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Subverting My Attraction to Negative Passive People
March 1, 2011 10:38 AM   Subscribe

I find myself in a pattern of getting into long-term relationships with people who end up displaying massive passive-aggressive tendancies and negativity. I always think I've found someone who is going to be a great, equal partner and I just end up in the same relationship again and again.

I'm a bi woman, age 33. Names have been changed here.

I have a pattern in my relationships. I am attracted to shy introverted people, people who seem to have lots of passions and interests when I'm getting to know them, and who turn out to be passive, negative people prone to passive-aggressive tendancies. I like making the first move in the beginning, but then I want it to turn into a relationship of equals in a team. Of course this doesn't happen. It turns into a situation where I look like I'm in the lead, in control, but really I'm the mind-reader for a 'partner' who sits in the back, not actually steering the car but bitching if it doesn't go the way s/he wants. I don't recognize this passive-aggressivity for months, usually, by which time I have convinced myself that it's a totally reasonable way to live. I'm a serial monogamist, and my adult relationships last awhile.

I know this will be long, and I'm sorry, but I feel like it's necessary to illustrate my points with this background info:

I dated Brian at the end of college and it was my first long-term relationship. He was extremely passive-aggressive and kind of an asshole about it, if that makes sense. We broke up and I met Megan, who I dated and eventually married for awhile. At first, she seemed totally different than Brian because she had all her shit together, was very passionate about different issues, etc. etc. But eventually it became insanely obvious that I was dating a female version of Brian. Okay, she was less of an asshole. The same negativity, the same avoidance of issues, the same guilt trips. No, I don't know why I married her. It ended a few years later, after lots of therapy (both individual and couples; my individual therapist advised me to end it).

After that, I started dating online for a bit. Nothing worked out, but I met a guy I liked a lot immediately. I had a huge crush, but we didn't end up dating because he started dating someone else at the exact same time that I met him. We became very close friends despite my crush/his relationship. A few months into our friendship, it suddenly clicked that he was a totally negative, passive-aggressive person. My crush ended immediately on this discovery. I now look back on that with some relief that he and I didn't start dating, because I would have been miserable. We remain close friends, but I am always happy that I can be objective about his issues as his friend, and not be invested in them as his partner. But why didn't I see the passivity at the beginning? I just don't know how I missed it.

I stayed single until fall 2010 when I fell for a new guy, Mike. We went hurtling into a relationship that had a great honeymoon period. We talked and joked a lot about our passive-aggressive exes, and I was just relieved at how easy it was to be with him. But the relationship clearly curdled for him after Christmas. He didn't tell me, though, even though I was sensing it and getting a little crazy. He flat-out denied that anything was wrong and I actually apologized for confronting him (!). Then, the other week, he abruptly ended it. The weeks between the confrontation and the breakup were filled with lots of negativity and passive-aggressive comments from him, and lots of mind-reading on my part while trying to make him happy. Now I'm just upset with myself for not trusting my gut and for being a general doormat.

I know that everyone is passive-aggressive at some point or another. I'm sure I am as well, but I do really try to subvert my tendancies because I hate it so much in others. I really try to identify what I want and ask for it clearly, and I would really like to be in a relationship with someone else who does this as well. I am not a perfect angel. I work on my control issues, though I feel like I am attributed a lot more control issues than I actually have since so many of my relationships were controlled by the passive other party sitting in the backseat. But as the more positive, optimistic partner with the plans and the action, I look like I do all the controlling. I hate that people might think this, and I think it makes me even more of a doormat in my relationships and even more susceptible to passive control by someone else.

I have seen therapists, and I do want to see one to talk through all of this stuff in the next few weeks. However, the cost is prohibitive even with my health insurance. I also think this is probably a problem that other people have faced, and I'd like some layperson advice, especially from those with experience. I'm up for book suggestions as well. I didn't see any other AskMeFi dealing specifically with passive-aggression.

Has anyone else found themselves in a pattern of attracting/being attracted to shy introverts that end up being passive aggressive, negative people? What did you do about it? How do I learn to be attracted to positive, active people?
posted by aabbbiee to Human Relations (34 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
 
"passive aggressive, negative people" is pretty subjective, doesn't tell us much about what you object to in their behavior . . .
posted by fivesavagepalms at 10:43 AM on March 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


Hmm, sounds like you are trying to craft a narrative for yourself to find answers that might not be there. I imagine that "passive aggressive, negative people" might describe just about anyone who is unhappy in a relationship. Most of us who are in the process of breaking up don't act positive or active, at least towards the soon-to-be ex.

So I think maybe you should consider (or reconsider) your relationship experience - actually, the details you offer make it sound like you've had a lot of different kinds of dating experiences; with men, women, married, just after college, online dating, etc.

You are 33, not exactly at the end of days. Sounds like you are an interesting, attractive enough person that multiple people have wanted to be in relationships with you in the last, oh 15 years (since college, right)? If finding a new, long-term relationship that works is what you want, maybe you ought to focus on why and what went sour in your relationships, instead of trying to shoehorn your past relationships in to an archetype.
posted by RajahKing at 10:49 AM on March 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


You've described all of these past relationship partners as "negative" and "passive-aggressive" without actually describing anything about them. These are just value judgments it's hard to tell what actual behavior you are describing. It's possible to suggest vague strategies such as communicating and working through conflicts as a way to avoid passive-aggressive tendencies but it's not obvious what exactly is actually going wrong in these relationships. For example:

I feel like I am attributed a lot more control issues than I actually have since so many of my relationships were controlled by the passive other party sitting in the backseat

What exactly are they doing to both be passive and control your relationship?
posted by burnmp3s at 10:57 AM on March 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


At different times in my life, I've heard several friends say "Why do I go for/attract people who (are bad for me in a particular way)." After all this time, I have a theory: it's all about what you tolerate or overlook early on. The undesirable behavior usually is subtle or infrequent at first. You see it but let it go, maybe because things are going well in other ways. Then after a while you might overlook it because "Hey, nobody's perfect, and I have faults, too." You don't want to be unreasonable, or the SO convinces you that you're wrong, or they apologize. Once you're in the relationship pretty deep, the bad behavior intensifies, but it's harder to gain perspective and end it.

What comes up if you ask yourself about each individual, "When did I start to notice? Why did I let it pass?" People tell you important things about themselves early on, right at the point when we're feeling most hopeful and delighted about them.

Or you can think about when you first had a vague uncomfortable feeling about how the new person looked at the world, or or things they said to you. Then you can be more aware the next time around.

I know all this is harder than it sounds. I really wish you well.
posted by wryly at 10:59 AM on March 1, 2011 [14 favorites]


People can have "inner" selves that are completely different from their "social" or "public
selves, as you yourself have noticed.

So how do you spot the seemingly positive and active people whose inner selves manifest as passive-aggressive negative people? how do you discern between "social" selves and "inner" selves; how do you find people who are positive and active both in public and in private?

Well, that's hard. That's why dating exists, I think -- it's a period of discovery, gives a person enough time to figure out who their lover really is.

And you really have to learn to trust your gut. Because -- and I hate to sound all new-age-y about this but -- your conscious brain will usually only pick up the surficial signals, the happy positive signals that this passive-aggressive person will try to project in public to snare their partner. While, your gut might pick up on the subconscious signals that are hidden beneath their "social" selves.

Lastly, this:

I like making the first move in the beginning, but then I want it to turn into a relationship of equals in a team. Of course this doesn't happen. It turns into a situation where I look like I'm in the lead, in control, but really I'm the mind-reader for a 'partner' who sits in the back, not actually steering the car but bitching if it doesn't go the way s/he wants.

Generally, people who are happy, positive doers who take action about their lives will, you know, take action. They'll make a move if they are interested in you. This is not to say that you should be passive and wait for people to make a move; however, this might be an important filter between negative passive people and active doers. Considering your bad track record in filtering out passive-aggressiveness, you might want to take a step back in your romantic relationships, and wait for the other person to initiate.
posted by moiraine at 11:00 AM on March 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


The only way to kill passive-aggressive behavior is to call it out when it happens. It can't survive the light of day. "I'm noticing that you're doing/saying [x] and it's making me uncomfortable and I'd like to talk about it." If they deny, you can shift the conversation to how you need to be in a relationship with open communication and dismissing your observations out of hand is not open communication.

Realistically though, it sounds like the common thread is you. If everyone you date ends up being passive aggressive, perhaps the people you date don't feel like they have the space in the relationship to be honest with you. Perhaps you should examine your behavior--especially the behavior you describe as "being in the lead." Perhaps you end up controlling things to the point where the only opportunity for control the other person has is by doing things passive-aggressively.

Maybe the next time you are in a relationship and it looks like it's getting serious you could have a frank conversation about this. Tell him or her that you've had this problem in relationships in the past and you really want to work on it. Ask him or her to let you know if he or she doesn't feel like you are approachable about things, etc.
posted by Kimberly at 11:00 AM on March 1, 2011 [10 favorites]


As they always say, the constant in this equation is you, not these "passive-aggressive" people you keep on running into. My guess is that your efforts to "identify what I want and ask for it clearly" might create the perception of passive-aggression when your relationships run into trouble. No matter how assertive a person is, it's not always easy or even possible to instananeously know what you want and ask for it. Sometimes you have to let the issues sit for a while. If you're bowling your partners over with your requests, then they might respond by withdrawing a bit. You see this as passive, but it's your assertiveness that's also contributing to it.

If you don't give your partner the space to make decisions and communicate, then they never have the chance to be in the lead. It just takes some people longer to figure out what they want; it's not really about passiveness, per se.
posted by yarly at 11:03 AM on March 1, 2011


Yes, Mike may have gone passive-aggressive and negative when the relationship was ending. We can pretend that's all, if you want. I personally think it was bigger than that, but ok- let's leave it out.

But I'm talking about other relationships here, too, and in those I was the one who ended things. The negativity & passive-aggression were not responses to a bad relationship, but the way these people handled the world even in good times. I'm describing personality types. There are endless lists of specific issues or situations in which this was made obvious. But why lengthen this ask post even further? It should be enough that I can see that there's a pattern, even if I don't want to write a book to prove it here.

I define the passive-aggressive tendencies pretty well with this:
It turns into a situation where I look like I'm in the lead, in control, but really I'm the mind-reader for a 'partner' who sits in the back, not actually steering the car but bitching if it doesn't go the way s/he wants. I don't recognize this passive-aggressivity for months, usually, by which time I have convinced myself that it's a totally reasonable way to live.
posted by aabbbiee at 11:03 AM on March 1, 2011


I think by "define" the people mean we need any examples, the definition there doesn't make any sense to me, personally, it's just a metaphor for... who knows what. Can you give us just a couple examples of things that actually happened so we can see what it looks like from your perspective?
posted by brainmouse at 11:06 AM on March 1, 2011 [3 favorites]


Try and step back from yourself a bit, and look at the specific patterns of behaviors that typically develop between you and your partners. As you noted, virtually everyone tends to be passive-aggressive at times. It seems more likely that something you are doing encourages that native tendency than that you are picking one bad apple after another. Healthy conflict resolution is a skill that must be learned, not an innate characteristic, and bad habits can be unintentionally reinforced.
posted by jon1270 at 11:08 AM on March 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


(p.s. this: "We can pretend that's all, if you want. I personally think it was bigger than that, but ok- let's leave it out. " is super passive aggressive, against someone who was trying to give you a good faith answer. I know you said you knew you were passive aggressive at times, but in case you don't know what it looks like, that's it).
posted by brainmouse at 11:09 AM on March 1, 2011 [41 favorites]


Well, ok, the tone of your response demonstrates a lot. Clearly you want to control the direction of this conversation. Which is fine - but be aware that it's your tendency to want to control that makes other people act passive in response. It's really, really common for people to respond to control by becoming passive. I'm not saying this is a healthy way to respond (or that their aren't genuinely passive/aggressive people in the world); I'm just pointing out your possible role in the dynamic.
posted by yarly at 11:10 AM on March 1, 2011 [18 favorites]


IANAT (I am not a therapist) but I wonder whether you have a passive-aggressive parent or other really important person in your childhood. It's a learned behavior. Of course, that doesn't help you spot it early, but it could be something to explore with a therapist.
posted by tuesdayschild at 11:12 AM on March 1, 2011


I define the passive-aggressive tendencies pretty well with this:....


But you didn't. At least, not well enough for somebody else to understand what's going on in your head. If you ask a question and the other person asks for clarification, repeating yourself won't help them understand any better. I feel like this behavior might be at the root of things.


There are endless lists of specific issues or situations in which this was made obvious. But why lengthen this ask post even further? It should be enough that I can see that there's a pattern, even if I don't want to write a book to prove it here.


People can't read your mind. Is it possible that you are projecting this onto others? Are you seeing passive aggressive behavior when your partner just doesn't know what you want? Are you seeing exactly what you want to see and not paying attention for signals that your partner is giving off? You talk about doing all of the 'controlling' in the relationship in your OP, but perhaps you should take another look at what you mean by that. I don't know you, but it is highly possible that you are creating an environment for passive aggressive tendencies to surface from introverted people.
posted by 200burritos at 11:15 AM on March 1, 2011 [4 favorites]


But as the more positive, optimistic partner with the plans and the action, I look like I do all the controlling. I hate that people might think this, and I think it makes me even more of a doormat in my relationships and even more susceptible to passive control by someone else.

It sounds like you have some deep insecurities about how to act in a relationship, which are hanging you up from getting to a healthy place. When I hear doormat from someone, I think of it as code for, 'I am nice and considerate to a fault and put my partner's needs before my own to the extent that I shortchange myself and I excuse things I should not put up with'.

This may seem cheesy, but how about developing a friendship with yourself? Do you really like yourself and watch out for yourself, as you would for a good friend? The kinder your attitude towards yourself becomes and the more you value yourself and believe you are worthy of good things, the less likely you are to slip and fall into the habit of wondering if you are being perceived as the controlling one (and thus doormatting yourself).

Passive aggressive behavior takes two people to perpetuate itself as a long pattern. Whatever your partners did, the question you may want to ask yourself (kindly) is what your part was in keeping the behaviors going.
posted by griselda at 11:17 AM on March 1, 2011 [3 favorites]


Generally, people who are happy, positive doers who take action about their lives will, you know, take action. They'll make a move if they are interested in you. This is not to say that you should be passive and wait for people to make a move; however, this might be an important filter between negative passive people and active doers. Considering your bad track record in filtering out passive-aggressiveness, you might want to take a step back in your romantic relationships, and wait for the other person to initiate.

This. I want to know how to make this work for myself. But as an active doer myself, it's hard to separate the shy active doers from the shy passive negative people of my past, especially at the beginning.
posted by aabbbiee at 11:18 AM on March 1, 2011


Also, please read that comment in the tone that your best friend would have with you! The Internet has a way of making well-intentioned text seem harsh!!!
posted by 200burritos at 11:22 AM on March 1, 2011


I take it from this that you are an outgoing (perhaps dominant?) optimist?

I can't speak to the passive-aggression so much, but in my experience, you pretty much don't see two optimists and two pessimists coupled in relationships. Beats me why it works that way, but it really does. It seems like everyone wants a partner who compensates for them on that topic. I'm not sure if this is exactly fixable unless you really make sure before you start dating them that they are also a sunny happy optimist. And dating shy, introverted people probably only makes it more likely that you won't find someone bouncing with do and optimism.

I think you should try dating the opposite of what you've preferred in people before. If you find someone appealing, actively do NOT date them and choose someone you don't have interest in for awhile and see if they come out differently.

*shrug* It's an idea.
posted by jenfullmoon at 11:24 AM on March 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


I was going to pick up on signs of passive-aggression in your own discourse, but brainmouse got there first. Something you might want to look at is: what other responses do you want from your partner that isn't passive aggression (e.g. assertion or even, at times, direct aggression)? Have there been occasions when you might have had those responses but not picked up on them, or even reacted negatively to them?

As for how to work with waiting for the other person to initiate - at the very start of the relationship try waiting for them to ask you out instead of vice versa. Obviously this strategy doesn't work if everybody does it, but given the problem you're trying to address it would likely make a big difference.
posted by tel3path at 11:25 AM on March 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


I define the passive-aggressive tendencies pretty well with this

No you don't. You provide a metaphor. I think very metaphorically and I think I get what you mean but I would essentially have to guess. What is it you wanted that you did not get from these relationships?
posted by freya_lamb at 11:27 AM on March 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


I agree with Yarly. Reacting in a passive aggressive way is very common when people feel like they are being controlled. Once this dynamic starts, it's really difficult to curb. I suggest trying to give your partner some latitude in the relationship from the start. Let the other person take the lead at times. Don't plan all the dates. Let the other person take some initiative.

Also, pay attention to what happens in your first couple of arguments with the person. Do your arguing styles match up? Does the other person get quiet? Are you emotional and the other person more cool?

I was in a relationship with someone who was extremely passive aggressive. Now, that I look back, I can see where I fed into it. I am glad that relationship ended, but I can see where I made mistakes too. In arguments, I didn't give the person space to think and became very emotional. Now, I try to give people more space to explore their feelings during an argument.

I also think some of the negativity you describe might come from the other person feeling stifled. It's difficult to feel positive when the other person is making all the plans, which he/she might or might not like. Of course, this doesn't let the other person off the hook. He or she has to take some initiative and be assertive too.

It sounds like you want someone who takes initiative. I think that instead of focusing on passive aggression and a negative world view, you might want to concentrate on whether your partner takes initiative and plans dates and actively seeks out your company. You might find yourself more compatible with this type of person.
posted by parakeetdog at 11:28 AM on March 1, 2011 [3 favorites]


Aside from the great advice you're getting here, I wanted to write and say that it sounds like you ARE learning and getting better with each new attempt. At the risk of being utterly cliche, I will share this oft-quoted poem, which seems to apply here:


AUTOBIOGRAPHY IN FIVE CHAPTERS
Portia Nelson


1) I walk down the street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk
I fall in.
I am lost...
I am hopeless.
It isn't my fault.
It takes forever to find a way out.

2) I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I pretend I don't see it.
I fall in again.
I can't believe I'm in the same place.
But it isn't my fault.
It still takes a long time to get out.

3) I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I see it is there.
I still fall in...it's a habit
My eyes are open; I know where I am;
It is my fault.
I get out immediately.

4) I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I walk around it.

5) I walk down another street.
posted by hermitosis at 11:40 AM on March 1, 2011 [58 favorites]


That's why dating exists, I think -- it's a period of discovery, gives a person enough time to figure out who their lover really is.

I think this is really apt, and a key to what's going on here.

It seems from your description of events that you go from 0 to soulmates too fast. Example - you met Mike in the fall of last year, which is 6 months ago or less. You say that you had a great "honeymoon period", but that the relationship went bad after the holidays (so, two months ago). If I was with someone for a couple of super amazing months, but then 3-4 months into the relationship irreconcilable differences started to appear, I wouldn't stick around for another two months to see what happened. You're not married. You barely know this person. You don't owe them anything.

If the "honeymoon period" lasts less time than some people's actual honeymoons, that's usually a sign that you're not a great fit for each other. Not that there's something wrong with all of your partners, forever, as people. The right thing to do there is to move on when you notice this dynamic, rather than stick around and rub salt in the wound until your partner is a miserable passive-aggressive wreck who "ruins" the relationship.

Maybe you should spend more time just getting to know each other, rather than immediately jumping into "serial monogamy". There's nothing wrong with seeing someone for a few months and deciding you don't really work well enough to get serious. There's nothing wrong with enjoying the good stuff you have while you have it, and not sweating it if things don't progress towards True Love 4 Evah & Evah.
posted by Sara C. at 11:41 AM on March 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


But as an active doer myself, it's hard to separate the shy active doers from the shy passive negative people of my past, especially at the beginning.

Well try breaking it down into actual traits and behaviors are you looking for and/or trying to avoid? A shy introvert is general someone who doesn't like a lot of social interaction (especially with people they aren't particularly close to). Other than that it's just the normal traits that everyone has. Do you want someone who doesn't talk about negative things? Someone who is very ambitious in their career? Someone who will take the lead and make decisions about minor things like where to go out to eat? Someone who is blunt? These are all things that you can tell about someone without having to spend months getting to know them.
posted by burnmp3s at 12:11 PM on March 1, 2011


what other responses do you want from your partner that isn't passive aggression

This is what leaps out to me. When your partner disagrees with you, how do you react? Do you listen and try to see where they're coming from? When you're listening, are you actually busy making counter arguments in your head? Do you quell the disagreement with sarcasm or domination? Would you prefer they butt heads with you, but instead they just give up and get resentful?
posted by small_ruminant at 12:34 PM on March 1, 2011


I'm going to echo some of the first few responses and ask for clarification about exactly what those passive aggressive tendencies were. If you can give as close to accurate dialogue as you can remember, we can give you more appropriate feedback.
posted by 8dot3 at 12:41 PM on March 1, 2011


I am also a bit confused here.

I will say that there's a distinct possibility that you're overly controlling or aggressive for these particular people and that it brings out a certain amount of conflict avoidance. Are you dating in a different culture than you were born/raised in? Even, say, regional differences in the US have required major adjustments on my part when it comes to dealing with conflict (or avoidance thereof).
posted by the young rope-rider at 1:10 PM on March 1, 2011


I know that everyone is passive-aggressive at some point or another.

No, not everyone. I'm sure I *can* be in very, very rare moments, but they're very, very rare. My partner is actually never passive-aggressive. Of course, his being direct can sometimes be a problem in that he can be a little too direct and not really think through how what he's saying sounds to the person on the receiving end, but that's a different set of issues. But no, not everyone has it in them to be passive-aggressive. It's common, but certainly not universal.

If everyone you're encountering is passive-aggressive, perhaps either your definition needs to be refined a little bit or, as others have said, you're creating situations in which others are reacting in a way that you interpret to be "passive-aggressive."

Also, three relationships that didn't work out is hardly a trend that spells doom. You're already working with an individual therapist, so my advice would be to take the feedback you get here and bring that into your therapy session: What are you defining as passive-aggressive? How can you figure out early on if someone is likely to exhibit those behaviors? What can YOU do in a relationship to keep things equal between partners so that no one is sitting "in the back seat?" I know, answering a question with a question is pretty lame - but those are all things that you and your therapist are equipped to explore together that strangers on the internets just can't tell you.
posted by sonika at 2:17 PM on March 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


Thanks to all who have responded.

It's really hard to open up as much as I have in this question, and I am sorry if I come off as defensive, but I'm obviously a little raw and trying to reassess myself in the wake of a breakup of a short but intense relationship, my first following a shitty marriage.

In retrospect, I should not have included much or anything about Mike in this question, because really the thing that bugs me (that I failed to put across well at all) is the fact that one of my first major crushes after my marriage was my now-friend (unnamed in the post). I really can't believe how I ignored his passivity and negativity when I was crushing him, when it is so obvious now. Mike was actually not the point here, though he is now the reason I am questioning the way I approach things. I did not word the original question well at all.

I am not currently in therapy, but this thread made me realize that I have some stuff I need to talk out, so I've already booked an appointment for next week.

I appreciate your responses.
posted by aabbbiee at 4:39 PM on March 1, 2011


I am attracted to shy introverted people, people who seem to have lots of passions and interests when I'm getting to know them

Since you are not a shy, introverted person, I am wondering if you are having a fundamental communication defect in the beginning stages of the relationship, which you are not able to see but your partner deals with by lashing out with passive aggressiveness. For example:

You: What should we do tonight?
Partner: I was just going to stay in and read...
You: No, no what will we do. You should pick! We could go to the art show or the dance club or or or
Parter: (goes along begrudgingly, but feels bullied)

I mean, that might not be your specific situation, but the point is that you might be ignoring the way that shy, introverted people state their needs because you state yours in a different manner. Your partner can understand you but not communicate with you. You can communicate with your partner but not understand them.

This can be resolved in two ways: You can give up dating introverts, and date people with communication styles like yours, or you can try to learn to listen and respond to the more subtle communication style of introverted* people.

*Introvert might not be the best word, but I'm using it for simplicity's sake.
posted by fermezporte at 6:02 PM on March 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


OP, we are still struggling to understand what behavior you see as "negative and passive-aggressive." Giving descriptions of typical interactions, exchanges, "the time that I did this thing they didn't like and they said....".. and it seems that you don't yet see that we're not able to figure this out without additional information.

Throw out some examples? Show us what you mean. Tell some stories.
posted by canine epigram at 7:03 PM on March 1, 2011


I have the same issue with attracting people of a certain type all the time. Again and again, I would find people who had the same characteristics. I had to take a deep look at myself and see what it was about me that made me want to go after these people or attracted them to me. What helped me a lot is a site I found called Baggage Reclaim. Natalie on there explains a lot about how you have to look inside yourself to see why you keep getting the same results.
posted by Polgara at 9:03 PM on March 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


A few months into our friendship, it suddenly clicked that he was a totally negative, passive-aggressive person. My crush ended immediately on this discovery. I now look back on that with some relief that he and I didn't start dating

I think this was the moment when you broke your habit of dating passive-aggressive people. Mike wasn't like that, and you joked together about people who were. The fact that he broke up with you and acted negative in his last few days doesn't prove that he's a passive-aggressive or negative person. It doesn't seem like you really even thought he was. You may be closer to overcoming this pattern than you think. Don't let the break-up with Mike get you down.
posted by salvia at 9:05 PM on March 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


It doesn't seem like you really even thought he was

Oops, just saw your comment about this. You're the one who dated him, so you know better than I, but in your post it sounds like it happened only in that last couple weeks.
posted by salvia at 9:18 PM on March 1, 2011


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