The Relationship Where's Waldo Game


Why do we keep on choosing Mr. or Ms. Wrong?



There’s not a lot of  benefit in getting older.  In many ways, it sucks.  There are, however, some benefits, especially when it comes to dating.  With age comes perspective.  As you  look back over your dating life you can begin to seem some unsettling patterns..

Are you attracted to the same type of person…someone who has the same (negative) characteristics that your previous people of interest had?  How interesting that, once again, you are involved with someone how is emotionally unavailable, aggressive, flirtatious, critical, needy, overly intellectual or emotional, underachieving, or emotionally unstable?

It seems that you pare playing Where’s Waldo with your dating life, carefully searching for the man (or woman) that is the holder of familiar negative qualities. 

All of these psychological goings-on happen in your unconscious.  No doubt, you would never consciously choose someone who will end up hitting you or cheating on you. In fact, you may tell yourself that you are dedicated to avoid these types of individuals.  Yet, in spite of your best intentions, you find that the man (or woman) you are dating  possesses the very qualities that you said  you were hoping to avoid.

At some point it becomes clear that there is a great deal of psychology in play.  These movements or attractions towards dysfunction happen on the unconscious level and the genesis of these unconscious processes happened when you were young.  Let me give you an example:

Bobbie was raised by a very critical mother who left him with the feeling  that he wasn’t good enough, smart enough, or had intrinsic value.  As a 30-year- old man, these ideas form the bedrock of his self-esteem.

Single and looking for someone to connect with Bobbie will tell all who will  listen that he is looking for someone who appreciates him; that is caring,  considerate, compassionate and genuinely a fan of the man that he is.  He is at a  party where he meets two women that, on the surface, he finds equally attractive.   Julie thinks he’s terrific.  She thinks he’s smart, likes his jokes and his work and is  attracted to him.  Sharon, on the other hand, is very critical.  She is lukewarm  towards him, thinks his jokes are stale and immature, is unimpressed with is work  and shows no super attraction towards him.

Seems like an obvious choice yet, in spite of all of Bobbie’s proclamations  as to  the type of woman he wants, he finds that he is attracted to Sharon and not to  Julie. This is because he feels very understood by Sharon and suspicious of Julie.   In his (unconscious) mind,  something must be wrong with her to think so  highly of him.

These dynamics of attraction are very common and without a conscious determination to examine exactly why you are attracted to someone, you will find that you will become  embroiled in the same types of dysfunctional relationships that you promised you would never again find yourself in.  Waldo is beckoning.  Be aware.  Be very aware.