1. You were “cheated on” by your father.
If your dad abandoned the family, was abusive, or didn’t pay much attention to you, it often triggers a cycle, notes Jeanette Raymond, PhD., a licensed psychologist in Los Angeles, CA. “You expect the same from every man.” Dr. Raymond recalls one couple who was happy until he socializing more with his co-workers. She grew very possessive, and started checking his phone. Even when he was out with his brother, she assumed he was cheating. “She felt as if he didn’t care about her, just like her father,” says Dr. Raymond. Her partner eventually did cheat on her, he admitted, to make her back off. Women stuck in this cycle need to mourn the loss of what didn’t happen as a child and let it go. “Try looking at the facts, not just your feelings,” suggests Dr. Raymond.”
2. You mistake attraction for love.
Attraction just happens. Love is something that builds over time and takes work. Sure, attraction can lead to love. But not always. “Female-to-male attraction works the same whether you’re 16, 36 or 56,” says Scot Conway, PhD, relationship coach and author of Emotional Genius. “A top attractive quality in a man is when he doesn’t need your approval.” Men who don’t need a commitment tend to have extreme self-confidence. “If you understand that attraction is one thing and love is something else, and the first doesn’t always lead to the second, you have a massive advantage,” says Dr. Conway.