The Psychological Reasons Why Smart Women Get Stuck In Unhealthy Relationships

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Picture her. She’s got everything going for her, from her beauty to her success. She works hard at everything she does, including a relationship that doesn’t deserve her efforts. We’ve either seen her or been her. Women who stay in unhealthy relationships don’t do it because they’re not smart or don’t know any better.

They know deep down that logically their relationship is not where it should be. However, even as smart, wise, and self-confident women, there are 4 deep psychological that keep these women stuck in unhealthy relationships.

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Unresolved Childhood Issues

There is no denying that the more secure, stable, and healthy our childhood relationships with our parents are, the better our adult romantic relationships too. We form our first understanding of love, communication, and trust through our interaction with our parents. For a young girl, the bond they build with their father can predict the kind of relationship they would later have with men.

profile of young girl in a field
Caroline Hernandez / Unsplash
Caroline Hernandez / Unsplash

An absent father for example may cause feelings of abandonment that his daughter later fills through a codependent relationship without realizing it. Girls may also learn to normalize bad behavior like a temper believing that if their father could be angry and still love them, then they should allow the same for their partner.

There is also a belief in psychology that we sometimes hope to repeat toxic patterns in relationships looking for answers or closure. For instance, a woman may end up in a relationship with a man who reminds her of her father, subconsciously hoping that she could fix the parts of herself or the relationship that she resents.

The Boredom Of Stability Without Challenge

In an ideal world, we just want to feel loved and safe, but no part of the world we live in is ideal. We’re used to feeling a sense of rush and urgency in attaining milestone after milestone. We’re conditioned to grind as hard as we can to attain higher standards of living and success.

couple hug in cotton candy sky
Kenny Eliason / Unsplash
Kenny Eliason / Unsplash

A smart woman is taught that to be successful, she will have to set challenges for herself and work tirelessly to achieve them. It’s hard to separate that mentality from relationships.

When that kind of woman finds herself in a stable and comfortable relationship, she may find it boring or intimidating because it doesn’t challenge her. She may feel like she didn’t earn it, that it’s unrealistic, or have a hard time believing that it will last. It takes a long time to rewire that mentality and trust in a healthy relationship.

A Lack Of Self Love

Unfortunately, many women who find themselves attracted to unhealthy relationships are women who don’t feel great about themselves. We tend to project our insecurities unto others.

Masha Raymers / Pexels
Masha Raymers / Pexels

That’s not to say that women end up with men who mirror the flaws they fear about themselves. Instead what that means is that we accept the love that we think we deserve.

Even smart women can falsely convince themselves that they’re not loveable enough on their bad days, that the weight they gained makes them undesirable or their success makes them intimidating. This can make it hard for them to believe that someone else can love them better.

The Human Existential Fear Of Loneliness

So many women live in mortal fear that they will never find their person. In psychology, there is an existential belief that people come into the world alone but are are terrified of leaving it the same way, so they spend their whole lives trying to cheat death by filling its void with a partner.

hoto-of-woman-using-mobile-phone- by window
mikoto.raw Photographer / Pexels
mikoto.raw Photographer / Pexels

Even smart women feel lonely. It’s in their nature to love and want to be loved. However, that desire or need can be so overwhelming that it rushes them into a relationship or makes them stay in something that’s not good for them because they think that it’s still better than not having it at all.

Normalized Toxic Conditions

The more a pattern of behavior is repeated, the more it’s normalized to a point where even smart women can’t see what’s wrong with it anymore. That’s because unhealthy relationships don’t always start with obvious signs. It usually starts very small with a critique here, and a lack of compromise there until it fully becomes an unequal unbalanced selfish toxic relationship.

Ba Tik / Pexels
Ba Tik / Pexels

Over time even the smart woman holds on to hope of a better future, the potential she sees in her partner, or memories of better times. This is a survival tactic that humans in general use in dark times so they don’t lose hope till they find better ones.

Racing A Timeline

Women face a lot of pressure. They’re conditioned from a young age to believe that one of their purpose, if not their main purpose is to marry and have children. However, they’re also told that they need to do it before a certain age while they’re still youthful, desirable, and fertile.


This can make them feel like they’re racing time the closer they get to societal expectations of these milestones. Even smart women don’t want to be excluded and are subject to these same pressures.

Knowing When To Walk Away

In any relationship, always look at how you feel and ask yourself: does this person make you love yourself more? Do you want to grow old with them? This can help you determine whether it’s time to walk away.

sad woman  stretches her arm out on table
RODNAE Productions / Pexels
RODNAE Productions / Pexels

Love is more than just kisses and butterflies, it’s much more than that. If you want to know more on what your birth chart reveals about how you love and what you need out of a partner, check out this personalized report based on date of birth.

For more great relationship advice and tips on how to attain the kind of love you deserve, watch this video from expert, Amy North: Click Here To Watch The Full Video.

Aria Misty

Aria Misty is a recent university grad. She did her undergrad in media, information & technoculture with a Master in Journalism & Communications in 2018.

Aria has a particular interest in all things astrology and spirituality. This is driven by her desire to create healing. In fact, Aria went back to school for A master’s in counseling p[…]