How are we supposed to know when our attractions should be warning signs?What qualities should we steer away from when we don’t even know a person yet?We were shocked when we heard that the first guy Rihanna seriously dated after Chris Brown had been accused of domestic abuse by an ex-girlfriend.After everything she went through, it would seem as if she'd be repulsed by men with that kind of reputation. "Most of us have a relationship pattern — that same type of guy we keep falling for — and it can work for or against us," says couples therapist Deborah Dunn, author of Stupid About Men.I met the Brazilian in line for a film screening while visiting Manhattan from San Francisco.I was convinced I'd found my ideal man: intellectual, witty, artistic, and .Outwardly, I told myself I was having fun and it was just a matter of time before someone wanted to settle down; inside, I started to worry that I wasn't lovable or exciting enough. He'd recently emerged from a divorce and onto a dating site where I'd been lurking.
I thought our fling was the start of a relationship; he thought it was a fling, period. I would fall for a brilliant guy with an irresistible smile who never quite fell for me but who possessed all the qualities I liked in a man: a sense of humor, certified smarts, smoldering looks.
Women in these toxic patterns get hooked on the ups and downs of their relationships and can form what experts call betrayal bonds, which cause them to feel even more attached to men who show them these extreme — and sometimes ultimately dangerous — forms of attention.
"You eventually feel like a guy doesn't love you unless he's either yelling in your face or trying to win you back," Dunn says.
Family Ties Experts say we develop our taste in men at a young age — anywhere from childhood to adolescence.
"Whether it's positive or negative, everyone has a relationship pattern based on what they learned about love when they were growing up," says Alon Gratch, Ph D, author of If Love Could Think.