How do I stop attracting the wrong guys and start attracting the right ones?
October 7, 2011 9:26 AM Subscribe
I was just broken up with by a really decent, kind guy because there was no "spark." He seemed like everything I ever wanted in a partner on paper. I knew there was no spark but I was perfectly fine with that, because it seems like the only guys I ever have mutual emotional chemistry with are either rageaholics, substance abusers, or commitmentphobes. I was more than willing to trade the spark for not being yelled at, put down, or inexplicably blown off.
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (25 answers total) 24 users marked this as a favorite
Reading through the massive amount of AskMes on this particular issue, I've concluded that most people do want the spark. And maybe I would, too, if I thought it could be with someone who wasn't an unmedicated bipolar alcoholic. The problem is that I have no idea how to create the spark with someone who isn't incredibly fucked up and I suspect that I am simply not attractive to normal, nice men who have their shit together. Despite having a lot of common interests and tastes in things and a very similar child-free, non-work-centric lifestyle, and understanding each other's introversion, the guy and I just could not "feel it" for each other beyond friendship. It sucks because there seem to be so few available men in their late 30s/early 40s who are nice and share my value system.
It wasn't about the sex, either. The sex we had was really good for both of us. We found each other attractive. But there was no OMG I must have you NOW or I will DIE feeling on either side. I liked it that way, though. I was hoping it could develop over time, but he got tired of waiting.
I held myself back a lot from this guy. He never knew about any of the turmoil I had been through. I only showed him my best side and never became vulnerable with him. I thought I was doing the right thing, but I fear I played it too safe and didn't really let him in and maybe if I had been more open about some of my past issues it would have opened the door to more emotional intimacy. I feel like I blew it by being fakely confident and superficial instead of being truly myself, but I thought he would just see red flag after red flag if I told him about my past, and I really do want to do things differently from now on. I wanted a clean slate.
Throughout the relationship, I was friends with someone who constantly gave me advice -- another pattern in my life that I want to change. This person critiqued me and basically told me in so many words that I wasn't good-looking enough or charismatic enough and that was probably why the guy I was dating only wanted to see me once a week or so. This "friend" thought I was sort of a mousy butterface. They gave me all sorts of advice about how to change my appearance, and how to be more flirtatious. I ended the friendship because I felt bad about myself every time I hung out with the person.
I've totally lost any mojo I ever had after this double whammy and my history of unhealthy relationships. Looking back, I wonder if I ever had ANY chemistry with anyone, or was it all just codependency? I feel like I have several choices: resign myself to being single forever; resign myself to having relationships with damaged people; or change into a person that undamaged people like, which apparently I have no clue how to do. And I'm getting older, obviously. I'm not at the most sexually attractive age for women anymore and I'm not going to be any younger or prettier after taking a long relationship break to "work on myself" if that's what's warranted here.
I have read How to Be an Adult in Relationships and I think I am at the point where people who are not good for me are no longer as attractive to me. But how to I make myself more attractive to those who are good for me? Anyone else ever been in this position around age 40? How did you solve it?