Safe relationships are built on honesty, acceptance, love, and healthy ways of being. We want to be with safe people – so why do we keep choosing unsafe relationships? Here are 10 reasons women choose unsafe men, to give you insight into your life.
What is an unsafe relationship? In an unsafe relationship, you can’t express yourself authentically. You aren’t heard when you share your thoughts and opinions. You can’t be honest about how you truly feel, and your partner isn’t interested in communicating with you.
Your relationship isn’t safe when it holds you back from a positive, happy, healthy life. Unsafe relationships bury us, instead of helping us blossom. At the end of this article, I link to a book about safe people and healthy boundaries – it’s a must-read if you want to get healthy or if you’re noticing the signs of a bad relationship.
10 Reasons for Unsafe Relationships
These are brief summaries of the reasons women choose unsafe relationships. If you want more information on any of these, let me know in the comments section below.
Shame and self-hatred
Sometimes we choose unsafe relationships because we feel like crap about ourselves. We hate ourselves, we feel ashamed and dirty, so we choose men who treat us badly. Choosing unsafe relationships is about punishing ourselves, and not believing we deserve anything better.
One reason we choose unsafe relationships is because we have the Hollywood ideal of love in our heads and hearts. We pretend everything is fine – we ignore the pain and disappointment of our partner’s behavior because it’s easier to believe that everything will turn out ok in the end.
Are you in a relationship with a man who you hope will change? Sometimes, hope keeps us from facing the truth about someone we love. We don’t want to accept the reality of who he is, so we keep hoping he changes. This reason for choosing unsafe relationships is similar to the “romanticizing” reason.
Fear of confrontation
Unsafe people can’t be confronted, can’t take negative feedback, and are defensive when we’re honest with them. Safe people are open to feedback and are willing to talk about their weaknesses and mistakes. We may choose an unsafe relationships because we don’t know how to confront or communicate effectively. Few of us were taught how to confront in love when we were children!
If you know you’re in an unsafe relationship, read How to End a Toxic Love Affair Now – Before It’s Too Late.
Fear of abandonment
A big reason we choose unsafe relationships is because we’re scared of being left alone or rejected. We don’t choose healthy, safe relationships because we drive healthy, available men away. We reject them before they have a chance to reject us.
Need to rescue
Both men and women choose unsafe relationships because they want to rescue the other person. This helps them avoid facing their own character flaws and deficits, and allows them to focus on saving the other person.
Lack of self-identity
When we don’t have a strong sense of who we are and what we want out of life, we often fall into the trap of choosing unsafe relationships. We find men with money, high self-confidence (or even egotistical arrogance, which is unhealthy), expensive stuff, and a good standing in the community. Then, we get our self-identity from him.
We choose unsafe relationships because that’s all we know. For instance, we may choose men who are abusive or emotionally unavailable because that’s what we knew growing up. Changing unsafe ways of relating is difficult and requires hard work, so we fall into our old patterns.
If you’re a perfectionist, you’ll be drawn to men who demand perfection. Your relationship is unsafe because you’ll always be performing, and failing to meet impossible standards. Your perfectionist tendencies may be one reason you choose unsafe relationships.
Fear we don’t deserve better
This may be one of the most common reasons for choosing unsafe relationships: we don’t think we deserve anything better. This ties into my first reason for being with men who aren’t safe: shame and self-hatred. We don’t respect or value ourselves enough to pick men who are healthy, whole, and grounded.
What do you think – what’s your reason for choosing an unsafe relationship? I welcome your thoughts and comments below.
And here’s an excellent book on finding safe men to love, who will lift you up and support you: Safe People: How to Find Relationships That Are Good for You and Avoid Those That Aren’t by Henry Cloud and John Townsend. They’re the authors of Boundaries, which is another must-read!
If you feel stuck in an unsafe relationship, read How to Decide if You Should Stay or Go.
Is your relationship in trouble? Get 7 Steps to Fixing Your Marriage from relationship coach Mort Fertel. It's free and helpful, no strings attached.
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