What Is The Attraction??
by Toni Coleman
If you're a woman,
you may be saying "hmmm" as you hear these words. You know you shouldn't, but you just can't help yourself.
There is just SOMETHING about these guys that draws you in, even
as your head tells you to "beware"! So, what exactly is the attraction? It's not necessarily that they are more physically
attractive or smarter or more successful than the "nice guys". In fact, they can have fewer of these qualities, yet be harder
So what is it? Let's begin by defining these guys. This term is generally
applied to males who treat women poorly. Do these behaviors ring a bell?
calling at 8:30 on a Saturday night to ask if you want to get together
not showing up for a date- followed by no phone call or apology
never having any money when you are out
forgetting or ignoring your birthday and other important dates
flirting openly with other women when you are together
hitting on your good friend(s)
making booty calls at 1am, after he's had a night out with others
is doing time for a serious felony
Instead of asking "what is it about these guys"; let's instead examine
what it is about the women who can't resist them. The following are actual statements from women who have a history of attraction
to these guys. See if any of these sound familiar.
"It's never BORING with him. He's unpredictable and exciting."
"He's strong, aggressive and self-assured; I feel safe with him."
"It's not his fault; he's trying to get his life together."
"I haven't met anyone else that makes me feel the way he does."
"He's so charming and passionate."
"He tells me how much he likes me, so he must really feel something
"He needs me."
"He doesn't come across as needy and desperate."
"I can't believe I've attracted someone like him."
Now, on the face of these, they seem pretty benign. We all seek at
least some of these traits in the men we choose. So, where's the problem?
Essentially it's in his inability to meet the woman's fundamental needs.
She is the one doing all (or most) of the giving. The question then lies in; "what's in it for her?"
The answer can be found by exploring three basic issues:
level of self-esteem
capacity for intimacy
roles that she has been in throughout her life
If a woman feels good about herself, she chooses a mate who communicates
both verbally and non-verbally to her that she is valued and respected. She won't allow this other person to undermine her
positive self-worth. She believes in her ability to participate in a healthy, reciprocal relationship.
If she doesn't feel good about herself, she chooses someone who reinforces
her negative self-beliefs.
If a woman is capable of true intimacy, she is open to the true availability
of the other person.
She wants him to be a full and active participant in the relationship.
She can allow herself to be open, vulnerable and able to take as well as to receive all that true intimacy offers.
If intimacy is difficult, she choose someone who is distant, hard to
connect with and not emotionally and/or physically available.
If a woman has had a healthy role in her relationships since childhood,
she will choose someone with whom she can continue this healthy interaction.
If a woman has been too long in the role of rescuer, caregiver or the
one who sacrifices for the good of others, this will probably be the role she will seek out in her relationships.
Fortunately, most women fall somewhere in between on these issues.
So the task is to evaluate yourself in each area and decide on a course of action that will help you to choose a "nice guy",
who stirs your senses and meets your needs while being truly available for a real relationship.
Begin with an assessment of what you value most in life and cannot
Once you know what is most important to you and believe that you are
worthy of achieving it, you will have taken a giant step towards finding the right partner for you.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q. I seem to have a pattern of attraction to a certain kind of guy.
He's cool, reserved, hard to connect to, emotionally distant, and most of all, intense. I find this type of guy so appealing.
He's not "desperate". He keeps me guessing and I'm never bored. Yet, I always end up getting hurt and stuck in a cycle of
Am I CHOOSING these guys? If so, how do I change whom I'm attracted
to in order to get the kind of relationship I want? Can I be attracted to a nice guy? Can a nice guy be intense and challenging?
A. The answer lies somewhere inside of you.
For instance, you appear
to believe that "nice" guys are boring and desperate.
So, yes, in many ways, you are choosing these guys. Your choice has
to do with a pattern that was set in motion long ago.
The first step is to understand what need or fantasy these guys fulfill.
What do I feel when I'm with him?
What am I getting from this relationship?
Do I believe I can have a successful relationship?
What are my relationship goals?
Do I have leftover or unresolved feelings about a past relationship?
Do I believe that there really are healthy, lasting relationships out
Once you really know your beliefs about relationships, know what you
want from one and believe you can create a healthy, lasting one; you will be on your way to better choices of men in the future.
Toni Coleman is a licensed therapist and relationship coach in private practice in McLean, Virginia. She specializes
in working with singles who want to create lasting, intimate relationships. Toni has over 20 years of post-masters experience
in relationship counseling and coaching with singles and couples. She is the founder and President of LifeChange Coaching
and Consum-mate Relationship Coaching. http://www.consum-mate.com
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