What people don’t tell you about dating the wrong types.

When you’re dating down, you aren’t always aware that you are doing it. I came up with an inventory to help you identify some of the red flags on Stop dating down!Β If you are doing 4 or more of these things, chances are you are settling in your relationship. Once you realize this is a feature of your relationships, then you can see if this yields a pattern in your life.

So, let’s begin by talking about the types of thinking that occurs, then we’ll talk about what occurs as a result.

Type 1: I know that s/he isn’t xyz, but they possess abc.cheating

Type 2: I know that s/he isn’t what I normally date, but I was unsuccessful with my past types.

Both types create a false sense of intimacy, hope, trust, and disillusionment in the relationship. If you are lying to yourself in the relationship, it’s easy to disillusion yourself about the realities of the relationship. In addition to decreasing your standards, you are changing your tolerance level of other people’s lies they tell themselves and you accepting it as your reality (their bullshit).

Which invariably creates Type 3: I’m getting a shot at someone I normally wouldn’t have a shot with and this is great! Β 

This is creating a false sense of hope in someone else and they will apply that to their next relationship. Type 3 will pursue people that they probably wouldn’t ever approach because they have this new inflated self-esteem. While the person who has admitted to dating down, has a diminished self-esteem.


85 thoughts on “What people don’t tell you about dating the wrong types.

      1. Thanks, Clarissa! Much appreciated. I like your blog too. If only I’d had such easy access to advice, etc.,, back in the pre-historic days of the Internet before I met my husband back in ’97, maybe I wouldn’t have gotten involved with the infamous philanderer I mentioned on my blog! πŸ™‚

        1. TB that whole story makes me angry on so many levels!! I don’t even know where to begin! I couldn’t believe on top of the theft, insults and cheating! #smh

          Sorry you went through that! So glad you are past it! Kudos to you on looking fab, while he keeps repeating mistakes with #8 wife. How terrible to put other women through that!

          How is it that most of us just look to find 1 and assholes seem to get 7?!?!

          1. UNHOLIEST OF UNHOLY THINGS!! I don’t know whether to cry or throw up… I hope I never cross paths with Mr. Wonderful. For its boys like HIM that make gentlemen like ME lose out. I’m sorry that you went through all of that, TB.

          2. Actually, I was kidding about wife #8, which I clarified in a later post. I actually don’t know how many times he’s been married. His marriage to my former friend 3-4 months after we split up – crashed and burned less than a year later. He got marriage again about 2 years later, according to a newspaper announcement that a friend of mine emailed me. His profile on Facebook these days says he’s separated, but I don’t know if that’s from the 4th wife (i.e. from the wedding announcement that I read) or someone else…difficult to say…:)

            No need to apologize for my disastrous marriage. You live, and you learn, and it gave me a great story for the memoir I’m currently working on! πŸ™‚ And all the lame-assed frogs that I tangled with in the past makes me appreciate my husband now all the more. We’ve been married almost 14 years, and aside from the fact that I think he’d sooner cut off his arm than cheat on me…it would require he leave his easy chair, which we frequently joke about! πŸ™‚

            THANKS for reading my posts!
            All the Best,

            1. So excited about your book! So happy that out of something stressful is going to result in something that we all can enjoy! You will laugh all the way to the bank πŸ™‚

              Congrats on the 14 year marriage! How inspiring and awesome!

              OMG! Love your blog! Thank YOU!

        2. Omg what a tale, I’m sorry, Tenacious, that you went through that. All guys aren’t like Eli. Over 400 pounds? Yep, karma got him, karma got him. Keep keeping your head up.

            1. I’m well, dear one. I get better every day. πŸ™‚ And I follow you around and read your stuff, Clarissa. I like it too! Still learning these darn thingies like Goog+. I can Twitter good though.

              1. So glad to hear you are well, my friend! Thanks I am flattered that you follow me around πŸ™‚

                I, too, am learning the different social networks! It’s a very interesting time we live in! We are our own walking billboards πŸ™‚

          1. Thanks! I know many men who aren’t like Eli. Luckily, I met my husband Charlie, a couple of months after Eli and I divorced. He renewed my faith that men can be supportive, kind and caring individuals. Next month Charlie and I will have been married for 14 years…and I agree karma has definitely smacked him (Eli) around a bit, and I can’t help but SMILE at that…:). Thanks for reading my post!

            1. You’re welcome, just trying to make the world a little better if I can, and I’ve sorta kinda been in your shoes in marriage. So glad you found a good guy! You are tough, I’m impressed.

  1. I don’t know how I feel about Type 1. I think that people’s ideas of who they want to date will change over time and as long as the person isn’t compromising on important values and things of that nature, then why isn’t it okay for a person to not have alll the boxes checked?

    1. I agree with you 100% because what we need changes over time. 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s all have different needs because of our experience, development, life disappointments and successes.

      The boxes are predicated by what we think we need in the moment and what we’ll need in the future. So if it’s all present, they can be all checked πŸ™‚

  2. I dated and then married Type 2….. I knew he was a bit below my “standards” but I really thought that he was all there was left in the sea of idiots. It wasn’t until we were married that I began to hear “you married beneath you” , “you are in a different class then him”, “Jolene what did you do”…. you would think THESE people would have stood up when the priest said “if there is anyone hear that doesn’t approve of this union speak now or forever hold your piece”…… that marriage didn’t last a year. ~ but imagine my surprise when he was about to go into surgery and was asked if he had any false teeth and grabbed his dentures out of his mouth and now was gumming in………HE NEVER disclosed this, he was only 40….but that’s not why we divorced…he was just plain crazy!!

    1. OMG Jolene! Thanks for sharing your story with us! I don’t know whether I should hug you or cheers you! So glad you are out of that relationship! But, all I can say is WTF? how do you not tell someone basic details about yourself to the person you are married to? Obviously, he wanted to pull of a charade because he didn’t feel up to your level. But, teeth, come on!!!!!!! πŸ™‚

      Most people don’t want to hurt us so they think they would rather zip it instead of run the risk of telling us.

      1. Hahaha, he put on a good charade that’s for sure…maybe he should have sought a career in acting instead of becoming a pro at losing his job and being a stalker! ~ lesson learned though, I made sure that when I started dating my (now) husband that his teeth were his own!!

        1. haha! AT LEAST! πŸ™‚ Isn’t it sad that the basics become a criteria because of past assholes?

          I like to look at it like: you were so incredible that he didn’t know how to maintain the relationship. The depth that it took him to was because of your fabulousness. He couldn’t reconcile that he got the chick he didn’t think he would get, but didn’t know what to do once he got her! Typical!

              1. πŸ™‚ people watching gets me into trouble but makes for some entertaining posts!!
                Love your blog, I’m so glad that I found it……but your title made me laugh out loud and say “I like how this girly thinks” !!

        2. Did you peel back your current hubby’s lips like you do a horse to check his teeth? Just kidding, I wish you only the best, sorry you had to go through that but obviously it was a lesson well learned.

  3. We as human beings tend to do what is easy and then we come up with the worst of excuses to justify our decisions/behaviors, disregarding any red flags or warnings or clues that this relationship that you are justifying participating in is going to explode sooner than later. And even if we acknowledge the wrong that we are doing, riding it all out until the end is never productive either. When it is wrong, someone usually gets the shorter end of the stick. Someone almost always gets hurt. And hurt bad!!

    The false sense of anything that is involved in any relationship can be described as paper thin. And there’s only so much weight that you can put on to it before it tears and punches a hole through.

    1. So true dambreaker! But, the bigger problem is that you built up someone else’s self-esteem at the expense of your own! ο»ΏThat takes so long to repair. It can cause years of regret, resentment, and self-loathing.

      Which can extend beyond relationships. But relationships is the area that takes longer to heal from.

  4. I think your types are over simplified. I don’t see anything wrong with the statements as they stand. You do give an example of lying and accepting bullshit, and when qualified in this way you are exactly right and I agree 100%. This example of lying has resulted in your commenters automatically assigning traits of lying, cheating, crazy etc. But without assigning these particular traits, the types themselves hold up.
    Take type 3 for instance. I have recently given advice to a young female blogger to do just that. Her constant evaluation that every hot guy is out of her league does her a disservice. I told her that if she goes around thinking she is not good enough then people will see her as such. Same for guys. Sometimes it takes dating someone who you perceive as better than yourself to realise who you really are.

    I don’t like these judgements of whether people are better than us or not when dating. Obviously we all have standards. I don’t date women who stay home all day and take drugs. I also don’t date women who earn 300k (though I dated someone who earned 125K), own a mansion, a poodle and jetset everywhere, but this would be because THEY judge me unworthy. I never think of myself as not good enough, just different lifestyles due to income. The girl I dated who earned 125K to my 75K didn’t work out because she was in a hurry to have children and I need much more time to decide that. Her income was of no consideration to me. She had the XYZs but I wasn’t sure about the ABCs. She was an exception, but despite feminisms forward march, most women still don’t like dating men who earn less than them.

    A friend of mine insists on dating men with football physiques and is always disappointed in the lack of intelligence they have, but refuses to date other types. She needs to practice the type one and type two. We should all have a go at dating people we wouldn’t normally date, we just need to get out when we recognise it’s not working for us, just as we do with people we normally would date.

    1. I appreciate your comments and feedback. I am a Behavioral Scientist and Clinician and have created the techniques that you are reading from CBT that is extensive. Since readers don’t have that time I extract the aspects of practice that are most efficacious.

      I want people to relate in any way that they want to my writing. It’s designed for anyone to read and react in ways that resonate with them. That’s what I’ve cultivated on my blog since I started it 2 years ago. I’m not trying to be esoteric or academic. I want it to be thought provoking.

      That was great advice you gave the woman and you are right it is applicable to both genders: Sometimes it takes dating someone who you perceive as better than yourself to realise who you really are.

      I, too, don’t believe in leagues. They’re not real, it’s perceived. Everyone has the ability to be with the person that makes them most happy. That’s what makes love so difficult there are no formulas.

      Feminism forward doesn’t eliminate role reversal. In relationships we have to have roles, society designs roles, employers design roles. When women talk about gender equity it has to do with the .81 cents that women earn to the $1.00 that men earn. Women don’t want to become men πŸ™‚ Glad that you are were not disturbed by a woman outearning you. Usually that’s a deal breaker for men. Why was her income of no consideration to you? Did you not see yourself planning life with her (aside of the kids)? Kids are always difficult for women because of the time factor that they may have for themselves or told by an MD.

      I agree that we should treat dating like it’s a social experiment: http://yourejustadumbass.wordpress.com/2013/09/06/how-to-stop-being-single/ Send her that article. It might help her. Is it that she is sexually turned on by them only?

      I love the dialogue we’re having! Thanks so much for sharing your insights and stories.

  5. I dated down for a long time. Didn’t even realize I was doing it. Got into a relationship that was eh, but safe (he wasn’t going to cheat, needed me, and was unlikely to dump me) and I just settled. I ended up being incredibly unhappy as I put all the effort into the relationship and got very little back from it. Finally dumped him and realized how many gentlemen there still are in the world. No need for noise like that when there are quality guys out there.

    1. Aint that the truth, though! πŸ™‚ Dating down does give perspective and sometimes you have to go through something to give you better perspective in the future. SO glad you got out of it and dating men that don’t require you losing yourself or over giving yourself.

      Thanks so much for sharing your insights with us, Hannah! Looking forward to stalking your blog next πŸ™‚

  6. Type 1: I know that s/he isn’t xyz, but they possess abc.

    Type 2: I know that s/he isn’t what I normally date, but I was unsuccessful with my past types.

    I get your overall point but Type 2 (IMHO) isn’t always necessarily a bad thing. There’s a difference between keeping an open mind and “dating down”. The flaw is in assuming that the qualities that attracts a person to the “usual type” is part of the flaw. Sometimes it is, sometimes it isn’t.

    1. I agree with you CHUCH! πŸ™‚ For Type 2 I was addressing those that are dating someone that they know they are settling with. Dating outside of your type is something I would always encourage because it gets you closer to refining what you want vs need πŸ™‚

      1. I would always encourage because it gets you closer to refining what you want vs need

        Agree completely! Keep an open mind because you can be pleasantly surprised. I guess it is a fine line to tread between clinging to a fantasy on one side, settling for less than what you want on the other and that sweet spot of a middle path in which you are open to things just outside of the boundaries of expectation.

        1. Precisely! Isn’t it interesting that the decision making pattern we apply to a job, isn’t the same thinking we apply to relationships? For a job, we will analyze different options and fit in our life desires; but, a relationship we use a very different approach.

          1. We are encouraged to be realistic about our job prospects but nobody encourages us to be realistic about our relationship prospects. This is no better on show than in dating sites – 90% of the people chase the most attractive 5% of each gender (who can have their pick of the bunch).

            I’ve had a great experience but then it takes far, far more than a pretty face to attract me.

            1. What a great example of unrealistic expectations!

              I think that eventually men and women realize through rejection or suboptimal experiences what combination really works for them.

              We know you wan’t the full package CHUCH πŸ™‚

  7. Friends and famiy may think these things but we all know how we tend not to listen to people when it comes to advice about our interests. Plus, sometimes our friends are wrong and sometimes dating against type is the first healthy thing one has done.

    1. So true! We don’t listen or want to hear anything that is going to challenge the delusion we create for ourselves πŸ™‚

      I think that people like living vicariously through others sometimes. So, it’s easy for them to tell us what they would like to do themselves!

  8. The line about accepting other peoples lies and their bullshit as your reality really resonated with me. I wish I would have read that years ago. I dated douchekabob for 4.5 years and every time he lied (whether he admitted to it or I just felt something wasn’t right) I accepted it as my reality and by doing so, told him his behavior was okay. What the hell was I thinking?? I settled and allowed him to treat me terribly – though it’s been hard since ending te realtionship, it feels so good to be free from the bullshit he brought into my life.

    Lesson? Listen to your gut and NEVER tells yourself it’s okay when it is clearly not.

    1. Thanks for sharing your insights with us southernsingelgirlhere. Thank you so much for your kind words and honesty. I really appreciate it.

      So many of us go through the same thing and stay in for longer than we should, endure someone else’s bullshit, and being pissed off at ourselves for staying in the relationship. Don’t be so hard on yourself πŸ™‚ You are so right: listening to your gut and accepting someone else’s bullshit as your own are the keys to not accept.

      I applaud your courage, honesty, and for sharing your story with us. It is very hard to walk away because we really form our lives around the person. We are giving our 200% to someone else’s false world. That is what makes us angrier in the end. The resentment in the relationship is mild compared to us coming to terms with what we accepted as our reality.

      Thanks again and have a great weekend!

  9. Interesting viewpoint…..and I love to hear different views! I’m assuming by the tone of the post that we are considering the “bar” that determines whether we are dating down or up is one solely measuring character and other intangibles? I ask because I find typically when mentioning “dating down” to women….they qualify men by character traits (lies, fidelity, honesty, etc.)……men, on the hand, tend qualify by social status and physical attributes. Is it right or fair? No….but it’s what I find.

    1. “dating down” for me is independent of gender. It is based on knowing what you need and want is not what you are dating πŸ˜‰ Characteristics are what we determine as we date. Our preferences are based on the social experiment of dating. πŸ™‚

      1. I wish I could say such was the case for me. What I want and what I need are two very different types of women. The unfortunate irreconcilability of my debacle has kept me single for 15 years. One day, I’ll bite the bullet and do what’s best for me…..

        1. That’s most people πŸ™‚ You are not alone on that one! It’s the reason that I created my blog πŸ™‚

          It takes time to discern between the 2! It doesn’t happen overnight. It takes awhile to figure out what really works and what makes us a better version of ourselves. Many take decades and marriages to figure it out by experiencing different bs to arrive at the same results πŸ™‚

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