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From the moment we are born, we harbor a desire to love and be loved. And while you would think it would also be instinctual for us to find compatible partners, unfortunately, that isn’t always the case.

For some, choosing the wrong partner becomes a bad habit that is replayed over and over and over again for years. The only way to break the cycle is to understand what it is within us that continues to reach for the bad ones.

Inadvertently, no matter how much we may not want to admit it- we do have a choice in who we end up with. And unfortunately, our subconscious minds can mess things up for us, without us ever even realizing it. If you are like many people, who continue to pick the wrong person time and time again, it is likely because of one of the following.

1. Fear of being alone.

One of the biggest fears we have as humans is the fear of being alone. Oftentimes, we are so afraid of loneliness, that as soon as we get the chance, we jump headfirst into relationships with people we don’t fully understand. Unfortunately, this is a sure-fire way to end up in a bad relationship.

2. We aren’t emotionally available.

While we may believe we are ready for a relationship, that isn’t always the case. In some cases, we can be emotionally unavailable without even realizing it. And when we aren’t fully emotionally ready for a relationship, we tend to gravitate towards people that aren’t emotionally available either. In turn, we end up in a push-pull relationship situation with no winners.

3. We don’t value ourselves.

When we don’t value ourselves, we will settle for anything and anyone. Unfortunately, because of this, we will likely end up back at square one. To attract the right partner and choose the right partner, we have to set standards for ourselves. If this is difficult, it’s time for some self-work.

4. We haven’t worked on ourselves.

This may be hard to hear, but when we are not our best selves, it’s far more likely that we are going to not only attract but choose the wrong partners. To attract the best, we have to be our best. I don’t mean you have to be perfect- but if there are things you need to work on, take time to work on them, before rushing into another relationship.

5. We want to feel whole.

We are sold this strange lie that tells us that unless we have a partner, we are not whole. As though we are these half people, walking around, searching for our missing puzzle piece. While having someone to love and partner with is a beautiful thing- you don’t need someone else to make you whole.

6. We are drawn to what’s familiar.

It’s in our DNA to be attracted to and prefer what is familiar to us. When we have been in relationships with a certain type for so long, this type of person becomes what is familiar to us. Unfortunately, this can end up placing us in a cycle of bad relationships that may seem never ending.

7. We still haven’t healed from that part of ourselves that attracts the wrong one.

After a bad relationship with a person that is completely wrong for us, our first instinct may be to jump into another relationship to stop the pain. Rather than stopping our pain, however, this may only add to it. When we don’t heal from a person that isn’t right for us- we still haven’t resolved that part of ourselves that wants that person. In turn, we are likely to continue to keep choosing the same demon (so to speak) over and over again, until we learn our lesson.

8. We believe we can fix them.

Once upon a time, I must’ve believed that I was a man mechanic. Every man I chose was broken, and nowhere near working on themselves to be better. But, instead of seeing that, I saw their potential. Unfortunately, looking back, none of them lived up to the potential I saw in them. Eventually, you have to see that you cannot fix anyone else, or change anyone else. The only thing that changes someone is their desire to do so.