Why We’re Attracted to People Who Are Wrong For Us

Everyone has struggled with it at one time or another: being attracted to people who are wrong for us. People we KNOW are wrong. Here's a brief look at why...

I’ve reflected on this question a lot.

All through my life, it has been a recurring theme: “Why am I attracted to people who are wrong for me?”

The truth is, I still don’t think I’ve come to a solid conclusion. There are so many subconscious things that attract us to a person, it’s impossible, really, to have a full understanding of what motivates any of us. Looking back on my past experiences, however, I was able to find a common denominator:  How I felt about myself.

I always found my self worth being lifted high as guys would take me on a date, only to find it come crashing down when they failed to call for a second. Or the courtship phase would inevitably lead to some form of disappointment — on both parts — as things began to get ‘real’.

Self Worth or ‘Other Worship’?

Here’s the problem: I used to put my happiness in the hands of others. I used to let THEM decide if I was worth it, when really, the only approval I needed was my own.

Another big mistake I often made was to take it like a challenge: “I’ll make him fall in love with me!” But that’s like working backwards. A person who knows their self worth doesn’t feel the need to prove anything to anyone, let alone ‘make’ them fall in love.

Self worth is one of the defining factors in who you find yourself attracted to. Maybe you don’t think you deserve what you truly want, so you settle for less. We’ve all heard about the law of attraction— it also plays an important part in relationships.

If I walk around thinking, “I’m not beautiful enough, I’m not funny enough, I’m not smart enough”, then how could I possibly attract a partner that will see these qualities in me? Because our actions always stem from our thoughts, when we’re having thoughts like these — consciously or unconsciously — we’re not naturally maneuvering ourselves into the company of others of like-minded action.

Yet when your self-esteem is in a high state, it will do the opposite. You will attract people that feed into it. Either way, it begins and ends with you.

Playing The Field or Fearing Commitment?

Fear also plays an important role in who you might be attracted to. Especially in the younger generation. We’ve developed this ability of being able to bounce from one thing to another without having to invest too much time or energy into it.

Being with someone who isn’t right for us requires no less than that. It’s a great temporary solution for an everlasting problem. The truth is, nobody wants to be alone, but nobody wants to be hurt either. Hence the compromise: someone to fill a void. No commitment, no disappointments, no heartbreaks.

Now, falling in love: that’s scary. Being with someone who is right for you and letting them in is putting yourself in a very vulnerable state, because it might actually work. There are consequences to love and some of us would rather not deal with the eventuality of getting hurt.

The Journey Ends Where It Began: With Your Self

When I look back on some of the situations I settled for, it always comes down to how I felt about myself. There are things we are willing to tolerate when we don’t value ourselves enough, that we wouldn’t accept if we were in a place of perfect harmony with our self worth, so setting about changing our thoughts and raising our consciousness is the best work we can do.

Everyone has their differing methods of going about it– it all depends on what you want out of life.

But in life, like relationships, there is one thing I am certain of: it all starts from within.

About The Author

RC Theriault is a comedian, writer and actor originally from New Brunswick. She is now living in Chicago working on her comedy career. In her spare time she loves attending self improvement seminars.