• Pam Del Franco aka ASK NANNA

Why do successful women keep attracting the bad boy relationship?

You’re a successful woman, and you know what it took to get here. And here’s the but…you keep ending up in relationships where you’re treated poorly.


First, let me acknowledge your struggle and tell you that you’re not alone. Too many successful women still end up in crappy relationships.

You don’t mean to. It starts out well – he’s attentive, may be well educated, and he’s got a little bit of a bad boy vibe that feels kinda sexy.

But as time goes by, attentive starts to look more like control. His intelligence lacks open-mindedness. His sexy bad-boy image begins to include too many nights out with the boys, arguments are all your fault (in his eyes), or you find yourself acting more like his mother than his lover.

Here’s a hard-earned snippet of Nanna wisdom – You can’t fix him. Period.

When you try, he’ll get angry, or make up lies to cover his bad behavior (and blame most of it on your nagging). He’ll promise to change (time goes by, and nothing changes), or he’ll try (and succeed) to woo you out of what your feeling.

You’ll end up thinking it’s somehow your fault.

And then you think you can sort it out alone. Maybe if you just be more patient, give a little more and be more understanding, he’ll change.

So you let disrespectful behavior slide a little more, you give him more space and you spend a lot of time (sometimes at the expense of your business) trying to figure out what he needs.

But that doesn’t work either (I know because I tried that for year.)

What actually needs to happen is you use your courage (the same courage it took for you to build your success) to ask the hard questions around what role you played in this.

That does NOT mean taking the blame for the relationship (that belongs somewhere in the realm of a victim.)

It means you’ll take a stand for yourself in a calm, knowing way because you understand why you’ve been resonating with people who mistreat you. (This is not about abuse, please reach out to your local women’s shelter for help with that.)

I’ve watched my clients move from wondering if they should leave (or being afraid to start dating again) to be in loving, co-creating types of relationships. It warms my heart because women need to share more leadership in the world.

When we feel empowered in our relationships, it gives us more energy to focus on what we think is important to accomplish in life. Bad relationships of any kind are draining. Poor partner relationships just suck. If you’re not in a good partner relationship and want to be, let me tell you…

There are good men out there but you’re resonating on a different frequency so he can’t find you. (It’s like tuning into an old-style radio station with dials, you move a little forward and a bit backward until you get to the right station. In-between, there’s too much static, and you can’t hear the music.)

And that goes for the partner you live with too. Just because you live in the same space doesn’t mean you’re both tuned into the same channel.

So let me remind you again, there are good men out there and you might even have one.

The women I know who are in great relationships didn’t just get there by fate. They believe in their own worth, they take care of themselves, and they set boundaries. They understand how their past hurt affected what they brought into the relationship and dealt with it.

Perhaps you’re thinking,

“I take care of myself, so why do I have crappy relationships and hers are great?” It just doesn’t seem fair.

Because somewhere in their life, they had a caring parent or mentor, therapist, or coach, and they discovered what was actually holding them back. Yes, they took the steps to work their way through it, but they had that support.

We need support, to find our perspective.

Even if this woman went through the same experience you did, her beliefs, judgements, and environment gave her a unique perspective – as yours gives you. (It’s a bit like when witnesses describe what happened, they all have a slightly different version because you can’t delete human bias.)

I’ve been in bad relationships (and stayed there for way too long) so I can tell you from personal experience all the things I thought were the problem were simply.not.true.

You can go on believing things like,

“He doesn’t mean it.” “He’ll change when…(*insert any reason here).”

“It’s not that bad…(*insert nights crying yourself to sleep here as I did for years).”

“I love him, and real love means loyalty and sacrifice above all.”

Or…you can muster up the courage to take a look at the actual reason (it’s not always easy).

(Deciding not to doesn’t mean you don’t have the courage it just means you’re not ready, and that’s OK.)

Remember, you’re successful in your business because you took action and made it happen. You can apply that same work ethic here.

Like life itself, there will be times that you STILL let bad behavior slide.

But here’s the good news…once you feel the value of healthy relationship boundaries, you’ll quickly notice when those boundaries are being crossed. That blurred line will get clearer.

And then because it’s squarely in front of you, you can make a conscious choice of how you want to handle it.