW in the sense of stopping you from changing, or that it shouldn't have an effect on your self-worth. Oftentimes, people beat up on themselves for past mistakes and it doesn't help nit-picking past patterns, although it CAN be helpful as you said.


It's healthy to vent and seriously, kudos to you for having guts to admit it to yourself and to see the issues of your past. All I meant was that you have to move forward and change NOW, because whatever happens has to start now, if you really want that change.

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Wow, this makes me kind of sad. I really think you need to work on your self-esteem and self-respect first before going out with any other women. Like you said, you gain self-respect only if others show you respect. Which is the wrong way of getting respect. You need to show people how you need to be treated first, because they don't know you. To them, it's a constant power-play and a need to rank themselves in relation to you on the social ladder.


If you're unsure where you stand, they will automatically squeeze you below them. Hence walking all over you and your behaviour ALLOWS it.


This is why women treat you poorly, because you let them and they want to stay with you because you give them power like they've never experienced before.


Know your worth before jumping into a relationship. You need to write down the description of your DREAM girl. This girl has ALL the qualities you want (plus all the ones you didn't think you wanted but really did). She'll also NOT have any qualities which are obvious red flags or even remotely against what you want in a woman.


Get a piece of paper and write it down. All the things you WANT and DESIRE. If this is too hard for you, you can start with writing down things you definitely DON'T want in a girl, for example, smoker, druggie, low self-esteem, clingy, disrespectful etc.


Now realize that the world and universe is FULL of women, all shapes and sizes which fit that description of yours to a T. It's true because a lot of people want good qualities in a partner, and a lot of people ARE quality people.


The trick is now, if you want to attract this quality woman into your life (and she could be anywhere, in the supermarket, in the library, at a restuarant, in a school, at a work place etc) you need to BE the qualities you listed first. Like attracts like and the faster you BE and ACT like your dream girl, the faster you will attract her into your life.


Now you might still attract a few loonies, but you'll see instantly they don't fit exactly with your dream girl description. You need to be picky, don't SETTLE for less, because your dream girl is right around the corner. The key is go out and meet, interact with as many different women as possible and don't dismiss anyone until you find out enough about them that you clearly see they match or don't match your ideal girl.

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Thanks, dani. I will check into that.


And Vyliss - thanks for the advice. I had done that once before (make a list), and it would seem like forever that I'd be single. I remember chatting with my boss at a wedding for a co-worker. She asked why I was single. I explained to her that I just haven't found the type of girl that I'm looking for. She called me picky. When my mom gets anxious for me to find a girlfriend, she calls me picky. I look at my aunt and she was picky, and now she's in her mid-40s and alone.


So I guess what I do is meet someone with SOME of the qualities and say "take the good with the bad" and overlook the bad things. I settle and that's my fault. But at the same time I don't want to be 40 and alone because I'm too picky.


I don't think I ask for a lot. The qualities which I listed are the main things I look for. I know relationships aren't this cinema-style "I'm always so happy" thing, and that there's no perfect woman.


But I have a ton of good qualities and I deserve a girl with the same.

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Such as yourself, I've come accross a lot of problems in my life with meeting women. And in many cases I've often blamed the situation on them, calling them dumb - when I was really the dumb one all along. I was really the one that made the mistake of choosing people who weren't right for me.


Today is a new day, and I am holding myself responsible for my actions. Because a lot of women I've met (although many of them were nuts) was also my fault as well. Because like you, I knew better. I knew they weren't good for me and I continued to pursue any way.


In some cases, I've even let the "little head" out think the "big one" and it's cost me a tremendous amount of grief over the years. Some women I knew weren't right for me, I would still talk to and keep my fingers crossed on. But I realized that I can't do that any longer. If someone is not right for me, they are just not right for me.


I've taken a new stand, to hold myself responsible and quit blaming others for decisions that I can make as well. I think it would be helpful if we continue to do that. But just know that you are not the only one in this situation. Lastly, count your blessings cause things could always be worst...

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Thanks, Truth. They certainly could be worse. I could've stayed with my ex-ex from 8 years ago and be a miserable married man now, or stayed with my latest ex and in 3 years be the same miserable married man. I'm glad things worked out like they did, but I need to learn for once!


Where are all the good girls?!?!?!

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