Meet Steven. Steven had a toxic relationship with an aspiring actress named Leah. Leah’s subtle indicators of unavailability made Steven feel insecure. This is typical when someone who desires closeness dates someone who craves independence. Very early in the relationship, the “independent” partner starts sending mixed signals. Leah called, but she took her time doing it. Leah was interested in Steven, but she needed to make sure he knew she was still playing the field. This behavior leaves us guessing.
Every time you get a mixed message, the “needy” partner becomes preoccupied with the relationship. Friendships, hobbies, and career opportunities don’t matter. Our primal instincts to stay close to our partners drive us to seek closeness from them. If our life experiences have confused the anxiety and neglect of a relationship with those who hate closeness for love, then any secure person we meet will be ignored. This leaves us to only attract those who reinforce our deepest insecurities.
Being constantly uncertain, needy, and insecure about our relationships is not what nature intended. Famous scientists James Bowlby and Mary Ainsworth discovered that in order to thrive and grow as human beings, we need a reliable partner to derive our strength and security from.
3) You Find Healthy Lovers to be Missing the Spark
Let’s say you’re one of the lucky ones and you meet someone secure. Do you realize you’ve just won the dating lotto, or are you just “not feeling it?” Four years ago, Susan was set up by her friend Diana with this guy named Brandon. Brandon, a med student at the time, wanted to meet someone after his girlfriend of three years left him. He was pretty sad about the breakup, but after a few months was ready to start dating again. Susan described Brandon as physically beautiful. He had a sense of humor, was athletic, and came from a stable, well-educated family.
He was a catch, right? Not quite. Susan wasn’t interested. The spark was missing. Diana was dumbfounded; she couldn’t comprehend why Susan was turning him down. In hindsight, though, it makes sense.
When you met a secure lover, the messages you receive are honest, straightforward, and consistent. Due to the belief that they are worthy of love, secure lovers are not afraid of intimacy. They don’t beat around the bush or play hard to get. Ambiguous messages and other behaviors that cause uncertainty, tension, and suspense in the relationship don’t exist. Due to this, you feel rather calm around them. You believe they can’t be “the one,” because no emotional alarms are going off.
Your life experiences have taught you that a calm attachment system is boring. This fallacy causes you to pass perfect soulmates by. Susan went through toxic relationships after a toxic relationship because she assumed the anxiety and uncertainty of an activated attachment system was a signal of chemistry. The man she married, Steve, who was full of confidence, never missed a chance to put her down. Brandon, on the other hand, met someone a few months later and they’ve been together ever since. They now live in California and have one adorable little girl named Corina. He is an amazing father and husband. Susan had a rough ride.
After several years of feeling neglected and disrespected, she finally built up the self-respect to leave Steve. After working on her beliefs with a coach, she started to appreciate the stability and security of a loving relationship with a secure man. After her divorce, she met Blake, who is as loving and as caring as Brandon. She’s never had a calmer or a more secure relationship than the one she has with Brandon. Learning about your attachment type and the people you find attractive is crucial to your relationship happiness. The highs and lows of constant uncertainty in a relationship should not be mistaken for passion or love. They may feel like that, but they’re not.
Don’t let emotionally unavailable people turn you on. For more ideas on how to improve your relationships, sign-up for my free weekly newsletter and I’ll send you a gift, The Popular Passionate Relationship Toolkit.