Why you keep dating the wrong men

dating the wrong men

When singles tell me they keep dating the wrong men I often put it down to two things:

  1. They don’t know what they want

  2. They don’t know how to ask for what they want

Let me explain.

Those who fall under category 1 often date and hope for the best. They leave it to timing, to being at the right place at the right time. This kind of approach to dating is like throwing spaghetti on the wall and then seeing what sticks.

When you ask them why they are on dating apps and websites their answer is often: “I just want to see what’s out there and if I meet him, I meet him”.

Instead of knowing how to recognise men who are right for them they go out with whomever happens to be interested at the time. Don’t mistake this for a lack of standards, they have them. But having standards doesn’t necessarily mean they know what kind of guy will make them emotionally fulfilled in a relationship. Does this sound familiar?

Real life example. How Emily met her man when she got crystal clear on her wants and needs.

When I first started working with Emily she was attracting all kinds of unavailable men. The kind who didn’t want a relationship with her but wanted to be in her life because she was attractive and fun. Their affection towards her would be inconsistent leaving her confused and frustrated. To overcompensate for their lack of consistency, she would try to steer the relationship. Instead she’d end up doing the chasing. To put it succinctly – these guys just didn’t prioritise her.

Here’s what we did to change up her dating patterns:

  1. She made a list of everything she wanted in a guy and put a star around her non-negotiables i.e. must want to have children
  2. Set boundaries – she outlined what she will and what she won’t accept
  3. Tamed her dating anxiety – to help her feel that there was still plenty of time to meet someone and that the next guy didn’t have to be ‘the’ guy
  4. Tweaked her online dating profile so she could start attracting men who were looking to settle down
  5. Worked on her communication with men and creating connection in between dates through phone calls and text messages

The result? She met an amazing man in 5 weeks.

The second reason why singles stay single is because they don’t know how to ask for what they want. A lot of women have this idea that if they ask for the commitment they want, they’ll chase men away. This is far from the truth. Men want commitment just as women do, especially when they hit a certain age and all of their friends are getting married and having babies.

It comes down to how you approach conversations, what kind of questions you ask and the space you give him to decide where he wants the relationship to go. As I mention in ‘Goodbye casual dating’, men and women have different commitment timelines. Women meet a guy and right away they’re in relationship mode. Without knowing if a guy is the guy for them, they’ll attempt to make it work straight away. But men need much more than that, they need to envision what life would be like with you, they need to feel emotionally safe, they need to know that you’re in it for the right reasons (not just to get married and have babies, they need to know that you see them).

Real life example. How Nicole steered her casual dating into a committed relationship

Nicole had a record of going from one short relationship to the next. Her issue wasn’t in attracting or meeting men. She nailed that part. Her challenge was taking a casual relationship into something more serious and committed. She would meet a great guy and when it came to the ‘what are we’ talk, she’d freeze. Because she feared it’d scare men away, she would tell him that she was fine with ‘seeing how it goes’. When she was finally done with casual dating, we worked on her communication techniques.

Here’s what she did to go from casual dating to a committed relationship:

  1. She decided she was wasn’t going to settle for casual flings
  2. She learned how to recognise men who were ready for something long term, men who shared the same values she did
  3. She learned what questions she had to ask on dates 1-3
  4. She knew exactly what to say and do when a guy seemed hesitant
  5. She knew how to give men space so that they would be leading the relationship into something long term (instead of her having to chase the guy for it)

The result? She finally went past her 3 month relationship benchmark and is happily loved up.

Nothing makes me happier than seeing singles finally find their ‘one’. Most often we are in our own way and just need someone else to see the blindspots. I’m often asked “when will I meet him? how soon can it happen for me?” and the answer is: it depends on how much work you put into it.

So if you’re done with trial and error in dating, let’s get started.

Here are a few ways we can work together to help you find the love you’re looking for in your 20s, 30s and beyond.

To create the mindset that attracts healthy love:

Mindset Makeover

To learn the exact steps I did to attract my husband:

Create Your Own Luck in Love

To go from casual dating to committed relationship:

Goodbye Casual Dating

Or if 1:1 is more your thing, book a call to see how we can work together.



Iona is a Wellness Coach specialising in relationships and dating. She works with single women to write their own love stories.