In your humble opinion, your friends are a quadruple threat — smart, stunning, hilarious, and driven. As for the people they date? Simply put, they’re the opposite of bae #goals. Losers take many forms — the straight-up mooches with no ambition, the sloppy drunks who get a little handsy after a few Hoegaardens, and the flaky f*ckboys disguised as partner material. And when those are the types of people your friends are going out with, it’s obviously a total bummer. Do you often find yourself wondering, "why does it feel like my friends always date losers?" According to Susan Trombetti, matchmaker and CEO of Exclusive Matchmaking, there are several possible reasons for this frustrating phenomenon.
It can be pretty tough to watch your friends date a steady stream of lameos. Speaking from experience, it’s challenging to figure out the line between showing that you care and overstepping your boundaries. Naturally, you want to allow your friends to figure out what feels right for them on their own. At the same time, if you suspect that they aren’t getting their needs or wants met by these duds they’re dating, then you might be tempted to step in.
I know I was. During sophomore year of college, my BFF and roomie at the time started seeing a senior who seemed pretty cool on paper. He lived in his own studio in a nice neighborhood of Boston, and he was heavily involved in our school’s highly respected film program. It didn’t take me long to realize I loathed this shameless stoner bro, however. Not only was he being shady AF when it came to commitment, but my friend confided in me that he never took her on dates, and was super selfish in bed. Eventually, she broke it off with this loser after she realized that the was taking a toll on her self-worth. When I asked her why she ever gave him a chance in the first place, she said, “I guess I was bored. And he was right there.”
The thing is, sheer convenience isn’t the only reason why your friends might be dating people who aren’t worth their time. According to Trombetti, a lack of self-confidence is one of the top reasons why this may be happening.
“They can have low self-esteem but sometimes they just aren’t in tune with what’s best for them,” she tells Elite Daily. “Their priorities are off and they aren’t self-aware.”
Particularly if you often hear your friends putting themselves down in any regard, they may honestly believe that they can’t do any better. Because when you don’t think highly of yourself, that can cause you to settle for less than you deserve. Not to mention, dating can be especially scary when you have low self-esteem, because you have to allow yourself to be vulnerable and expose yourself to potential rejection. So, your friends may feel more comfortable staying in a relationship with a loser than braving the dating world.
There is a chance, however, that perhaps your standards are also on a different level than your friends' are. Trombetti notes that if you never approve of anyone your friends are dating, it might be your issue, not theirs. Of course, we all want the best for our squad, but if you deem your bestie’s boo a loser simply because he didn’t plan an extravagant date night or happens to be in between jobs RN, you may need to take a step back and consider how extreme your expectations are.
Another thing to consider is if your friends are secretly afraid of being alone. Do they hop from relationship to relationship, never allowing themselves to be single? Again, they may be settling — but not because they necessarily have low self-esteem. Rather, they’d prefer to have a total loser on their arm than have to go stag to their cousin’s wedding.
If you often hear your friends making excuses for their partners, or talking up only their positive traits and downplaying all the negative ones, they may be continuing to date these lameos because they believe they have the potential to change. In other words, they’re dating someone for what they could be, not what they are.
Ever heard of a “savior complex”? Some people often find themselves sacrificing their own needs in relationships in order to “save” the other person. If your friends seem to view their partners as philanthropic projects, that could mean that they date losers to fulfill their own need to feel needed.
But here's the thing. Have you ever considered that the people your friends are dating aren't necessarily losers, and only seem like it based on what you've been told? Trombetti points out that your perception of who your friends date may be skewed. You may have come to view them as lame simply because you're only hearing about the negative aspects of your friends’ relationships.
“Friends tend to hash out their issues or whatever’s on their mind regarding who they date,” she explains. “Sometimes, people are naturally on the fence at some point about their relationships, and mull that over with our friends. You may only hear the complaining.”
That’s why it’s super important to try and give your besties the benefit of the doubt and trust their judgment as much as possible. That said, if your friends always date losers and you’re genuinely worried about their happiness, you can certainly talk to them about it. Also, it’s worth noting that there’s a massive difference between a loser and someone who’s downright abusive. If any of your friends are dating someone who mistreats them, then it’s well worth stepping in to express your concern. Otherwise, you may want to tread carefully in terms of what you say, and how you say it.
"There's nothing you can do but be supportive," says Trombetti. "Keep your feelings to yourself — at least, until your opinion is asked for.”
Ultimately, you cannot control who your friends date. All you can do is be there for them through thick and thin, no matter who they’re with. No one wants to confide in a friend who they fear will say “I told you so,” so be sure that anything you say about their relationships come from a place of caring, and not judgment. Hopefully, with some time, your friends will snap out of it, and you can all LOL about the losers you linked up with. Alexa — play “No Scrubs” by TLC.