Have you ever been in a relationship where you met someone whom you thought was so cool. You really loved something about him or her and then later it was the thing that you caused the worst problems? Ever wonder why you hate what initially attracted you to your partner? Here are some examples of what I mean.
I love her natural, relaxed look becomes I wish she would make more of an effort with her appearance.
I love that he’s so responsible and makes plans! becomes I wish he could be more spontaneous and fun loving.
I love that she’s so decisive becomes She’s so rigid! She can’t take in other ideas.
He’s so sweet. He talks about his feelings! becomes He’s so sensitive. I’m always hurting his feelings.
She’s so polite becomes I never know what she’s really thinking. She never reveals anything meaningful.
He’s so driven becomes He works all the time. (sigh)
I love taking care of her becomes I wish she would take some responsibility for herself and take care of me sometimes!
What happened? This phenomenon tends to happen in people who are opposite to us in some way. The differences create a “You complete me” type of feeling because their habits or traits help you to feel needed or special. This feeling is really attractive, but the purpose of that attraction isn’t necessarily to draw the two of you together. It’s there to help you see where you need to become more balanced in yourself.
When you feel attracted to helplessness (for example), perhaps that is a sign that you need to release the need to rescue others. Perhaps it is a sign to learn to love without over giving. Maybe it’s a sign that you need better boundaries or that you need to learn that you are valuable just the way you are. You don’t have to “buy” love through caretaking.
When you are attracted to people who are emotionally safe, perhaps it is a sign to work on the insecurities that keep you emotionally shut down.
You see, you’re not half a person who needs another half to be whole. Two halves don’t equal a whole. They equal a hole – in you! Nobody can make you complete. You can’t complete someone else. It’s only when you are complete and find someone else who is complete that you can have a truly, balanced healthy relationship. Until then, compensating for someone else’s weaknesses will eventually wear you thin. Feeling how they fail (and they will fail) to compensate for yours will leave you feeling unfairly cheated and disappointed.
A healthy relationship is one where there are equal partners. This doesn’t mean that things are split 50/50. It means that you take responsibility for your needs while the other takes responsibility for his or her needs. This way you aren’t in a dependent relationship. What you give becomes a gift, not a need.
So what do you do now? When you are attracted to someone, ask yourself some questions! What is it that that I find appealing about this person? Is this something that I need in my life? If so, how can I create it for myself? For example, let’s say you meet someone who seems to have it all together. You realize that your family was really drama-filled and this person feels like a breath of fresh air in comparison. That’s definitely a good thing! So check to see if you have created this drama-free zone in all aspects of your own life. Don’t be fooled! Check to see if it exists where it began – in your family. If so, is this something you need to work on? If you find yourself attracted to someone who is the same or opposite, it’s probably a sign that you could use some work in this area.
Relationships are always going to stretch you to grow. Compatibility is about having a healthy balances of similarities and differences. Choose your battles wisely. When you come to a relationship whole, it’s a lot easier to get through life together.