The Barrier: Charming addict, soulful depressive, cheating narcissist—the list of your exes reads like a page out of The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Or maybe you have that magical ability to walk into a room full of single men and hone in on the one unavailable guy there. Even when you think you’re picking a great guy who seems like he wants a relationship, after three dates he asks if you’re into porn and starts texting you at three in the morning, when he bothers to be in touch at all. You’ve given up on trusting your own instincts and the only thing you can count on is that you’ll always be attracted to the men who are bad for you.
Relationship Rx: Since you can’t exchange your guy-picking instincts, you need to give them a tune-up. Make a list of non-negotiable dealbreakers—all the qualities and behaviors you absolutely will not tolerate. When you meet someone new, pay close attention to potential red flags and when they start to fly, don’t rationalize them away or make excuses for them. Because your picking instincts have a delayed response time, take it slow when you’re getting to know someone so you have plenty of time to detect warning signals before becoming more involved—it’s a lot better to realize a guy has a porn addiction after the third date than on your wedding night.