7 Reasons We Often Prefer The Relationships That Aren’t Right For Us

Everybody knows what it’s like to be addicted to the idea of a person who is so objectively not worth your time. It seems strange that we’d want anything but a relationship that makes us feel comfortable, happy and fulfilled, until you realize that a prime motivator for finding love is filling a void, boosting an ego, feeling “saved.” The “right” relationship does not do any of those things. The “right” relationship inspires you to fix them yourself (which is why we avoid it). This, and all all the reasons why despite claiming we don’t, we often prefer the relationships that aren’t “right” for us:

1. We don’t know what’s in our best interest. Like babies who scream when scissors are taken out of their hands by well-meaning adults, we don’t know what’s best for us, least of all what would make us happy. To us, happiness is not a new experience, it’s just what we’ve known, familiar discomfort feels the same as comfort.

2. We’re still filling the voids of our parents. We’re seeking in our partners the traits that would have saved our parents, and assuming that they’ll also save us.

3. The real love of your life will not fix whatever makes you uncomfortable about your life, they will just stand beside you while you do it yourself. Which is precisely what makes the “right” partner seem so unappealing. That is, until we go through enough relationships to realize that the high that an idea gives us isn’t love, it’s something more appealing (but far more destructive).

4. A lot of the ways love is portrayed in media is not healthy or real. Need I go through the endless phalanx of films and books and series that just portray love as a “high?” We’re taught that love is comprised of grandiose gestures and loving glares and soul-sweeping emotions, but in reality, it’s about pouring a second cup of coffee in the morning, listening to them vent at the end of the day, attending family functions neither of you want to be at, and choosing love even when it’s the less glamorous option.

5. We seek out the bad parts of ourselves in others so we can more clearly see them. We’re both drawn to and absolutely infuriated by the parts of ourselves that are both affecting our lives and of which we cannot yet see. It’s a strange and beautiful self-awareness tactic that’s completely subconscious, yet wildly effective.

6. If we can’t make ourselves happy, the next best thing is to feed off of other people’s happiness for us. Because of this, we’ll just choose a partner in an effort to create an appeasing image. This is common and tricky because we confuse the happiness we feel from validation for the happiness we should feel for connection, being understood, being cared for.

7. We were looking for our soulmates, and we got lessons instead, and we thought one was more important than the other. We think that the point of relationship is to commit, but really, the point is to grow. A two month long relationship that completely changes your perspective on life is more important than a lifelong relationship that doesn’t. The most beautiful and ironic thing of all is that by seeking out the “right relationships” we almost always throw ourselves into the wrong ones that we need a whole lot more. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

Want more articles like this? Check out Brianna Wiest’s book The Truth About Everything here.


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