Therapist Explains Why People Often Choose Difficult Partners

We are free to choose the kind of person we want to share our lives with. Admittedly we intend to love someone based on our desired preference. Though there are religions and traditions that practice match-making, dynastic urgency, or social convention, most of us are not forced into a relationship for these reasons. However, in reality, our choice of lover is a lot less free than we can imagine. The idea of who we want to care for and love usually comes from a part that we never entirely look into – our childhood.

There is a strong psychological history that influences us to fall in love with certain types of people. We think of it as a preference-based emotional attachment. It goes along the grooves formed in our childhood, focusing only on perfection and romanticism. That explains why we often look for individuals who are too good to be true in many ways. There is an emotional entrapment because we only see love as a form of generosity, kindness, and tenderness. But when we think about it, these distinguished preferences come from our first-hand experience with our parents. Therefore, our desire for love from someone is based on how our parents treat us when we’re kids.

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How We Choose Our Partner?

Understandably, we often look away from those people who do not fit our desired preferences. The prospected candidates do not satisfy our yearning for complexity that we want to associate with love and relationship. Thus, we usually describe these individuals as “boring,” “unattractive,” and “not our type” However, there is a truth we meant by that. Our ideology is that we see these people who we turn down will unlikely make us feel loved. It will less likely create the same impact we often see with our parents’ relationship when we were kids.

Nevertheless, there’s a realization that we need to consider as well. The perfection in our partner that we aim so much can also come from the opposite reflection of our parents. Meaning, when we often witness marital complications when we were kids, we automatically want to destroy the continuation of that unfortunate scenario. Love gets tangled with certain painful experiences. There’s the feeling of not being good enough. It goes with betrayal, jealousy, and abuse. There’s a sense that one cannot be fully vulnerable in front of the other. We often witness this kind of relationship with our parents. So as we grow older, we try our best to avoid experiencing the same.

But some instances choosing a partner is merely a challenge we intend to give ourselves. We hang on to those complicated individuals because they provide the thrilling experience of pain, anxiety, agony, and rage at the same time. We always choose them to be in our lives because these complicated people give us satisfaction whenever we feel out of the ordinary.

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Why Stick With The Difficult Partner?

It often becomes common to receive advice from others to leave our complicated partners to settle with someone more wholesome. But this can be easier said than done. Our ability to endure pain is what makes us more drawn to the idea of love. We cannot magically redirect our feelings and get easily attracted to someone we think is the opposite of our current partner. But we do not also let go of the possibility of getting a room for change. That explains why instead of looking for someone new, we put too much effort into aiming for our partner’s transformation.

However, there is always a solution in handling situations better. That is why instead of initiating and trying very hard to alter our partners, we would choose to make room for small considerations. From there, we make simple adjustments to our responses and behaviors to occasionally handle the difficulty of our partners.

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Takeaway

We might find it hard to change our templates for attraction probably. But we can always re-engineer our instincts and learn to react based on how our partners communicate and interact with us. We need to think through the constructive and mature manner of handling the relationship like a rational adult. We should not regard the whole commitment as a replica of our parents’ relationship that we often see as a child. We need to become open-minded with the enormous opportunity to get away from our childlike preferences and focus on adult patterns.

The challenge of handling someone difficult should not go with “I have to fix you,” “I deserve this,” and “You need to change.” It should be handled with “I don’t have to feel bad,” “It’s no one’s fault,” and “You are okay the way you are.” We have to remember that the answer is not always to end the relationship, regardless of having a complicated partner. Instead, there is a need to strive to deal with the compelling challenges to grow up mentally and emotionally fully.

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