Relationship advice: How to stop picking bad boys, by Closer psychologist Emma Kenny

Our therapist and TV psychologist Emma Kenny is here to make sense of your emotional issues


by Closer staff |
Published on

Often, the person with whom you have a relationship mirrors the feelings you have towards yourself. This means that if you find yourself being treated badly and cheated on, it’s likely you don’t feel you’re good enough and therefore subconsciously seek out others who will reinforce your belief.

Lauren Goodger has admitted to Closer that she still loves her bad boy ex-boyfriend Jake McLean, 24, even after he sent her an abusive tweet on her 28th birthday. She said: “We’re friends. I don’t know what will happen between us but there are still feelings there. He wouldn’t have sent that nasty Tweet if he didn’t care.”

Even the most seemingly confident stars go for bad boys. Rihanna, 26, had a long term on / off relationship with Chris Brown, despite the fact he was convicted of assaulting her in 2009. She told Elle UK after their second reconciliation in 2013: “I had a lot to think about and I had a lot of time to think about it. I was trying to do this for myself…You don’t have that feeling [of everlasting love] with everybody so when you have it you don’t want to let go of it." The pair have since called it quits again.

If you find yourself attracted to bad boys, here’s how to change the pattern.


Relationship advice: How to stop picking bad boys, by Closer psychologist Emma Kenny

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Know your worth. If you let someone treat you like rubbish, then expect a rubbish relationship. If people believe something has great worth, they value it – it’s that simple! Treat yourself as a priceless piece of perfection and reap the rewards.

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Seek therapy, attend a self-help group, or read books on self-esteem. By learning to love yourself, you will create a strong sense of self-reliance, attracting men with similar traits.

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When you do meet a new partner, be clear about the consequences of any bad behaviour. Let him know your boundaries are fixed and that, if they cheat or don’t treat you well, they’re out the door!

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Don’t ever settle for less! Relationships should inspire you emotionally, physically, psychologically and socially. If yours doesn’t, then it’s time to reconsider your choice of partner.

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Don’t confuse love with lust and try not to get caught up in the excitement of dating a bad boy. Once the thrill has gone, all you’ll be left with is someone who will eat away at your self-esteem.

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Take time out of relationships and focus on your self-esteem, so you can learn to break the cycle and avoid future heartache.

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You can’t change anyone and it’s a waste of time thinking you can. If your man’s destructive, your relationship won’t make you happy.

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Do not have flexible boundaries. If you tell someone that you refuse to be treated in a certain way and then allow it to happen, you’re giving them permission to do it again.

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