The Human Magnet Syndrome / The Introduction to the Book
About 30 years ago, my dad joked (or so I thought was a joke): “The soul mate of your dreams is gonna become the cellmate of your nightmares.” It takes some of us decades to realize that our parents were actually a lot smarter than we gave them credit for. What I thought was just a flippant and cynical comment would later help to define my understanding of dysfunctional romantic relationships. I would never have guessed that my dad’s off-the-cuff remark would contain so much psychological merit. Perhaps he understood that the initial wondrous feelings of joy and euphoria could transform into something more insidiously harmful and the sweetheart of our dreams might end up as a “ball and chain” locked around our ankle for the rest of our lives.
More from YourTango: We Inherit A Relationship GPS
More from YourTango: The Human Magnet Syndrome (Book Excerpt)
For those of us raised by psychologically healthy parents, the wondrous ‘love at first sight’ story might have actually happened to you. If so, you would be one of those fortunate individuals who, for the rest of your life, could boast about your remarkable love at first sight moment and how perfect it was and has been. However, if you were raised by abusive or neglectful parents, it is likely that you experienced the blissful love at first sight experience, but it was likely short-lived and highly disappointing.
Predictably but not surprisingly, the “perfect” lover will transform into someone that may be unrecognizable. Within a few months, perhaps even weeks, their attractive alluring traits will be replaced by a selfish and self-centered demeanor, which will take center stage in the new relationship and you will feel powerless to stop him or her.
A person, whose parents deprived them of unconditional love during their childhood, especially the first five to six years, will likely be drawn to a narcissistic romantic partner by a magnet-like force from which it will seem impossible to break free. This magnetic force, or the Human Magnet Syndrome, has the raw power to bring codependents and narcissists together in a perfect storm of love and dysfunction. The magnetic power of this dysfunctional love will keep these seemingly opposite lovers together despite their shared misery and eager hopes of changing each other. The dream of perfect and everlasting love will sadly never come to fruition. The soul mate dream will inevitably morph into the cellmate reality.