I’m tired of constantly picking the wrong men and having my heart broken – how do I change this habit?

Dear Evie, I’ve just broken up with my boyfriend of 2 years. I’m 32F, and after discussing the breakup with my friends, we recognized that I have a pattern of picking the wrong types of guys to date. I don’t do it intentionally or consciously, but I guess my type is the rough, bad-boy kind. That would be fine except they all seem to be so afraid of fully committing. In every relationship I’ve ever had, there have been infidelity issues and none of them seemed to take the relationship seriously. But deep down, I want to find someone to settle down with, get married, and one day have kids. I feel like with my current pattern and choice of men, that’s never going to happen. Why do I keep making the same mistake and how can I change things to find a decent man? – Anonymous 

Dear Anonymous, 

It’s great that you’ve started reflecting on your choice of men and examining the patterns in your love life. It’s clear from your message that there’s a disconnect between what you’re attracted to and what you want for the future. 

To change your pattern, it’s essential to delve into self-reflection and possibly even professional counseling to uncover why you’re drawn to partners who don’t seem ready for the level of commitment you desire. This might involve confronting uncomfortable truths about your self-esteem, your beliefs about love and relationships, or unresolved emotional wounds from your past.

I’d also suggest that you consider redefining what attributes you value in a partner. Shift your focus from the immediate thrill or allure of the “bad-boy” persona to deeper, more enduring qualities that are aligned with your long-term goals and values.

This doesn’t mean settling for someone who doesn’t excite you but finding excitement in the qualities that make for a healthy, stable relationship.

It’s also crucial to develop a strong sense of self-worth and to understand that you deserve a partner who is as committed to the relationship as you are. This might require setting clearer boundaries and non-negotiables in your relationships and being willing to walk away from situations that don’t meet your needs and values. 

Don’t expect these changes to happen overnight – it’s very likely that you’ll meet a few more frogs before you find your prince charming, and that’s okay. Each time, you’ll become clearer on what you want out of a partner, and your boundaries will also strengthen when you recognize those all-too-familiar red flags. 

Changing such ingrained patterns isn’t easy, but with reflection, patience, and the help of a professional to help you dig deep into why you subconsciously choose the men you do, you’ll eventually reframe the way you approach love and relationships. 

Wishing you luck and love, 


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Ask Evie

Evie is on a mission to revolutionize relationships and help you sort through your emotional woes. Her popular column helps readers break free from societal restraints and create empowering relationships - both with their inner selves and with those around them. With a wealth of experience in relationship counseling, backed by several professional certifications, she’s open-minded, big-hearted, and extremely compassionate… But she’ll also be completely honest in telling you the (sometimes) brutal truth, so you can get straight to the heart of the matter. Maybe you’re trying to save a marriage that currently feels like a sinking ship? Or worrying that your new friend isn’t quite as nice as they seem? Perhaps you’ve accidentally killed your partner’s goldfish and are weighing up the pros and cons of going to the pet store and finding a doppelganger, or fessing up? Whatever the dilemma, Evie’s at the ready to help sort through the emotional turmoil and guide you towards the next best step. To get in touch with Evie, click here.

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