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Living In Sin: My Love Life is a Lemon

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Every week in Living in Sin, Jen Sincero provides advice to LA's sexually confounded. Sign up for her newsletter and have it sent to you every week. Ask Jen your questions: all are posted anonymously.

Dear Jen,
I'm constantly attracting guys who are really screwed up. My last boyfriend was suicidal when I met him and was addicted to heroin by the time I left. Others have been severely depressed and some barely functional (can't keep a job, no friends, etc.) I'm a fairly happy person, have a family that loves me, a good job, friends - why can't I find someone like myself? Why do I keep ending up with these head cases? It's not like I seek them out, because they all seem perfectly normal at first, but once we've been dating for awhile, sure enough, the craziness starts to seep out. What am I doing wrong?
- Crazy About the Crazies

Dear Crazy,
I bought a car about a year ago from this auto mechanic in Glendale. Before giving him the money, I had a shop a few blocks away check it out. Coincidentally, all the guys at this place knew the mechanic I was buying it from. "Hey, isn't this Ray's car? He's a stand up guy, that Ray. Look how clean the engine is! Looks like he went at it with a toothbrush." Instead of giving it the once over, they regaled me with stories about Ray's kids and how that one time he let them borrow his air drill. My regular mechanic couldn't see it for a few more days, and I was scared I was going to lose the car, so I figured, what the hell. Ray's a mechanic, I'm sure he took great care of it. I'd just buy it and trust that Ray was as stand up as they said he was.

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Four thousand dollars of crapped out batteries, leaky radiators, leaky oil pans, leaky convertible tops, leaky power steering systems and faulty brakes later, I realized I'd been duped. (Ray's Auto on Colorado in Glendale ladies and gentlemen. Throw a tomato for me next time you drive by). Ray sold me a turd of a car, and even though he is a giant sucking thing, it's my own dumb fault. He wouldn't look me in they eye when we sealed the deal, and I've gotten stronger handshakes from week-old babies. I knew in my gut that I was getting into something rill bad, but I did it anyway because you should've seen how sexy that car looked.

I'd like to let you pretend that you're as clueless as you say you are when it comes to your mental ward-full of exes, but I can't. Because you know, and you know you know, you just don't want to admit it because you should've seen how sexy he looked in those jeans.

I have a theory that people tell you everything you need to know the first week you meet them. And often even on the first date. They just can't help but puke up their little confessional hairballs right there on the candle-lit table for some reason. Here's how it goes:
Him: I sort of cheat on all my girlfriends.
Your Brain: It'll be different with us. Look how much he's opening up to me already!
Him: I hate myself and want to die.
Your Brain: That's only because he hasn't gotten a piece of me yet.
Him: I have a bit of an addiction problem.
Your Brain: I can change you. I will change you. I can't wait to change you.

I promise you, it's all there, you've just decided not to notice it. I will say that it's uncanny how we keep attracting the same types of people over and over (I honestly believe we have a 6th sense), but choosing to go forward with them is a different story.

Next time you're attracted to someone, what's say you don't leap into a relationship with him? Instead, listen carefully to what he says, pay attention to the fact that his eyes look like plate glass windows when he comes back from the bathroom and don't pretend that he's uncontrollably sobbing just because he feels comfortable opening up to you. Once you start watching, you can make changes. All it takes is really wanting to.