She was married to a cop and now wants to date a counselor. Can anyone else see where this might be too big a gap to traverse? The personality types (stereotypically, at least) are vastly different.
I don’t have tattoos. I could get tattoos and “pass.” I could add a piercing or two, to be convincing. But if that is not who I am, then I am wearing the uniform or treating it like a costume. I am who I am for a reason. I make the choices I make, for a reason. You like who you like. They can trick you for awhile, but you are going to figure it out eventually.
Don’t change who you are, because, well, you can’t. You can pretend or play dress up for awhile…
Or she went out with a football player and now is falling for a soccer player…
Yes, we are dealing with stereotypes out of necessity. Can you imagine not being able to say anything because there is an exception to every rule?
Okay, so what makes someone attracted to being a cop is not the same set of values, skills or beliefs, right?
Football players tend to be a little different, from a personality standpoint, from soccer players. Not all, not all the time, but if you look at the tendencies…
She told me in a session that she did not want to be attracted to the guys she dated, but she was clearly attracted.
She knew it would not work out and she was looking at why she would still date someone she knew would fail her.
Freud would suggest that it goes back to her relationship with her father. That the woman is working out issues with her father and the man is working out issues with his mother, through the relationship itself. The neo-freudians would say that we choose a mate who has the bad traits of that parent. They are not clones, but they have a trait that we need help working through. You can either work on the issue with that parent, or your partner- your choice.
Oddly, the person who attracts you, has this trait. Cool how that works, and annoying at the same time.
Think about her father for this one: She dates the guys who don’t mind bending the law, bending rules and ethics, then dates a guy who prioritizes integrity. You can learn a lot about her father from her choices and then she realizes she has to try to do it differently and dates the “opposite” and this is helpful as well. Daddy is still the benchmark, see? The guy who does it with integrity will show her a perspective and give her an experience that is different. She is not familiar with it or used to it and integrity will feel weird or boring or unattractive to her.
Yes, she is going to get a different experience. She dates someone who is selfish and then dates someone who has dealt with his ego and knows how to keep it in check. She will not feel the same way in each situation. Yes, there are more variables, but let’s stick with the most obvious ones first.
People tend to be on auto pilot. What you learned early in life, you tend to do now. Very few people are spontaneous, in the moment and experiencing life for the first time in the here and now, therefore, one’s past is a likely indicator of one’s future.
If, in the past, you liked the “bad boy,” even though you know it is not good for you, your tendency is to be attracted to the bad boy in the future. If your father was a “Bad boy,” you likely learned that is the way to be a man.
You likely have him as your template for “real man” and when you see a guy who does life differently, you might tend to see them doing it wrong (instead of different) because we tend to see different as wrong before we realize what is going on.
So, how do you work on that?
She knows she would do better with a guy who honors her and treats her well, but has a template of a bad boy…
Heal it. Re-experience it.
Become fully aware of the attraction, where it comes from and feel it.
Feel it and re-process it and integrate the new information.
You can learn new things from old events and old processes. Unlearn the lesson you learned previously.
Look at the old with your current wisdom. Part of you knows that what you have been doing is not working.
It has not worked to keep dating alcoholics and drug abusers, guys who are physically and emotionally violent, yet you find yourself always attracted to them.
There are red flags and now you see them, but make the same choices.
Now that you are aware, you can do the necessary work. “What about this attracts me?” “What feels familiar?” “How will this end, if it ends?” “How does this remind me of my dad?” “How do I feel, when I first consider doing it differently?” “If I was with this guy instead, how would it go poorly?” “Is there a part of me that has to still work out issues with my father by repeating relationships with this type of guy?” “Do I need to see my father over and over again and see why he did what he did before I can move on?”
That is part of the healing process for many people. Feel it when you re experience it. Keep repeating the behavior until you experience it again and learn the lesson. Or unlearn the old lesson…
Try new ways of doing things and be open to learning new things. You will be attracted to different men, when this happens. Once you have healed 100% of your father issues, you tend to work on your mother issues. Your mother showed you how to be a mom, and how to be a wife. She was your first template.
By the way, men have the same problem, just with mom, then dad. They learn how to be a man from their dad, good or bad.
Don’t be too hard on yourself. It takes awhile to see the pattern and that is why counselors can be helpful. We have more training and education on what to look for and where to look, so we can help you find it faster, saving you some pain.
So, be aware of what you are doing. Slow it down and questions things.
They heal their relationships with mom through the girlfriend and wife, if they are conscious.
Not everyone is awake and aware, though, so not everyone is learning or wants to learn. But you do, otherwise, you would not be reading this.