In her book, "Handle With Care," author Jodi Picoult writes, "Polar north can't get away from a magnet; the magnet finds it, no matter what." If you're attracting the wrong sort of men, you need to change the magnet in your compass. Doing so requires taking a look at your appearance, behavior and motivations -- not an easy task, but one that will pay off when you begin attracting men with whom you can enjoy a healthy relationship.
You may be able to change the type of person who is attracted to you by addressing relatively superficial matters. Some attraction is conscious, such as how a person looks, speaks or moves, say therapists Linda Bloom and Charlie Bloom in a February 2013 article in "Psychology Today." If you tend to attract men who objectify you, consider dressing more conservatively: wearing a sweater will send a different message than wearing a halter top. If you want to attract cultured men, stop swearing and improve your vocabulary and knowledge.
Proximity plays a huge role in attraction, and if you are hanging out in the wrong places, you'll attract the wrong sort of men. If you want to attract men who are motivated and seeking self-improvement, join a cycling club or a service organization. Stay away from bars and other places where a guy's motives might be suspect, and avoid hanging out in places where the type of guys you don't want to attract congregate. For example, if you're tired of guys who'd rather play computer games than have fun outdoors, ditch the cafe and take up surfing.
Adjust your expectations. If you continue to attract men whom you suspect date you because mostly they want to borrow your car or crash at your apartment, for example, you are sending signals that you are okay with being treated like a worn-out coat. Note that if you grew up in a home where there was abuse, you may end up with a person who is abusive, says therapist Nathan Feiles in an August 2012 PsychCentral.com article. One reason for this is that you feel comfortable with people who fit your family's patterns. This can cause you not to "see" more desirable men who are attracted to you. Decide what behavior you will and will not tolerate, and you'll stop being victimized by men who take advantage of you. Once you've fully internalized your expectations, you are less likely to attract those individuals: the neon sign on your forehead that said "Use me" has run out of batteries.
Unhealed childhood wounds can affect who one is attracted to, note the Blooms. When people don't feel whole, they search for partners who fill the void in their lives. Although you can't control whether or not a person who is attracted to you feels whole, you can determine if dysfunctional personalities gravitate toward you because you meet their needs. For example, if you tend to be insecure, you might attract narcissists, who play off insecurity to meet their own needs of self-aggrandizement. Once you address your own wounds, you're likely to stop attracting people looking for someone whose personality will mesh with their dysfunction.