14/10/2016 07:25 BST | Updated 13/10/2017 06:12 BST

Dating The Wrong Kind Of Man

We all go through it, it's like a right of passage to womanhood and it's perfectly normal as long as you learn from it. I spent a few years in my 20's dating the wrong kind of man. It wasn't pretty or flattering but it made me who I am today.

You will all know the kind of man I'm talking about - always in control of when you see each other, keeps you guessing and they always have you wondering whether you are the only one he is seeing.

He tends not to take you on dates. It's nearly always a suggestion of meeting at a pub (where you'll drink in rounds) or he will suggest coming over to your place (where do you think Netflix and Chill came from?). All the while you will be convincing yourself that you don't need to be wined and dined or courted as you're a modern woman and times have changed blah, blah, and blah. He will tell you that he isn't for looking anything serious and yet you will continue to secretly hope you can change his mind.

It begins with butterflies. You feel special that he is confiding in you about past relationships, sharing thoughts and dreams or simply lusting after you in a way that seems neither sleazy nor inappropriate when it is in fact, both of these things!

These butterflies - it isn't true love, it could very well be chemistry but I'll bet more than that it's probably nerves! That's right, nerves that he may not show up for a date or nerves about whether you will see or hear from him again. A male friend once told me "if he wants to see you, he will see you, period. If he doesn't make the effort, he's not interested". I, of course, didn't listen!

You feel you have an immediate connection; you build it up to be more than it actually is. You can barely wait to jump into bed with him and you always do because you don't want a moment of this to pass you by. Its breath taking, intoxicating and you've never felt this way before!

You find yourself wanting to spend every waking minute with him, constantly checking your phone and obsessing that he may have forgotten about you and when you haven't heard from him you send a cheeky text. Before you know it, you start coming across as needy and desperate. He then backs off a million miles an hour and you're left feeling mystified and cheated in some way! The days following are spent pouring over what you did wrong, you might even send a few more texts or emails explaining your actions and apologising profusely.

Now the wrong kind of man isn't a type of man, it's the behaviour of men when they aren't ready for a relationship. There is nothing wrong with this; he's shown you in a number of different ways that he isn't interested. So, why do some women choose to ignore this?

I concluded that my reason was lack of self-worth and looking for validation in the wrong places. Instead of thinking about whether the men I was dating had the attributes I looked for in a partner, I focused all of my energy on trying to get them to like me! It's embarrassing, mortifying even but true. Ladies, we need to be more honest and kind to ourselves. Often we can be the wrong kind of person.

This was originally featured on Ashleigh's blog here