Why Do We Stay So Attracted To The People Who Just Aren’t Right For Us?

I overthink everything. I look into every conversation to try and find deeper meaning, even though it’s all just superficial. I believe in subconscious thought. As though every word uttered could render 10 different meanings. I know that holding onto what is no longer mine will not make it mine once again. But letting go has the potential to cause me to forget. Letting go would be to replay the weeks of distress and cruel sadness I have already endured. Letting go would end the chase and halt the daydreams that so often visit.

There are many different ways he is all wrong for me. But to label would be to define. And to define would be to limit.

Being attracted to someone who isn’t right for us is about more than the thrill of the chase. It’s about more than any kind of bond that may have been formed. It’s about more than an emptiness inside that needs to be filled. Being and staying attracted to someone who is wrong for you is defying preconceived notions and ideals of what should be. But who is creating this definition of what is “wrong?” Cosmo Magazine? Your best friend? Your mother? Yourself?

Only after that question is answered, can we begin to understand why we are still attracted to that hook-up from every Friday night of junior year in college. Or the boy who opens doors for you and buys your coffee but doesn’t appreciate your love of sports. Or the one who is waiting until marriage and tells you that you wouldn’t look good with a nose ring. Or the friend from high school with whom you share stories of unrequited love until 3am every night. Or the ex-boyfriend you still see while you’re both home for winter break and treats you like a princess but makes excuse after excuse as to why you can’t be together.

It is so easy to say that we keep trying because it’s thrilling. Because we want to change their mind about us. Like if we view their Facebook profile enough times and bring them snacks at work and invite them to watch a basketball game with us they will fall in love and realize what they were missing the whole time. But that is the stuff of Hollywood and fictional novels.

It’s easy to say we cannot let this person go because of an unprecedented bond that was formed with them. When all your firsts were shared together. When that person is included in so many memories of life events. When the number of couple pictures you still hold onto is greater than the number of days you go without thinking of them. They were written on so many pages of your life and your diary that you can’t erase them without erasing a part of your past.

Some will blame this chase on your loneliness, your emptiness and your feelings of insufficiency no matter how erroneous that might be. As if you can’t stand on your own two feet. They’ll treat you like a lost lamb. They’ll feel bad for you and say things like “You should join a gym or take a class” and “You just need to find yourself.”

Those reasons may have some substance, but maybe the real reason we chase after people who are all wrong for us and don’t reciprocate is because we already know they can’t reject us. In no way can they break up with us and break our hearts because there is no unspoken promises of commitment. If we’re already to this point then we know they aren’t going to change anytime soon. Our walls are built up yet we continue to seek the attention and the affection of one who does not want to give.

But what would our reaction be if that person suddenly turned around and said yes? It is our infatuation with the quest for reciprocated love that drives us. Will we be truly happy when it is returned to us in the magnitude that we give it out? Thought Catalog Logo Mark

Read more about losing love–and finding it–here.


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