Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Are You Choosing? Or Being Chosen? 4 Toxic Types To Avoid

“Romantic Young Couple Hug” by photo stock 

names have been omitted 
or changed in this post 

January 2016


I sat on the brown leather couch across from my therapist wearing black leggings and an oversized lightweight shrug over a long tank top. To my right the mini blinds were open to reveal a sunny January day with temps in the sixties. Evergreen trees outside framed the window on the third floor and sunshine streamed in the cozy room. We greeted one another and I comfortably adjusted the pillows behind my back. She settled in her chair and smiled at me…

"So, how have you been? How is the online dating going?" She asked me.

I smiled "I'm good. The dating… it's been interesting." I told her with a grin.

She nodded and prompted "Tell me…"

"Well… first there was Stephen. I really liked him and thought we'd meet. The conversation was amazing." I told her. "We really clicked… it was back and forth, like a ping pong game, quick, witty and fun."

"So what happened?" She asked.

"I found out he had a sixteen month old daughter." I told her.

"Is that an issue?" She asked, peering at me.

"I think so… I mean, I have a kid who has nine to ten years on her. Were at extremes. I don't really want to sign up for a sixteen month old." I admitted.

"I'm not so sure I'd call that a deal breaker…"She trailed off.

"He hasn't been divorced very long. Less than six months." I told her.

"Now that's a deal breaker." She affirmed. "That concerns me."

I nodded "Me too… then there was David… all he wanted was sex." I smirked. "I eliminated him quick. So, I'm still looking." I told her.

She spoke, "I really think this is good for you though. It's allowing you to figure out exactly what you want and also how to be more assertive. I want to keep working with you on this. I want you to continue setting boundaries and I have to say… I am VERY proud of you in how you stood up to the guy in your last relationship… telling him that you have the right to choose to not sign up for someone with bi-polar is setting a boundary. And I know that was very hard for you to do."

I nodded "Yeah." I stated. "And yet I feel like the horrible person. Like I'm mean because I told him I'm not signing up for that. I feel bad and yet I DON'T want to sign up for that. I would have a breakdown no doubt! I exclaimed.

"Exactly…" She nodded. "And I know you feel bad… but it's so good that you are choosing what YOU want not allowing the guy to dictate what you get!"


Are you doing the choosing?

Or are you allowing yourself to be chosen? 

When were dating we can either choose to take charge of our dating life or choose to be a passive passenger in it. Are we in the drivers seat or are we allowing the opposite sex to make the decisions?

Who is in the drivers seat in your life?

Are we allowing ourselves to be chosen?
If so, we may ask what is the reason behind it?

It may go back to our history. 
Namely, our father.

As women, when we have fathers who aren't there for us, we tend to yearn (possibly to self-detriment) for what we didn't get. It's completely understandable. We yearn for that emotional nurturing, masculine attention and physical stability that we never received. So then we choose partners who are cut from the same cloth as our fathers and find ourselves in relationships with men who are just as toxic, stunted and unavailable. Inevitably our choices send us right down the same path over and over again until we become cognizant of the type of men we are choosing... and with that awareness then making the necessary changes. 

Are we choosing men (or if you're a man choosing a woman) that expect so much yet give us very little to nothing in return? Are we still on some level seeking the love we never received from our emotionally elusive parent? Oftentimes the sad but realistic answer is yes. 

Are we choosing partners that make us feel old? More like a parent figure versus an equal? 

Are we choosing a man or woman who tries to mold us into someone were not? Or do we hide who we are and become who we believe they want us to be? 

There are so many toxic types to avoid when it comes to dating and marriage.

Here are four....

1. The Narcissist: 

We may be choosing partners that are narcissistic to the core... classic cases of selfishness that want us to sacrifice all we are for them and the good of the relationship. These folks will expect you to give and give, for you to never expect anything of them, to always apologize even if it's not your fault, to never be sick, feel anxious, angry or sad because that is a time suck on their part and they can't be bothered. And please don't age, because that really screws with their image of perfection they so desperately want to show others. It's a twenty four hour job being with a narcissist and the benefits are nil. The end result is always the same… you being completely emotionally maxed out, physically less healthy and either being discarded for someone new (can we say fresh supply?!) or having to leave on your own accord.

2. Arrested Development:

Or maybe you're attracted to the person who appears at first young, fun and spontaneous. Someone who doesn't take life too seriously. The problem is... it's after dating them awhile that you realize they take nothing in life seriously... because they are stunted when it comes to being a grown up. They don't invest, they find a credit score unimportant, they don't save, they merely want to watch movies and they have zero interest in personal growth… don't even go there regarding counseling because they are still sixteen and perfectly content at remaining there. When you find yourself standing in the midst of Spencer's at the local mall because the thirty five year old man(!) you're dating wants to look at t-shirts and coffee mugs there may be a problem. A man (or woman) who shows arrested development may initially be a draw in the name of fun and then become a huge turn off. They look innocent enough... suit and tie, coffee and briefcase Monday through Friday from eight am to five o'clock. But the truth is... they fail to grow into adults. They fail in relationships because they become "another kid" someone has to look after.

3. The Convincer/Manipulator: 

The manipulator is someone who doesn't believe in a mutual coming together when dating… instead of pursuing you in the romantic sense they are about convincing you to be with them. This is a person whose ego is driving the relationship… and typically not for the long haul. Because the non-manipulator soon realizes their values, morals, goals, etc do not align with their romantic interest and instead may be polar opposite. This is when the heat and pressure is turned up for the person to stay with the manipulator. Pick me! Pick me! He or she may try to convince you to stay when you know deep down no matter how much chemistry you have, how much humor is shared, no matter how badly you want it to work… at the end of the day the facts don't lie… you're wrong for each other… he's an atheist, you're a Christian, he lacks empathy and you care, you're a sentimental guy and she rebuffs any sweet gesture you attempt in gift giving. No matter how hard you try it simply won't work… it's best to cut the cord and free yourself for someone who is a good match and woos without a plan to manipulate.

4. Please Change So I Can Love You:

Last, are you finding that you can't be yourself? If you are in a relationship where you are not being genuine it's time to re-assess. Only you know if it's you or them… or both. Maybe a lack of esteem or the person you're with is making you doubt yourself as being lovable. If you're constantly softening your points of view or changing your look, wardrobe, hair, etc because there is some unspoken deep down fear you are not enough… that you can't be loved for who you truly are… that's a sign there is personal work to be done. Perhaps any dating relationship needs to be put on hold until you're in a better place… confident in who you are and not wanting to adapt to what other's want you to be. Or perhaps the person you're with isn't healthy for you and expects you to be someone else. You like your hair short, he likes it long. He likes skirts and you wear pants. Are you staying true to you or changing? Staying together could mean an awful outcome, someone falling in love with who you're not… that's a recipe for disaster for both individuals. If you find yourself dependent upon this person and needing them just to function… if depression is hovering at your door that may be a sign that it's time to get in a healthier place… relationships thrive when both people come together because they want to be together not out of a dependent need.

© ~ 2016 

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