Fleabagging Is The Dating Trend Many Of Us Are Guilty Of

Although many dating trends out there are things that people do to us, there are those that we do to ourselves. For example, oystering is an inspiring dating trend we do when we've recovered from a breakup and we're ready to live for us and us alone. There's also the 180-dating trend in which, after the end of a relationship, we throw in the towel on those who are our age in exchange for younger, ahem, more stamina-riddled people. Both dating trends aren't harmful and are actually good for us. But because there needs to be a yin to every yang, there are some dating trends we not only do to ourselves but are toxic as heck too. While we may need someone else to experience ghosting or submarining, fleabagging is a dating trend in which we have no one to blame but ourselves.

Born out of the series "Fleabag," this trend is when someone only dates people who are bad for them. In "Fleabag," the title character played brilliantly by Phoebe Waller-Bridge, is constantly dating the wrong men, so much so that she falls for the "Hot Priest." If ever there were someone "wrong" for you, it would definitely be a Catholic priest, but Fleabag just can't help her fleabagging ways.

Of course, fleabagging is a very common practice. According to a survey by the dating app Plenty of Fish, 63% of women and 38% of men admit that they've fleabagged at some point in their dating career, and 50% of all daters report that they date the wrong people consistently. If you're a fleabagger, then maybe it's time to trade in your fleabaggery for something else. But before you attempt that, you need to figure out why you are the way you are.

Why people fleabag

We'd be lying to ourselves if we didn't acknowledge the fact that some people date those who are wrong for them because it's exciting and even dangerous. While we're expected to outgrow the mentality that dating a bad boy or bad girl is a good idea, some of us just never do. Whether it's an addict, a ex-convict, someone who's married, or a wounded bird who needs our help, there's a whole boatload of problematic people out there that fleabags will never get enough of.

Although it would be easy just to say that there are those who are into people who have issues because it's their "thing" or because they like to keep everyone else in their life on their toes and continuously shocked, there's a deeper reason behind fleabagging.

A 2022 study by PsychTests published in Cision found that when it comes to relationships there are two types of people: Saviors, those who are drawn to people with problems, and Averters, those who want to stay away from people with any type of issues. Granted, we all have our emotional baggage, but some of us carry several bags around with us, while others only have a carry-on with wheels that they drag behind them. The reason why Saviors are more drawn to problematic romantic partners than Averters varies greatly. For some Saviors, there's a struggle to get close to others on an intimate level so they turn to partners who have even more issues than they do. For other Saviors, their desire to be with problematic partners is steeped in being people-pleasers, a fear of being alone, or the need to be needed because it boosts one's self-worth.

How to break your fleabagging ways

If you want to cease being a fleabag out there in the dating world, the first step in doing so is by acknowledging there's a pattern. Take a look at all the people you've dated, most notably the ones your friends and family really didn't like, and notice what they all have in common. Are most of them addicts of some sort? Do you consistently go for someone who's already in a relationship? Are you someone who forges relationships with jailed felons through letters?

Once you can pinpoint the pattern, you want to ask yourself what it is that draws you to these people. You may not be able to find just one reason because there may be multiple reasons for it. But either way, look inside yourself and unpack the details that make these people desirable to you. It won't initially be an easy task, but if you can recognize the patterns, then you're already halfway to breaking the bad habit and understanding that you need to eliminate people in your life that are toxic for you and focus your energy on allowing goodness in instead. Healthy relationships are void of codependency, savior complexes, and behavior that preys upon our self-esteem and self-worth. These are the types of relationships that lift us up and make us feel secure and safe.

While no one is saying that problematic people don't deserve love, if you keep finding yourself with people like this, then something is up and you're definitely a fleabagger. You can't fix broken people; broken people need to want to do that for themselves.