Ask an Intuitive: Why Do I
Always Date the Wrong Person?

Dana Childs
If you’ve browsed our Rolodex of intuitives and healers, you know that we get by with a little help from our psychic friends. And if you haven’t, we thought you might want to hear from them. In this column, we ask our favorite intuitives for a little help from the other side with love, career, and everything else. We’re starting with the very wise Dana Childs. After reading, listen to Why We’re Not Broken, her episode on The goop Podcast, and feel free to send your own questions to [email protected]

Dear goop, I’m in my early twenties, and I am very much in a dating stage of life. I have this problem: The guys I find exciting and interesting are the ones my friends usually peg as trouble. (And credit where credit is due, sometimes they’re right.) But if I listen to my friends’ advice and go out with someone a little more pragmatic, I end up feeling bored and disengaged. What should I be looking for? —Kelly M., Los Angeles

Hi Kelly,

First, know that you are not alone!

As an intuitive, the thing that stands out to me in your energy is your willingness to give your power away to others for approval. You want people to like you, and you think that matters more than it does.

But I think we can change the question you’ve asked here to the question that lies beneath this issue. Let’s shift from “What should I be looking for?” to “Why do I listen to my friends when it comes to choosing partners and how do I begin to trust myself to choose exactly whom I need, even if they are a little bit of trouble?”

You were the high-achieving, do-it-all-right golden child. Not that that’s a bad thing by any means. (So was I!) But there is a reason this pattern emerged for you. You didn’t fully trust love and weren’t given full permission by parental caregivers to embrace all your emotions. You were given more attention and praise when you were low maintenance, emotionally steady, and doing something they considered good. Because of this, you learned quickly as a youngster that when you let others tell you what you should do and how to do it, your needs for love were more likely to be met. And while that might have been true when you were a child, now that you are an adult, this pattern clearly isn’t working for you.

So it’s time for you to stop listening to your friends. After all, what they think doesn’t matter. (I know—that’s a new thought that might take some time to get used to!) When it comes to matters of behavioral patterns and learned coping mechanisms, it’s best to engage a therapist, a counselor, or another professional practitioner. Why? Because friends who love us are naturally more protective. They aren’t looking at our mental health or our spiritual path. They’re looking to guide us out of hurt and heartache.

But the truth is that in romantic love, hurt and heartache are part of the package. It’s the way we learn what we want, what we don’t want, and what we will and won’t allow. At this stage, you’re still defining what love is for you, along with what you will tolerate and what you won’t.

Trust your energy system. Our energy is designed to light up in response to another person when they are a good match. Why? Because our energy system is designed to heal. And it knows exactly who can arouse emotions in us that need to be healed. If you’re feeling pulled to someone, stop analyzing them and start analyzing yourself.

Ask yourself: “What about this person is attractive? Who from my past do they remind me of? Do they most mimic patterns found with my mom or dad?” (And trust me, it’ll be one or the other.)

Allow your heart to open, and get out of your head. The head will eff you right up. With every step of dating or in your relationship, take time to identify what doesn’t feel good and what does, and then communicate that to your partner.

It’s time to heal the patterns of going for the “right” guy so you can be the “good” girl. Go for the guy who lights you up and let your own boundaries and sense of self emerge along the way.

Your body and your heart know more about what you want and need in a partner than any friend ever will.

Trust the wisdom in yourself.

With love,
Dana Childs

Dana Childs is an intuitive, an energy healer, and a teacher. She leads workshops, online courses, and retreats to help others learn to open their own intuitive gifts.