Rejecting The Right Man and Choosing The Wrong One

Dear Neil:  This is a story of two men.  One is a gentle man who genuinely likes me and who nurtures me, is wonderfully caretaking, kind, emotionally healthy and sweet.  The other man is totally self-absorbed and self-centered, jealous, insecure, controlling, manipulative, mean-spirited, dishonest and he treats me like dirt.  Oh, did I mention that he has a drinking problem?  Or that he calls me every demeaning name in the dictionary?

So why would I reject the sweet guy and choose the insecure, selfish, mean-spirited one—and then not be able to stay away from him—even though I know he’s unwise and unhealthy for me?

Needing To Know in Canada

Dear Needing To Know:  Why would you reject the right man and have an addiction to the wrong man?  Four answers: 1) Choosing what you’re familiar with;  2) Feeling that you don’t deserve or are not worthy of a caring, nurturing, sweet guy;  3) Getting hooked on the drama and the chaos that comes with being with an insecure, unhealthy and addicted man who “needs you”; and 4) Being a habitual people-pleaser.

In the first scenario, look at the way your parents treated each other and how the kids were treated growing up.  Did one of your parents—or did you—feel as if what you wanted or needed wasn’t valued?  If you grew up feeling that your needs weren’t taken seriously or considered important, you may be—as an adult—uncomfortable with a intimate partner who is caretaking, nurturing or generous.  You may be more comfortable with what you are used to or familiar with.  And what you grew up with—or how previous romantic partners have behaved toward you—or how your parents treated each other, is what you’re familiar with.  Most of us choose what we’re familiar with, even if it’s downright destructive.

Second, in your heart of hearts do you feel that you are worthy of a nurturing, giving, attentive, emotionally available guy?  Yes, I know that is what you’ve always said that you wanted—but deep down do you feel you deserve such a man?  It may be that this feels foreign and even unsafe to you.  Do you fear that if you give your heart to a wonderful guy, he will eventually find you unworthy or inadequate, and then reject you?  If you don’t feel deep down as if you deserve to be loved and spoiled, you are far more likely to choose intimate partners who can’t or won’t love you—because your self-image tells you that you don’t deserve any better.

Third, the drama and the chaos created by a guy who is always on the edge of losing control—or who is addicted, needy, jealous, selfish, controlling or perhaps desperate—creates  enormous intensity, which is easily mistaken by many people for love.  But this is not love.  It is drama, being on the verge of losing control and emotional intensity.  Learn the difference love and dramatic intensity.  They are not the same.

Finally, what is the advantage of continuously trying to please a person who is never pleased except in a very temporary way?   You wind up feeling as if you are beating your head against the wall.  If you’ re a people pleaser, choose someone you can actually succeed with, not someone who is impossible to win over.

As sad as it seems, many people can’t handle a good relationship with an emotionally healthy giving person.  It’s too unfamiliar and threatening.

2 comments on “Rejecting The Right Man and Choosing The Wrong One

  1. That is false in some cases. In my case, I did genuinely want the healthy mutually encouraging supportive mature guy and still do but in the end, he was not good enough to keep and I deserved better as well as my self respect and peace, so reluctantly I rejected him. It was the wisest decision I ever made and I never will go back to that guy, not even if I were single again and he said he still loved me. Boy is wasting his time and my peace and self respect is more important.

  2. You forget that there are some people who realize that rejecting the so-called right person is a freedom and choice and it is not necessarily a bad one. An unmarried natural man is free to reject even a mutual love with another natural woman, and if he chooses to find another natural woman who is more worthy of his time and being his wife. Likewise, it is the same for a natural woman who does the same. I’m one of those women who DID reject a mutual love and I was able to handle an emotionally healthy relationship. Why didn’t it work then? Honestly, God gave me the freedom who I could choose to marry – as long as they are in the Lord and if I found one man who was worthy of that position, I came to the realization that I didn’t have to settle for him either. 🙂 Instead I ended up meeting and marrying another man and we are together because God brought us together, let no one tear us asunder.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *