When it comes to romantic relationships, we all are indeed human magnets! I chose the title of this book, “The Human Magnet Syndrome,” because it succinctly captures the attraction dynamic of dysfunctional love. All of us are compelled to fall in love with a specific personality type that is dichotomously opposite from our own. Like a metal magnet, human magnets are attracted to each other when their opposite personalities or “magnetic roles” are perfectly matched. The bond created by perfectly matched “human magnets” is interminably powerful, binding two lovers together despite consequences or shared unhappiness. In a codependent and emotional manipulator relationship, this magnetic force will likely create a long-term dysfunctional relationship. Conversely, with healthy romantic partners, the Human Magnet Syndrome results in relationships that are empowering, affirming and mutually satisfying.
My life experience, which includes 25 years as a psychotherapist, addiction specialist, consultant, professional trainer and business owner, has taught me that we are all “human magnets,” who are irresistibly attracted to a romantic partner whose personality or “magnetic charge” is perfectly opposite, exquisitely compatible, and equally powerful as our own. I coined the term “The Human Magnet Syndrome” to help others understand the ever-present relationship force that inexorably brings dysfunctional lovers together, while rendering them powerless to break free from each other.
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I developed the Continuum of Self Theory to illustrate, describe and even quantify the ever-present attraction that compels opposite personality types, such as codependents and emotional manipulators, to come together in a lasting but dysfunctional romantic relationship. The reader will learn that all potential romantic partners, healthy or dysfunctional, are “magnetically” attracted to each other and emotionally compatible as a direct result of their perfectly matched opposite self-orientation (personality). This theory accounts for the full range of relationship possibilities from healthy to dysfunctional. Through an explanation and application of the Continuum of Self Theory, the reader will learn about the ubiquitous and omnipresent “love force” that affects each and every person who desires to find the romantic partner of their dreams.
On the Continuum of Self, codependency and emotional manipulation disorder are dichotomously opposite personality types. Moreover, I suggest that we all fit somewhere on the continuum of self. This continuum measures a specific personality trait–a self-orientation. A self-orientation is defined as the manner in which we love, care for and respect ourselves and others while in a relationship. If we have an “others” self-orientation, we are more concerned with the needs of others, while placing less importance on having our own needs fulfilled. If we have a “self” self-orientation, we tend to be more preoccupied with our own needs, while ignoring the wants and desires of our loved ones.