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Sometimes, you know that someone is wrong for you, but you fall for them anyway.
Other times, you think that you’ve found the perfect person for you, only to be unpleasantly surprised when it turns out that they’re not who they seem to be.
Of course, if you’ve been falling for the wrong person again and again, there might be an underlying issue that needs addressing.
Whatever the case may be for you, you can learn how to stop falling for those who are not right for you. It’s just a matter of following these useful tips:
1. Know what you want.
You should be as clear as your can be in your own mind about what you want and what you don’t want in your love life.
What kind of person do you think is right for you? More importantly, what is it that makes someone the wrong person for you?
It might be a good idea to write down the things that you can’t tolerate. For instance, if you are very neat or hardworking, could you stand being in a relationship with someone who is messy or lazy?
Being very different from one another probably makes them the wrong person for you. So think about your deal breakers and the things that this person has to have in common with you.
If you start dating someone who clearly has a trait that you wouldn’t be able to tolerate in a long-term relationship, you should probably reconsider dating them.
When you are looking for the right person, it usually means that you’re looking for the person you want to spend the rest of your life with. So, when you think that you could tolerate something, think about whether you could keep tolerating it forever, or if it’s actually a deal breaker for you.
Know what you want, have high standards, and don’t settle for less. This will help you avoid ending up with the wrong person.
2. Know what’s good for you.
You might not have a good sense of what’s “right” and what’s “wrong” for you, so it would be good to write these things down, starting with the obvious ones.
Clearly, someone who is afraid of commitment, someone who is abusive, or someone who you just know is trouble isn’t right for you. You know this, but maybe not as consciously as you should.
Learn about all the red flags that you need to watch out for to avoid getting involved with the wrong people. For instance, some women are into bad boys, even though they know that they’re not good for them. They keep chasing them anyway because they think that danger is exciting, they have daddy issues, they want to be bad themselves, or they think forbidden love is true love.
If you are attracted to people who you know are bad for you, a therapist could help you identify the root of this problem.
3. Don’t force relationships.
Sometimes, we like someone so much that we force the relationship with them, even though we know that it’s not going to bring us happiness.
Know when it’s time to call it quits. When you have to force something, it’s probably not meant to be.
Maybe you are interested in someone who isn’t ready to commit to you. If you force them to do it anyway, are you really doing anyone any favors? They are still going to be the same person who feels the same way, and they might resent you in the end.
Do you really want to be with someone you have to force to be with you? Don’t do that to yourself. Even if they want to be with you, if you have to force the relationship, it’s probably not meant to last.
Granted, things aren’t always going to be smooth sailing, but it’s supposed to feel like you’re both looking in the same direction and trying to find a way to make it work together.
If it doesn’t feel worth the trouble, it probably isn’t.
4. Identify unhealthy patterns.
You might be repeating some unhealthy patterns that probably have roots in your past.
People develop their attachment style in childhood, and it often dictates their approach to romantic relationships later on in life. So, if you constantly find yourself falling for the wrong person or your relationships simply never work out, it would be a good idea to talk to a therapist about it.
A therapist can help you identify unhealthy patterns and work on changing the way you approach relationships. Something from your past might be stopping you from developing healthy relationships, so get to the root of the problem with the help of a professional.
5. Don’t try to save or change anyone.
Some people believe that they can save others, and they get into relationships with those who need saving.
You need to understand that you can’t help anyone who doesn’t want your help. And you shouldn’t be searching for a project, but a partner.
Meaning, don’t look for someone who needs fixing. If you don’t like someone the way they are, don’t be with them only to try to change them.
Unless they want to change and actually show that by putting effort into changing, they aren’t going to change anyway. So, you can’t make them, and you don’t need someone who you need to push to be better.
Don’t look for those in pain or danger to save them and make them happy again. That’s not a good motive to start a relationship. You should be with someone you already like, not someone you need to change so that you could like them.
6. Don’t fall for unavailable people.
Whether someone is emotionally unavailable or already in a relationship with someone else, they should be off-limits. Everyone knows this, yet people still get involved with those who are unavailable.
This happens because we don’t react in time when we see that someone is not right for us. Instead, we try to see where it goes, only to find ourselves emotionally attached to someone who can’t reciprocate those feelings.
This is why it’s important to recognize the wrong person for you and walk away sooner rather than later. Recognizing someone who is unavailable isn’t so hard, so don’t ignore that fact and stop yourself before you’re in too deep.
7. Stay true to yourself.
When you’re searching for the right person for you, you have to be you. Don’t pretend that you’re someone else just for the sake of being the kind of person they might like. Just as you shouldn’t aim to change someone, you shouldn’t try to be someone else either.
If you are neat, don’t pretend that you can put up with dirty socks on the floor. If you’re lazy, don’t portray yourself as hardworking to get a person who actually is hardworking to like you.
Things aren’t going to work out if you’re too different. So, while you can certainly improve and strive for better, don’t change who you are just to be with someone. If it’s not really you, the mask is going to slip at some point or another. You won’t be able to pretend forever.
After all, you want someone to love you for you, not for who you’re pretending to be. Sometimes two people aren’t “the wrong people,” they’re just not compatible enough to be a good match, and you have to accept that and move on.
8. Don’t settle for promises without evidence of change.
If you’re already involved with someone you’re hoping to change, and they have promised that they will, what have they done about it? Is there any actual evidence of change, or do they just talk about changing?
Think about whether they have shown any progress and whether their words are backed up with actions. Change can be difficult and take time, but if they haven’t even started to move in the right direction, they’re probably aren’t going to.
You can’t keep being with someone because you’re hoping that they’ll eventually change if they haven’t made any effort to change thus far. A person can make all the promises they like, but the only promises worth anything are the ones they keep. When they are all talk and no action, you know that those words don’t mean anything.
9. Believe in actions, not words.
Whether the person is trying to change or doing anything else, the thing to watch for is actions, not words. There are many sweet-talkers in the world, and some people could make you believe anything when they tell you a story. Don’t believe their stories unless their words are backed up with action.
A person could tell you they love you while treating you as if they hated you. Always consider the way they behave, not what they say.
If they often break their promises and feed you empty words, don’t stick around to hear more of them. A person who loves you is supposed to make you feel loved, not just tell you that they love you. Words can be deceiving, but the way a person treats you tells you everything you need to know about their feelings for you.
10. Be okay with being alone.
Many people get into a relationship out of fear of ending up alone. Even those who don’t do that often feel uneasy about being single and alone. This can make them settle for the wrong person.
After all, who has the time to wait for the right one? You do! You just need to learn to enjoy being alone and get the best out of the single lifestyle. You are a complete person even when you’re not involved with anyone, and you don’t need anyone to make you happy or fulfilled.
Live your life, regardless of who is or isn’t a part of it. Be fine with being alone and enjoy your own company! Try to make yourself happy and live a fulfilling life even when you’re not in a relationship.
It’s easier said than done, but those who can be happy alone will be happier with someone else, and you’re less likely to fall for the wrong person if you’re fine with being alone until the right person comes along.
11. Work on your conflict resolution skills.
The reason you might have had bad luck in your relationships so far could be that you have poor conflict resolution skills.
While all couples fight, the way they fight can determine whether or not they are right for each other. Maybe you storm off and slam the door in the middle of an argument, or you use name-calling in fights.
Arguments between couples always happen, but the important thing to remember is that you should both focus on resolving the issue, not making things even worse.
When you say something that you don’t mean, try to take it back. And don’t be afraid to apologize if you have done something wrong. The way you resolve conflict can determine the future of your relationship, so work on your conflict resolution skills with the help of a therapist.
12. Love yourself.
This is not about loving yourself so that others could love you; it’s about not sabotaging yourself because you have a low opinion of yourself.
Are you overly critical of yourself? Is self-loathing a possible reason why your relationships fail? You might not even be aware of it, but you could be sabotaging yourself and your relationships.
Maybe you get into relationships with the wrong people because you don’t think that you deserve any better. Perhaps you ruin your relationships because you don’t have a good relationship with yourself.
This is why people say that you need to love yourself to love others and be loved. Learn to love yourself and don’t think that you deserve anything less than the real thing.
13. Don’t believe in Hollywood love.
The love you see in the movies isn’t quite the love you can expect to have in real life, so try to remember that fictional stories are just that – fictional.
Don’t romanticize love to the extent where you expect someone to run to the airport and stop you from leaving at the last second. Yes, love can be romantic, and you’ll experience some movie scenes in real life, but don’t believe in Hollywood love. Don’t expect things that only happen in movies, and don’t let those movies cloud your judgment.
You might end up thinking that things will always work out because they always do… in movies – and this is the part you need to be clear on. Dramatic fights and huge romantic gestures belong on the big screen, so don’t try to play out your own version of the Notebook or any other love story you’ve watched.
Don’t romanticize forbidden love, dangerous love, affairs, and other things that you often see in movies. Your life is not a movie, and you need to work on your own happy ending where you find a more peaceful, calm, and respectful love that you don’t see a lot of in romantic movies full of excitements and twists.
14. Don’t give yourself false hope.
You should realize when your healthy hope turns into wishful thinking.
This brings us back to hoping that someone will change. Again, if they did nothing to show progress, don’t cross your fingers and dream that they’ll magically turn into the person you deserve to be with.
Be with the person you dream of instead of dreaming that someone will suddenly become that person.
We often fall for the wrong people just because of this false hope. Some people even get married and still hope that the frog they kissed will turn into a prince.
If the person you’re dating is not the person you’ve imagined for yourself, don’t try to see what isn’t there. Sometimes, the person will actually put effort into changing, and that’s when you can get your hopes up.
However, ask yourself whether they could ever be the person you want to be with. Could they ever live up to your expectations? If you actually aren’t happy with who they are as a person, why are you with them to begin with?
Don’t make someone change the essence of who they are just so they could be with you. Trust me, neither of you will be happy in the long run.
15. Confront your fears.
A lot of fears can cause an unhappy love life, including fear of abandonment, fear of loss, and fear of being alone.
Don’t allow your fears to dictate who you are going to date and what your relationship is going to be like.
If you have had bad experiences in the past, they have probably left their mark on you and the way you approach relationships. A therapist could help you confront your fears and prevent them from causing harm to your future relationships.
It’s normal to feel afraid of ending up alone or getting rejected, but you can’t let these fears determine how you’re going to live your life. Learn to deal with your fears in a healthy way so that you can form healthy relationships.
16. Set healthy boundaries in relationships.
To have healthy relationships, you also need healthy boundaries. Some people get deeply enmeshed with the wrong person because they don’t set boundaries. Others agree to go on dates with those they know aren’t right for them because they can’t say no to their friends and family members who are convincing them to do it.
You need to establish firm boundaries in all your relationships to make sure that you are treated the way you should be.
Don’t get so enmeshed in a relationship that you can’t tell where you end and your partner begins. Don’t agree to anything you’re not comfortable with just because someone wants you to do it. Don’t keep putting up with someone’s bad behavior because you don’t know how to tell them that you’re not happy.
Draw the line in all your relationships, and don’t let anyone cross it.
17. Don’t date the same person over and over again.
You could find yourself dating the same person over and over again, even though the person in question changes. This means that you might have a type, and it might be the wrong one.
Maybe you are always attracted to cheaters, addicts, trouble makers, unavailable people, players, or even abusers. Perhaps it’s not that specific, but you were with the wrong person, and you keep choosing the people who exhibit the same traits.
It would be a good idea to learn how to recognize the type of person you seem to be drawn to even though they’re wrong for you, and to identify the reasons why you keep choosing these people.
A therapist could help you identify your unhealthy patterns and stop seeking the attention of all the wrong people.
18. Don’t settle for a one-sided relationship.
Someone who is not equally invested in the relationship as you are is clearly the wrong person for you.
Maybe they are an amazing person, and you’re very compatible, but for whatever reason, you feel like your feelings and efforts aren’t being reciprocated.
A healthy relationship involves teamwork, and one person alone can’t make a team. So, when someone isn’t willing to put as much effort into your relationship as you are, look for someone who will be.
It sounds much simpler than it is, but you shouldn’t settle for a one-sided relationship where you’ll be the only glue holding things together. Don’t force things that aren’t meant to be.
19. Know your priorities when you’re searching for the right person.
While it’s certainly nice to be with someone who is good looking and wealthy, this shouldn’t be your top criteria when choosing a romantic partner. In fact, things like these should be at the bottom of your list. It’s much more important to look for similar values, understanding, respect, compatibility, and love.
So, don’t fall for things that don’t matter that much. Good looks and wealth are certainly desirable, but you should look at these things as possible bonus traits, not a must.
If you’re looking for a long-term partner, the way you communicate, the way you get along, and the way they treat you are the things you should pay attention to, not the size of their smile or wallet.
20. Don’t be with a person who doesn’t value or respect you.
Why would you be in a relationship with someone who doesn’t value you, continuously disrespects you, and makes you feel bad about yourself? Your partner is supposed to make you happy, and if they aren’t even trying to, why are you with them?
If they take you for granted and make you doubt your self-worth, they are definitely wrong for you.
The reason you’re settling for the way they treat you might be because you don’t love yourself enough to realize that you deserve better. You could end up with someone so bad for you that they seriously harm your self-esteem and make you feel like you don’t deserve better, even if you thought you did.
Stay away from those people and show yourself love.
21. Don’t be in a rush to find someone and to get into a serious relationship.
Regardless of your age and gender, there’s still plenty of time to find the right person. So don’t be in a rush. It’s never too late, but even if you think that there’s not much time, you’re not doing yourself any favors by rushing things.
In fact, people often get involved with the wrong person precisely because they’re rushing to find someone or to get into a serious relationship. Rushing often means settling, so take your time and get to know the person you might be interested in having a future with. Take time to date different people to find out who you want to be with.
Most importantly, don’t pressure yourself into finding a life-long partner because you’re likely to end up with the wrong one if you do. Think of it this way: there’s always time to settle for the wrong person if things don’t work out, so take your time when you’re searching for the right one.
22. Don’t always follow your heart.
This sounds like bad advice, but the heart can be foolish, and it can lead us into trouble. Your heart might start beating faster for someone your mind knows isn’t right for you. It happens all the time.
So, while you certainly shouldn’t ignore your heart’s desires, you should check in with your mind and gut feeling to make sure your heart isn’t wishing for someone who’ll just break it.
It takes a lot of strength to refuse to be with someone even though your heart longs for them, so you have to trust your common sense much more than your heart.
23. Stay away from those who are bad for you.
Clearly, you should stay away from those who are bad for you, but this is easier said than done, so it’s worth mentioning.
When you know that someone is wrong for you, trust your gut and stay away from them. The longer you try to make it work in spite of what you already know, the harder it will be to admit defeat and give up.
While there are always ways to save a relationship, not all relationships are worth saving, and not all couples are willing to work on saving them. So, know when to back away and look for someone else.
24. Take advice from those who care about you.
More often than not, when someone is wrong for us, our friends and family members are going to warn us about it.
Most teenagers have deliberately gone against their family’s wishes, but once they grow up, they often realize why their parents didn’t want them to date the person in question.
So, as a mature adult, don’t date someone just to make your parents mad. If people who care about you don’t support your choice of partner, take their advice into consideration.
While they’re not always right, they normally want what’s best for you, and they might be shining some light on a red flag that you’re choosing to ignore.
Still not sure why you always seem to fall for the wrong person, or what to do instead? Whilst this article gives a lot of great advice, this is one of those situations where speaking to an experienced relationship expert will help a lot. So why not chat online to one of the experts from Relationship Hero who can help you figure things out. Simply click here to chat.
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