Your Job When Dating is NOT to Play Therapist

I read your passage on “maybe you’re the reason you’re single” and I definitely agree with all you’re saying. You absolutely get back what you put in. You don’t attract what you want but attract what you are, makes total sense. What I want to pick your brain on is why I attract men in committed relationships?

I am 26 and have never been in a committed relationship, and I never really get past the “talking” phase. Sometimes it’s them, sometimes it’s me and sometimes it’s mutual. I’ve been working on myself a lot.  I’m often referred to as extremely positive, bubbly, always smiling.  I make people feel good and I’ve accepted that often times I attract “broken people”.  I’ve fallen into the habit of helping or fixing everyone I come in contact with, and it really helps them but leaves me drained.  Perhaps that has something to do with why I’m attracting these committed guys.

I’ve been working on my visualization and affirmations and I meditate often focusing on the life I want with who I want and I meet these incredible guys.  Men who are so ideal to what I picture for myself, until they tell me they’re married or have a girlfriend. I have a history with men who do not want to commit and now I’m meeting people who are capable and willing to commit except they’ve done so already with someone else.

These things normally end in me giving them advice and helping them see that they are only wanting to be with me because something isn’t right in their marriage and they need to go to their wives and figure out what’s missing. I’m glad to help if that’s my journey but it breaks my heart because they really are good people deep down and it’s like I’m attracting the right man, now, just ones that aren’t available to me. Idk. Do you have any thoughts on why this keeps happening and what I could do to attract good single men?


Dear NW,

Thanks for writing to me.  I’m glad you found some truth in that piece.  I actually wrote that post after seeing so many people complain about being single without taking a little accountability for why they couldn’t find bae. Again, let me point out that I wasn’t trying to talk down to anyone.  I was just trying to push people to do something that I had to push myself to do once upon a time.

Some years ago before I took my own journey of self-reflection, I was like you. I was approaching my mid-twenties, and I had never been in a real relationship.  Truth be told, I dated no one longer for six weeks. It was like I’d find a “good guy” on a dating site (back then that’s how I found 99% of my dates), and without fail, before I made it a day over six weeks in the “situationship” me and the guy would be over. None of those Six Week Guys had a husband or a boyfriend, but I still couldn’t make anything last with them.

After that last Six Week Guy, I decided to take a break from dating.  I removed the pressure to find the right guy by not looking for him. They say ask God for what you want, so that’s what I did.  Also during that time, I started thinking about me and what I was doing wrong.  I even asked my best friends to help me with that assessment.  What’s the point of having friends if you can’t rely on them to tell you the truth?  Eventually, I came to realize I wasn’t the best with communication, I was often way too guarded (I make it hard to get to know me), and I wasn’t very patient.  Shortly after all of this reflection and meditation, and a commitment to do better, I found my first boyfriend.

I’m sure you’re questioning when I’m going to bring this all around back to you, so question no further.  I think it’s great that you’ve been working on yourself to do some self-improvement, and ready yourself for Prince Charming. However, I wonder in all of your self-reflection if you have really stepped back and addressed your need for “fixer uppers.”

You’ve pigeonholed yourself into the role of this person that likes to flip men like some folks flip houses.  You gravitate toward these men that have “good bones” and just need a little work to be great, and you put in the work.  Then, you turn around and give the newly polished men away.  Although, sending married or coupled up men back to their partner is the right thing to do.  It’s just wrong to continue polishing them up before you send them. Once a man tells you he has a wife or girlfriend, there’s no need for you to fill the role of Iyanla Vanzant or Dr. Phil.  You don’t owe these men a listening ear at that point.  They can seek counseling elsewhere.

Look, I think it’s admirable that you have what sounds like a giving heart.  That you have a need and desire to help people.  But you’d be better off directing that helpful energy to volunteer organizations, and other situations where you don’t have any romantic interest invested. As of now, it seems like you’ve made fixing a part of your “get to know you” process with your dates, and that’s a bit problematic.

I’ve got to tell you, I know people in my inner circle that are like you.  They always get into these “situationships” with guys that they wind up playing therapist for, and the thing between them and these men never evolves into a relationship.  I had to tell them, and I’m going to tell you, stop looking for broken people to fix, because when you fix them, they don’t owe you more than a thank you.  When a person becomes healed, that doesn’t mean he is bound to you.  At the end of the day, while you think you fixed him for you, you actually fixed him for him.

Also, let it be known that the great guys you think you’ve found, aren’t that spectacular if they are trying to build something real with you while still married and committed to someone else.  Now I’m not passing judgment on these men at all, but I want you see that these great guys are necessarily the prize you think they are.  I get that sometimes men get in complicated situations where they are in the middle of trying to end something with someone, but begin dating other people.  However, if they had any intention of ever pursuing things with you, they would have been upfront about what’s going on in their lives and their intentions.

Suggestions going forward.

  1. When you go on your dates, don’t be too quick to dive into the deep and personal with the guys. If I had to guess, you diving too deep and too fast is what’s causing men to treat you as a therapist and not a potential bae. Try allowing the men you date to take the lead when offering up information about themselves.  Don’t hit them with too many prying questions.


  1. Now I know I just said don’t hit the men you date with too many prying questions, BUT before the end of your first date (preferably before it begins), you should know if the guy you’re seeing is single. Before you get too emotionally invested, you should know his dating status and when his last relationship ended.


  1. Use Social Media and Google. They exist for a reason. You may not have a background in private investigating, but you don’t need one to comb through a man’s profiles to see if there are things about him that are alarming.  Comb through photos and see if there is anyone a man appears to be with all of the time and in compromising positions.  Look through twitter and see if he tweets anything about being with “bae.”  Social media is your friend if you use it right.


  1. Speaking of social media, you know you could probably find a man there. I know it sounds taboo to some, but I know plenty of people who have started a romance on Facebook or Instagram.  The best thing about finding a date on social media, is you better gauge if you and a guy would be a match based on what you two like and who you follow.  Plus, you can better gauge if a guy is single in the first place.


  1. Lastly, let me state for the record that I think the ideal couple consist of two flawed people coming together to help each become the best version of themselves. That can’t happen if one person is always helping to “fix” the other, and that’s not reciprocated.  Just think about that.

As always nothing but love,

Tavion Scott

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