My whole life I haven’t had a decent boyfriend. What in my behavior makes men think I deserve to be treated poorly?

I am a 28 classy but attractive girl, educated, with a stable job, I have a nice circle of friends who appreciate me, I listen to music, go to concerts, to the theater, read books and I would say I am fun to be around.

My whole life I haven’t had a decent boyfriend.
The first guy I dated - on and off for 3 years, he never made it official and left me for another girl. 2nd one cheated, 3rd one broke up via text after a few dates, and so on. I had a 2 years relationship with a guy that finally left his job and started gambling (he was 30 years old, I was 25).
I really dream that a nice man, with a stable job, with passions, would ask me out on a proper date, but this never seems to happen. Sometimes a friend would say that X or Y (nice guys) like me, but they never ask me out. Instead, I get invitations by married men, divorced men, jobless men all the time.

Last year I met this handsome doctor (my age). He had a girlfriend that he treated like a princess, and looking at them I couldn’t help but wonder if I’ll ever find a nice man like him to treat me so well. I met him again this year and he was single. I told him he seems charismatic and that I would like to know him better. He then invited me to a party where I didn’t know anyone and he completely ignored me for a few hours. His friend starter to talk to me, so out of the blue he came and grabbed my hand and took me to his room where he wanted to just undress me, without even trying to kiss me. The same prince charming that would turn the world upside down for his girlfriend last year, would only push for sex with me without the slightest interest in having small talk… I don’t sleep around, don't have this reputation...

I just don’t understand… Previously I just assumed I didn’t get lucky enough to meet decent men, but this experience really makes me wonder what in my behavior screams ”dear men, I deserve to be treated badly?”. What should I do to find a decent guy who appreciates me and respects me?


Most Helpful Guy

  • "What in my behavior makes men think I deserve to be treated poorly?"

    The answer is: YOUR behavior.

    You don't behave like someone who has enough self-esteem and self-worth that you would refuse to put up with such treatment for even 10 seconds. Instead, you've put up with it, for YEARS in some cases. All you are doing is communicating to others that you aren't "worth" being treated well, because you don't INSIST on it when you're in a relationship. If YOU don't think highly enough of yourself to walk away from a guy who treats you that way, then no one else will think any higher of you either.

    How you behave with someone from the very beginning is how they will always see you, so you need to stop caring so much about other people's opinions of you and start acting like YOU MATTER, and demand that others around you treat you like you matter. They don't need to treat you like a queen or anything, but they need to treat you like a human being, and if they don't, you need to call them out on it, IMMEDIATELY, and EVERY TIME. You'll quickly find that, once they realize that YOU value yourself, they'll value you more too.

    • He's right, my friend had to learn this the hard way..

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    • I also easily fall for the 'poor guy - his ex was cheating, his life is hard' trap. When I look at if from the outside I can clearly see that there is no excuse in treating someone poorly, no matter what treatment you received from someone else. But there's something about the teary eyes that make me think ''poor babe, he's been through a lot'' and this makes me forget about what he is putting me through...

    • Exactly. You excuse their bad behavior because you get emotionally attached (probably much too quickly), and by the time you realize how bad it is, it's been WAY too long to correct it, and your relationship with that person is tainted forever.

      To answer your question: your friends will mostly adjust to the "new you" over time, but you may lose a couple who can't deal with the fact that they can't continue to build their own self-esteem by breaking yours down.

      Previous romantic relationships won't change, but you can build much better ones in the future by standing up for yourself, FROM THE BEGINNING, and showing them that you have self-esteem, and no matter how sad their own story is, you will not be mistreated.

      The irony is: the more you respect yourself and have self-worth, the more respect others will have for you. Being overly selfless means people will respect you LESS, and treat you WORSE.

Have an opinion?

What Guys Said 11

  • That doctor guy sounds like a jerk. Almost like he uses his status to his advantage to try and bed girls. Its probable though that his relationship with his ex wasn't as it seemed in your eyes, or just that he is sick of commitment now and is enjoying trying to use his job title to sleep around.

    None of what you have said makes a reflection of you at all. You have to kiss some frogs to get your prince, its normal. There are so many of guys on here like me who probably think the same as you do about woman. I think the secret is just perserverance. You seem to have been unlucky so far, but then there are people unluckier too. It could be a lot worse and you don't need to have someone to be happy :)

    Its just a question of meeting the right person. If those guys haven't kept you its there loss. Again being cheated on isn't a reflection of you doing anything wrong. It is the cheaters mistake to make, not yours.

    • well I recently found out that doctor guy is in a new relationship, so I was wondering why he didn't even consider me for a date but with other girls he can be in real relationships... this is how you get low self esteem :)

    • Probably he gets into a relationship with girls that sleep with him first. Out of a few most likely. I don't think you want to be THAT girl because that's sleeping with someone for all the wrong reasons. He doesn't sound a very nice person to me and it's his loss if he didn't notice you anyway!

  • In my experience, people don't need a reason to treat others in a shoddy manner. Most people have no ethical backbone, and they'll do whatever they can get away with. If some handsome doctor who women idolize feels like he can bury it without any consequences, then he's probably gonna try to do it.

    I feel your pain. There seems to be a shortage of good, stable people with strong morals who want to have meaningful relationships with others. Most people just seem to want to sleep around and chase the hottest people they can find.

    • this is so sad, I wanna beleive in kharma and when I treat someone with respect I just want to be treated with respect :(

    • I agree. It's heartbreaking to go through drama with one user after another.

  • You've just been unlucky. Maybe being 'classy but attractive' comes across as being unapproachable. Maybe you shun guys who don't meet all your initial criteria. No one ever gets their ideal partner. I met the most wonderful ( I thought) person too... smart, educated, same values/interests... but pretty quickly I find out she's not great at communicating, doesn't have much backbone or personality, and the way she acts screams as if she's self-absorbed. Guess what? I'm over it, and enjoying life. If you are chasing what you perceive to be "high profile" men, you're in for a rude awakening if you think those same men have your idealised romantic standards. Put yourself out there. Get some hobbies. If the "friend of a friend" thing doesn't work STOP DOING IT. Try speed dating. There are so many options. Good luck

    • i've never tried speed dating, seems like a bit stressful and job interview like; don't you think? :)

    • It would depend on how good at casual but meaningful conversation you are. The good thing is that most of the guys there will be "relationship ready", and they are there for the same reason you are - they might even have had similar luck in the past, and are being proactive about remedying it

  • @Anonymous
    Don't dwell on the past. It's obvious that these men weren't the right ones for you. The right partner will come along when you least expect it :-)

    • hope this is true, but if there is a way I can improve, I really want to do it :)

    • @Asker
      I'm a big believer of this saying as things happen for a reason :-)

  • I think you'd save a lot of pain by spotting red flags early on and being tough enough to dump a guy you feel doesn't treat/appreciate you as he should. You sound like a nice girl, nice girls often end up with assholes. It's the assholes that are the problem not the girl.

    • for me it looks like a weird circle, guy is nice to girl, girl is bithy to nice guy, nice guy becomes the ass*ole with the next girl and so on...
      however, I don't think I ever acted bitchy towards any guy, il I don't like someone I politely let him know...

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    • so the question would be how do you train for being strong not to put up with heir sh*t again?

    • That's a tough one! For me it involved a few years of innocence, followed by a few years of bitterness, followed by the realization that I'm the most important person really. If a girl doesn't make me happy, if she's bitchy or unfaithful then I feel like it's a shame but I wash my hands of her. What sucks sometimes is the betrayal of someone you love treating you badly. But if they start to behave like that I see them in a different light, it makes it easier.

  • At least you are meeting SOMEONE. I work in a place that is 85% male, I go out to a bar or club and it is 70% male, and so on. I guess I could go to a mall and get myself in trouble talking to girls who are 16, or go to a senior center since women tend to live about 5 years longer than men, but other than that or hanging out at nail salons, the population seems to be way out of balance.

    Sorry, just venting. Back to your issue, maybe you need to start going where you will meet employed, responsible men - maybe learn to code and get a job at Google?

    • woohooo, working at google would take away all my problems :)

      have you tried online dating?

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    • I never tried online dating because I'm kind of scared to go meet up a total stranger. Maybe I'm paranoiac but I don't think it's safe...

    • It is probably safer than meeting someone random at a bar or club.

  • I have the same problem but with women

    • I have posted the same question in another forum and some powerful beautiful women told me it's all about attitude.
      Guess I gotta work on my confidence and setting boundaries

  • That guy was just looking for rebound action. You would have been his rebound girlfriend if anything serious had happened and he was looking for rebound sex. I'm sorry you have to go through this. Did you hear what Gene Simmons said about women?

    • just watched the video. awesome :)

  • It isn't your behavior. It is theirs. Your issue, is that your are picking the wrong men. You should by now be able to spot certain characteristics in these type of guys. stay away from them and pay attention to the women who have great guys. What are their traits? Get one of those :)

    • I would say they are confident, they put themselves first and they are good communicators. all these traits can be boosted up :)

  • Just saying, that's how Elliot Rodger thought. You wouldn't want to be like him, would you?

    • omg no! but to be honest I sometimes thought about killing my exes :p

  • If your first date was 3 years ago you don't have a problem. That's an extremely short span of time.

    • huh? my first date was more than 10 years ago, maybe I misspelled something?

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    • thank you for your thoughts. so I guess I'll just have to date a bit more to find a compatible man...

    • Indeed.

What Girls Said 2

  • I'm kinda in the opposite position, no bad relationships, just one good one so far which sometimes I think isn't good either.

    But anyways, we can just guess. The last story is kinda odd. Was there anything about your behavior or dress style that suggested you were looking for casual sex?
    I'd say maybe he just broke recently and didn't a real relationship already so he just assumed

    I don't think it's you really unless in your past relationships there were some really obvious red flags that you missed.
    You've had 2 long term relationships? You know what they say, one is coincidence, two is coincidence, three is a pattern

    • well the situation for the 2 long term relationships was different. First guy didn't treat me well and we went on and off because he would meet up other girls. It was my first relationship so I was learning. with the second long time relationship, guy never ever treated me poorly, but over we started to grow apart, I finished school and took a job, he quit his job and started gambling, poker which is why I wanted to end it because I couldn't see a future with him.

      about the casual sex situation, I was wearing a knee long strapless dress and a lace bolero on top. I love to wear cute dresses, not too boring but not to showing (want a pic? :P) Truth is that the other people at the party were more casual (jeans + t shirt) but I love the more feminine outfits. I also told him that I would like to know him better, not that I wanted to have fun. Maybe because it was me who approached - he thought I was easy?

  • There's nothing wrong with you. Just stop waiting around for this dream guy to magically appear. Love will come when the time is right. Or go introduce yourself to some guys. Maybe Mr. Right is really shy. You go ask him out.

    • I'm not waiting for a dream guy. It just seems so hard to find a decent guy

    • Well you go ask him out!

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