“I always pass on good advice. It is the only thing to do with it. It is never of any use to oneself.”
By: Oscar Wilde
My whole life, I have had a hard time believing in true love.
I grew up in an abusive household where my father dominated the home with a lot of darkness. There was no example of a healthy relationship, not at all in the marriage of my mother and father, as well as his relationship to me either. It was a hard and sad time, and through it all, I only learned to hate myself.
Once I began expanding my world, I knew that how I grew up was very unhealthy. Thus, I became deterred by the idea of dating, relationships, marriage and so forth. Deep down inside, I was afraid because I knew I was too capable of constantly falling in love with the wrong people. I was a magnet for the type of personality that my father was. I already had many years of experience adapting to and trying to please a narcissist.
Fast forward to a more recent time, I had been back in the dating world for again for a while, and it was starting to become quite hard. The dating world can be difficult for someone with past issues; there are plenty of reasons to fall back into old habits of negative thinking about relationships.
Through many failed dates, a few loose ends came undone in regards to my father’s persistent influence on me, this time in regard to forming healthy intimate relationships. For starters, I did not think that I deserved one. Secondly, I realized that I was attracted to guys who were considered to be the “assholes”. This meant I was still falling for the guys who were overly aggressive and opinionated, as well as non-agreeable, just to name a few examples. This was happening over and over.
I began to ask myself, “why”? I took a step back and allowed myself to witness my trends and tendencies towards those kinds of men. I noticed myself going into the caring and nurturing mode when I was around them. I felt how afraid I was of their judgment, and how obligated I felt to attain their approval. I was swept up in a feeling of passion, though only in the moments that were more confrontational than anything. I vied for their confirmation that I was, in fact, a good person.
I wished that with this display it was going to be something that could maybe change them. It was easy to feel bad for the so-called assholes and acquiesce to what judgment they should have of me so I can prove them wrong that the world sucks and show them that someone cares. I was continuously hoping that love and compassion would be the key to change those kinds of people, a possible spark that would soften their hearts.
It didn’t. They didn’t care. That was not how they felt. And no one changed overnight. After a while, that same experience was leaving me feeling, well, pretty much, gross.
In this exhausting act, I was reaching. Reaching far and wide trying to find that cathartic “I’m sorry” with those men…the one I never got with my father. I was tired.
As a result of years and years of the narcissist’s influence, I was tired of feeling obligated to prove to others that I am a good person. I am especially tired of doing that with suitors who are just not really that good for me personally. I don’t want to live in the shadow of someone’s projections and judgments; I want to be inspired to be an even better person by someone who already shares the intention to live well and sets an example of it.
So, it’s not that I don’t believe in love although, I question the purity of the idea of love. I question whether I am able to fall in love with the right person, as someone in love is supposed to do. I also question my ability to keep the right person when he might be right in front of me.
And still, at the end of the day, I still hope and wonder; can I ever prove myself wrong?
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast. It is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always preserves.”
Written by: Anna (Creator of Echo’s Corner)
“Why Am I Only Attracted to Assholes?”
Written by: Tony Sheridan
Becoming a Dragonfly Blog