7 Reasons You Are Still Attracted To Jerks
First, lets start with saying that as children we were taught it was not polite to call people names and it isn’t, but sometimes there is a perfect universal word that explains the message you are trying to get across. “Jerk” happens to be one of them.
Everyone instinctively knows exactly what behavior you are talking about when you say they are a jerk. What are the common characteristics of a jerk? After doing a little research on several therapists’ definitions, this one fits the best and I identify with it from years of counseling with my clients.
Basically a “jerk” is someone who it’s difficult to be in a relationship with. The No. 1 trait is they don’t know how they come across to people, they don’t care and they don’t want to change. They don’t want to take the time and look to see how their actions are hurting other people. And if they do know, they still don’t want to change.
There are tons of different things where that manifests itself as abuse, meanness, being crude or people who just aren’t kind. The bottom line is they don’t WANT to change. That’s how you define a jerk.
Attracted to Jerks or a Jerk-Magnet?
It doesn’t matter whether you are 15 or 50; if you are moving from one unfulfilling relationship to another, all the while tolerating disrespectful, energy-depleting behavior from your dating partner or boyfriend, you might feel like a jerk-magnet. Somehow, they keep finding you.
But there’s a more plausible explanation, YOU are attracted to jerks and YOU are the one responsible for breaking the pattern. Eventually you get sick of it and you ask yourself: “How did I get here?” The first question would be: “When did you first notice the red flags or question your compatibility?”
Most of the time, you will have to admit it was by the second or third date, BUT you continued on anyway!
Break out of the attracted to jerks pattern
You can start breaking that pattern by beginning to understand why you are drawn to them and then a few pointers to break the pattern.
- Your self-respect is shaky. Some people are far too willing to put up with rude behavior or mistreatment because of a lack of inner strength. To be in a healthy relationship, you should fully expect to be treated with dignity and decency. Jerks have a way of sensing lack of self-respect and taking advantage. Respect yourself, and expect it from others.
- You’re a sucker for good looks. It’s blatantly apparent that our society is obsessed with appearance and some of us are hardwired to favor good-looking people. It’s human nature. The problem is, external beauty is not a reliable predictor of internal goodness.
- You’re not listening to your friends and family members. When you were dating a jerk before, people who cared about you said, “Why are with this person?” Listen to those who are trying to protect you and want the best for you.
- You haven’t learned from past experience. Mark Twain put it spot on. “There is nothing to be learned from the second kick of a mule.” When you’re tempted to date another mule (a.k.a jackass), think long and hard about previous relationships and all the headaches and heartaches that came with it.
- You’re too willing to compromise. Experts tell us the importance of compromise ensures cooperation and harmony within a relationship but that does NOT mean compromising on a person’s basic behavior of honesty, respect, kindness and loyalty.
- You hate being alone. Some people loathe the thought of being single the rest of their lives. This is what drives them to put up with rude or irresponsible treatment. The thinking goes that, “A not-so-great partner is better than none at all.”
- You think you can transform a jerk into a decent human being. Maybe you’re a starry-eyed romantic, overly optimistic or codependent and need someone to “fix.” It’s always possible for someone to become better and nicer, but it’s not likely if that person isn’t even aware of his/her need to change.
A few tips to avoid the “attracted to jerks” pitfall
- Learn to trust your gut feelings. Whether it’s a voice in your head or a pit in your stomach, your gut feelings are your internal warning system. When you’re on a first date and him being rude to the waiter triggers your gut, or he talks about himself all night, pay attention! Speak up and discuss your concerns, his response will tell you a lot. If he dismisses you, politely thank him for dinner and run to the nearest exit.
- Think about what you really want in a relationship and don’t compromise. Define what you want and need in a relationship and hold steady to that. If you discover major differences or observe behavior that doesn’t sit right with you, pay attention! While it’s nice to give someone a second chance, do you really want to say yes to a third date with a guy who you already know is all wrong for you?
- First impressions can sometimes be wrong but second impressions are always right on! If you have high expectations of a great new restaurant but when your waiter finally shows up, he has an attitude. You then place your order and wait and wait. An hour passes before a wilted salad appears. Your steak is cold and overdone. Disappointment creeps in because you want to love the place but the whole night has turned out wrong. You decide to give the restaurant a second chance and the same thing happens; would you go back to the restaurant again? Set those same standards when it comes to your relationships. Go on a second date but if you get the same cold steak and surly attitude, have the sense to call it quits, knowing that you have just spent time with a jerk.
Susan Z’s Verdict
If after reading this article, the only thing you picked up from it was “your self-respect is shaky”, that is a good place to start in turning around the energy of you being attracted to jerks. Work on yourself without any end goal in mind except how much better you will think about yourself. There is a subconscious program running within your thought pattern that says this is what love looks and feels like, change it. Read books on changing your view on love, listen to self esteem affirmation tracks, do mirror work, seek a life coach…. anything to help YOU feel better about YOU!
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Susan Z Rich is an emotional addiction counselor, spiritual intuitive and holistic therapist. She counsels others to see life in a more positive way and teaches personal accountability for life choices. She is also the author of several children’s books and Soul Windows…Secrets From The Divine.