2 Reasons Why Anyone Can Fall For A Jerk
Why She Fell For A Jerk
I was recently sharing with a younger woman on the phone about the How To Avoid Falling For A Jerk* live event in PEI.
As I talked about the event and about how women can fall for a jerk, she told me softly, “That was me.”
To look at her, most people wouldn’t peg her as someone who might fall for a jerk. She was well-educated, kind, had good friends, and a good head on her shoulders.
“I was afraid of being alone,” she confessed.
“I was tired of waiting for someone who would be a good partner. Being a young Christian woman in your thirties… single and not in a serious relationship… well, it gets hard. And lonely.”
So she proceeded to tell me how she began a relationship with a young man who turned out to be a jerk.
“He wasn’t a bad guy… and that’s what made it hard,” she said. “I knew he wasn’t mean-hearted, but neither was he willing to make the changes to things I brought up.”
(Often jerks aren’t bad people… Neither am I talking about sociopaths nor narcissists or anything. Rather, I’m talking about people who consistently refuse to change.)
Loneliness Causes Women To Fall For Jerks
But her loneliness and fear of being alone caused her to stay in a relationship that she knew wasn’t healthy. The relationship did eventually end and she was devastated, partly because she genuinely cared for this broken young man but also because it brought her fear of being alone front and centre.
I felt for her as she shared her heart. In fact, I’ve sat with countless women and heard their loneliness and fear of being alone. The thing is, this woman… she knew that dating isn’t a place to reform people.
At the same time, that’s one of the reasons how anyone – and I mean anyone – can fall for a jerk or
jerkette (because jerks can be men or women)…
Just as she stayed in the relationship out of a fear of being alone, we all have areas where we’re vulnerable given the right situation or the right time.
And those vulnerabilities make us more susceptible to falling for a jerk.
Jerks Can Look Like A Knight In Shining Armour
Another reason we can fall for a jerk is that they can look really good on the outside and they can say/do all the right things at first. We think they’re going to love us, care for us and be there for us… it’s easy to fall head over heels for someone like that.
However, only after we take the time to dig a bit deeper do we start to realize that they’re not quite who we thought they were…
But by that time, our hearts are already invested.
Just like this young woman I spoke with, we as women can feel kind of desperate and not want to be alone. Unfortunately, that can make us vulnerable to someone who looks like they’re a knight in shining armour.
One Way You Can Avoid Falling For A Jerk
So how do we guard ourselves against falling for a jerk?
Our relationships with our girlfriends and guy friends give us a sense of comfort against the fear of being alone. So having healthy friendships can help us guard against falling for a jerk.
Yet, the absolute best thing that a woman can do to guard herself against falling for a jerk is to be a healthy partner.
According to Dr. Steven Stosny, healthy partners attract healthy partners. So the healthier you are as a person, the more likely you are to attract a healthy partner (read his quote here).
At the same time, I do want to say that if you’re afraid of being alone, you’re not alone.
Steven Stosny’s work talks about how a woman has an unconscious fear of being alone. That fear can drive us
Instead, we should be looking to find a relationship where we feel treasured, cherished and cared for. The other person should care about the things that are important to us, the pain where we hurt, and even the purposes we feel we were made for.
*The How To Avoid Falling For A Jerk program is the work of Dr. John Van Epp, a relationship expert, creator of the award-winning Relationship Attachment Model and founder of Love Thinks.
Tired Of Falling For Jerks?
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