Longtime friend of the blog Angela asks...
Okay Mr. Wizard...why do I keep falling for assholes? It's a terrible pattern and I don't seem to learn from my mistakes. Should I see a shrink?Short answer: yes. Long answer: you probably don't need to spend your time on a therapist's couch, especially as it might lead to *time on a therapist's couch* if you pick as poorly there as you have on the personal front of late.
I think the first and most important thing to do is commit yourself to trusting the input and judgment of your friends. If you know you're making the same sorts of mistakes over and over and falling for men who exhibit similar traits, you need - as you're full aware - to stop doing that. The problem - of which you're also full aware - is that the rush of neurotransmitters at the start of the pas de deux are blinding you. With cool head and cynical heart you could easily judge these men for the assholes they are, but with their twinkling eyes, wry grins, and manly musk you turn to mush.
So you need to hand some of your relationship authority to someone else. Like hiring an investment advisor to help us make cool, rational decisions with our money,* you need a relationship advisor. Someone in whom you have trust and confidence. Someone who can better judge whether the new guy's an asshole.
But you have to *listen*.
* I know this analogy isn't what it used to be. Just try to think about investors who aren't looking to loot you and your grandmama, too.