Sound familiar? You might have dated one or more of these guys.
I’m not a believer in the concept of “The One.” I do believe in “The One for You.”
In my years of dating, getting to know people’s stories, and studying all things love/relationships/marriage, I believe there are a handful of individuals you could create a perfectly beautiful partnership and life with.
I’m talking about connections that are deep, lasting, and vibrant. A love that sees and knows you. One who loves you, is fond of you, adores you, and you feel the same way. A bond that is moldable and withstands even the darkest storms of life. A commitment that chooses to stay and continues to make that choice excitedly, every single day.
But what about all the other connections?
The ones that feel like a trainwreck, a dull pain, a fender bender, an upset stomach, a missed flight, or a death?
Yeah, those ones.
You’ve probably gone on a date or two, had a thing, or spent more years than you’d like to admit with one of these guys. You may sometimes slip into regret or blame yourself for ever giving him a chance. Either way, they made their way into your life.
As you read this list, just remember to have compassion, grace, and kindness for yourself. You made mistakes, you learned, you cried, and you’re better off now. You also made those choices in a level of consciousness from your past and you’re a different being now.
Here are the ten guys you may have met on your journey to the one for you:
In no particular order and unfortunately, sometimes one guy fits into more than one of these categories…
1 The Puppy Love
This is the guy you usually meet when you’re young and impressionable. Things were generally pretty rosy and you did a lot of activities together. It was mostly just light, fun, and carefree. You said “I love you” but you didn’t truly know the gravity of that expression.
You likely got to know yourself through their eyes. The way they treated you or the kind of relationship you had with them often set the precedent for the rest of your love life. If this person treated you like a queen, that became a standard of how you preferred to be treated in a relationship. After all, that’s all you knew at the time. If your first meaningful relationship was unhealthy or toxic, you likely walked away thinking that’s just how relationships are. These beliefs may have followed you many years until you became aware of them.
These kinds of relationships usually end by distance (one person or both moving to another place), the connection fades as both of you grow apart, or some other sequence of events. Sometimes, people end up marrying this person and they end up happily ever after, divorced, or somewhere in between.
2 The Bad Influence
This is the guy who’s bad news. Your friends knew it, your parents knew it, deep down you knew it too, but you were drawn to them. They likely had problems with addiction, substance abuse, alcohol, anger, and recklessness. Their side hustle or main hustle is most likely illegal.
These relationships start out innocently enough, where you become curious of that person because their edgy lifestyle is so different than yours. If you’re especially going through difficult times in your personal or family life, you’re likely to rebel, go against the mold, and get involved with this guy. Being with him feels like an “F you” to society and its expectations.
You likely dated him in your rebel phase, when you couldn’t give a care in the world. Being with him may have cost you a lot because you got sucked into that life and made a lot of bad decisions. On the other hand, you could have luckily spared any of the consequences and got out as soon as you could. Either way, this person has something about them and you fell for it. You may have had codependency issues, struggled with insecurity, subconsciously wanted to piss your parents off, or you were tired of being “good.” Either way, your life took a detour for the worst by being with him. Your physical and mental health and wellness suffered from it. He was a negative influence in your life.
3 The Fixer-Upper
This is the guy who is a project. He doesn’t have his life together. This guy needs a lot of work. But the determining factor is, he doesn’t want to change on his own, you’re the one pushing him. Being a helper is probably a big part of your personality and you want to help. You ultimately realize you’re doing so much work and you want those things for him more than he does for himself. No one is perfect and we all have areas we need to grow in, but the main difference here is it starts to feel like an uphill battle.
When you’re getting on his case about showing up to work on time, or showing up at all, you start to feel like you’re babysitting, and that’s no way to live. This relationship likely ended when you realized you could do way better and you were tired of being “mom” and wanted someone who could be your equal.
People do change and all hope is not lost for the guy like this. But the main thing is it has to come from them and not from you. Often times, they can go through a big life circumstance and then wake up and quickly turn their life around. Or, they really never do, years pass and they’re still dealing with the same old problems. Next!
4 The Narcissist
By definition, narcissists have an inflated sense of importance, lack of empathy, and a need for excessive attention or admiration. This guy is charming and confident to the core. Not always, but they could be in a career where all eyes are on them. Not a rule, but they are conventionally good looking and take care of their physique. You will always be second in this relationship.
These relationships often start off really exciting and full of butterflies. There can be a sense of feeling flattered when you attract a guy like this. He likely knows how desirable he is and uses it to his advantage. After a while, you start to notice feeling manipulated or controlled. When they give, there’s a “calculated-ness” about it and there’s always something in it for them too.
There’s a dark side about being with a narcissistic guy. One is his incessant need to feel important. That could look like him openly flirting with other women in front of you, him being glued to social media and obsessed with his image, or him putting down other people so he can assert his status. People with narcissistic tendencies have the capability to cheat more than others, because they lack empathy. Relationships like these likely end because you realize how unhealthy the dynamic is between you two, he cheated on you, you finally found your worth and your voice, or someone was your ally to help you get out of it.
5 The Wounded
Hurt people hurt people. This guy has some serious and entrenched emotional wounds from the past. They were probably abused in childhood. They have a dark side that is filled with rage, anger, confusion, instability, and negativity. Being with this person is like living with a constant dark cloud over your life. You’ll only realize how bright the world is once you have cut all ties.
This guy has no intention to hurt you or make you feel responsible for his life from the start but over time, his true colors show. He has a mean-streak and will apologize for it later. He will lash out and then promise it won’t happen again. He will gaslight you and make you think you’re the problem and that you need to change. He’s blinded and can’t see his woundedness and how it is playing out in his everyday life.
This is where an emotionally or physically abusive relationship comes in. Out of all the guys on this list, he might be the most dangerous. His inner trauma can play out in so many different ways. It can come in the form of cheating, alcoholism, raising his voice or hand at you, and so much more. If you’ve overcome an emotionally or physically abusive relationship, you know how painful it is to go through it, how deep his wounds are and the invisible wounds he inflicted on you, and how important the healing process is. You are strong. You are worthy. You can rise above.
6 The Player
This guy. You’re one of many that go through his revolving door. Your first impression of him is… he’s probably a player. He gets back to you fast, but doesn’t always makes plans. He disappears on the weekend. He takes you out to nice places. He will never make promises or make things exclusive. He prefers having a lot of options and keeping things casual.
Most of the time, the “considerate players” will let you know that he’s not looking for something serious. If they say this, they mean it. Other, less conscientious guys will just leave you guessing. You may have met him when you weren’t looking for anything serious too, which in that case, you guys were friends with benefits. Or, you played the game of trying to convert him to boyfriend of the year, but he never applied for that position.
Being with a guy like this is honestly a lot of fun (if you like rollercoasters) because his personality is attractive and you’re always on your toes. But guys like this can truly trigger your attachment issues. He’s the guy that will eventually end things with you saying I don’t want to date anyone right now, yet maintain an active profile on Bumble. He’s also the guy who one day turns and becomes a saint, eventually proposes to a girl, gets married, and has a kid or two. But chances are, you can’t turn him, so don’t even try unless you want to get hurt.
7 The Guy Who Was Never Meant to Stay
This guy teaches you things about life, your heart, and your resilience. He was at one time your biggest fan and likely your most painful heartbreak. Not everyone is meant to stay.
For one reason or another, it didn’t work out between you two but you really wanted it to. Or they passed from this side of life and moved on to the next. You may have been single for years and years after this guy because you haven’t felt strongly about anyone after him.
You process your pain and come away realizing so much. This relationship was your teacher and a critical part of your journey. If you are stuck living in the past, you may not allow yourself the freedom to move on and live your life. You must set yourself and that person free. You will love again.
8 The Intimacy-Challenged
He’s afraid of intimacy and can’t go there with you. You don’t notice it right away because at first, he just seems level-headed and logical. But you soon find out he can’t handle the spectrum of emotions you feel and express in your everyday life. He prefers to be unbothered. His emotional range limited and it keeps him safe. A guy like him has likely been hurt before. He may have even experience tragedy at one time in his life. He has learned to cope with life’s unfortunate events using his developed skills of stoicism, reason, and steadiness. These are all positive qualities, surely. But in a romantic relationship, he simply can’t contain your wild feminine.
You start to wonder if you’re too much for him. You begin to want to edit your way of being. You start to feel resentment over his reactions and responses to you. It’s not his fault. It’s that sometime ago, he’s made a promise to himself to be strong, to button up, and not let his emotions get in the way. He maybe has a skewed view of what it means to be a true man. He might believe men don’t cry. He might be suppressing years or decades of raw emotions. He could have grew up in a house where his feelings were shut down. Either way, you feel rejected, unseen, unmet, and lonely.
You likely ended things with him because you felt more alone with him than when you were single. He may have ended things with you because he didn’t feel like he could give you what you really want. Intimacy is an art and relationships are all too messy for him to get involved.
9 The Guy Who’s Great on Paper
This guy checks all the boxes. He in the profession you’ve always felt complemented yours. He has his own house, he gets along well with your parents, he has a dog (or a cat if that’s your fur friend of choice), he’s active, he comes from a great family, and on and on. Based on your background and life experiences, you two are essentially a match made in heaven… on paper.
What’s the problem here? You feel like you should be sold on him because of the total package that he is, but somehow, you’re not. Being with him feels like the safe choice to make everyone else in your life happy. But he doesn’t really light you up. No matter how you justify or analyze things, you just can’t see yourself with him long term. Maybe things are too perfect, or you guys don’t disagree at all, or he doesn’t challenge you, or he says yes to everything you want.
You may have even been engaged to him but ended things because you felt like saying “I do” would be a lie. You likely stayed with him because you have been making decisions on what looks good in the eyes of others or you had a spiritual awakening while you two were together and you started to want a completely different life. Either way, this is one of the most confusing breakups to go through, because nothing is really wrong with you or him, it just wasn’t right. Healing from something like this takes owning your power, listening to your intuition, and taking back your life.
10 The Almost-But-Not-Quite Guy
This is the catch-all for every guy and every relationship where something was just off. When you talk to your friends about him, it usually starts off with “he’s really great but…”
You probably have so many stories about guys like this, all from different stages of your life. If you were emotionally unavailable, you would be critical of how they dressed, or certain mannerisms, or basically anything that would disqualify them from your dating pool. You’d be quick to dismiss. If you earned your way into a secure attachment, you would genuinely give a guy a chance and realize he’s not quite what you’re looking for.
The important thing for all guys in this category is that something is off. There’s no need to overanalyze or overthink. At this point in your dating life, you know what you’re looking for and this guy isn’t the one. You just know. And that’s okay.
And now we’ve saved the best for last…
The One For You
If you’re still here reading this, I’m going to ask you to grab a piece of paper and a pen. Go ahead and get it now.
After reading this whole article and likely remembering all the guys in your past and all the relationships that didn’t work out, I want you to now write about The One For You.
If you’ve already met him (and you’ll know if you have), I want you to write a letter to him expressing your love and how grateful you are for him. A love like yours is rare and it should be celebrated! So many are looking for something like what you have. Never take each moment for granted.
If you haven’t met him, I want you to write all about who you hope him to be. Let it be expansive and free-flowing. Just let your thoughts flow. What is he like? Fill in all the gaps. Write about your future love story. As you write, embody the feelings of excitement, joy, and love. Your wish will be fulfilled.
Have you dated one or more of these guys? I’d love to hear your story.
If you enjoyed this article and want even more clarity on the blocks keeping you stuck from your dream relationship, you’ll love my free virtual workshop.
If you or someone you know is struggling to get out of an abusive relationship, you can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1–800–799–7233 or chat with a representative here.