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a pushover person of a young couple sitting apart after having an argument

It pains me to see those relationships that consist of one person who is domineering, and another who is a total pushover. My initial reaction is to pity the pushover but, I have to remember that, we’re all adults who make our own decisions. Nobody is forcing the pushover to be with a bossy partner. My other initial reaction is to demonize that person who is being domineering, but perhaps I should also remember to have some empathy for them—certainly events and pain in their lives caused them to be this way. Regardless of who is what way and why, there is no such thing as a healthy relationship in which a pushover exists. Being a pushover means not speaking up for your needs and desires, and being with a pushover means that you want someone who doesn’t stand up for himself. That’s a lose-lose. If you do date pushovers, this could be why.

a working mom american businesswoman and caucasian businessman talking in a bar. Focus on woman wearing jacket. Back view of man in suit.

You don’t feel seen elsewhere

You are low on the rankings elsewhere in your life, like in your family or work. Perhaps you have the tricky spot of middle child in your family, and are often looked over. Perhaps you’re regularly passed up for promotions at work. You feel that you have no control elsewhere and so, you look for control in your relationship.

a pushover person businesswoman giving presentation in board room. Female entrepreneur is standing by whiteboard. She is explaining strategy to colleagues during meeting.

You aren’t asserting yourself elsewhere

The reality is that, you’re a grownup now—it’s up to you to make others see you. Whether it’s your boss or your parents, you have the power to sit people down and assert your needs. So perhaps part of the reason you’re with a pushover isn’t only that other people don’t see you but, also, that you do not do what it takes to make them see you.

a pushover person African-American mid adult woman in her 30s standing outdoors, looking at the camera with a serious expression on her face.

You have low self-esteem

Not to say that your pushover isn’t a catch, or that he was easy, but you probably can’t say he was difficult to land. He’s a pushover, after all. And when you don’t have high self-esteem, you avoid anyone who appears to be any sort of a challenge at all costs. The fear of rejection is so strong that you’d rather just be with a pushover, who agrees to date you and adore you immediately.

a pushover person of african man with hand covering face and thinking. Male in checkered shirt looking worried on black background.

They have low self-esteem

Not all responsibility lands on the bossy person here: both parties are in control of their destinies. Pushovers are attracted to you because they have low self-esteem. So, they date people whom it is very difficult to please (that’d be you) in some odd attempt to prove their own worth.

a pushover person bullied hip female millennial looks up worried after reading text message while walking outdoors.

You are impatient

If you never had to develop any patience—perhaps your parents spoiled you—then you’re going to wind up with either A) Pushovers who let you be spoiled or B) Other domineering personalities but, you’ll have explosive, turbulent relationships with them. So, you land on pushovers to avoid all the fights.

a pushover person American woman laying in bed shielding eyes embarrassed

You’re afraid of being alone

A pushover will always be by your side when you ask, which is convenient for someone who is terrified of being alone. Often, beneath the hard, seemingly confident surface of a bossy individual is someone who is terrified of being abandoned.

a pushover person me alone

You struggle to be vulnerable

If you have a hard time being vulnerable, a pushover won’t force you to be—in fact, he won’t force you to do anything. He won’t challenge you. He won’t ask you to self-reflect. He’ll never ask you to leave your comfort zone.

a pushover person and woman with surprised expression

You’ve been cheated on

It is possible that, if you’ve been cheated on, and that infidelity hurt you deeply, you’ll find comfort in pushovers. You’re so afraid of being hurt again that the only way you feel safe is with a puppy dog who does whatever you say.

a pushover person relationship

You’ve been emotionally abused

Perhaps you haven’t been cheated on but, you had a partner who was emotionally abusive. He chipped away at your self-esteem, and made you feel terrible about yourself. Now, you can only be with someone who does nothing but baby you.

unhappy marriage signs shot of a young woman giving her boyfriend the silent treatment after a fight

You used to be a pushover

Perhaps you used to be a pushover, doing everything to please others. Now, you’re over-correcting by being the bossy one. But that’s not right—a healthy relationship consists of two people with equal power and respect for one another.

a pushover person ignoring yelling mother

Your parents were dictatorial

If you grew up in a house with dictatorial and domineering parents, you might be drawn to pushovers. Your romantic partner is like your new family and you want your new family to be nothing like your original one. You never want to be told what to do again.

a pushover person senior woman frowns as she and her husband sit next to each other in their living room and argue. Her husband leans forward and looks down with a sad expression.

Your dad was a pushover

Maybe your parents were not both bossy: maybe just your mother was. You may have grown up in a household where your mother was quite mean to your father, so you subconsciously believed that that’s what a marriage is.

a pushover person Nigerian woman takes a selfie with his smart phone as she explores downtown Seattle.

You need a lot of attention

This is a subset of the low self-esteem issue. You feel anxious and unsettled if you don’t have constant male attention. Not only does a pushover give you that, but he also doesn’t say anything when you blatantly seek it from other men.

after a divorce Of Crying Young Woman

You’re going through something tough

If you’re going through something difficult, like the loss of a beloved family member or being fired from a job, you might turn to a pushover. You just want someone who will provide endless comfort and support, and fast.

marriage and divorce rates thinking

You don’t like facing the truth

If you’re someone who has a hard time facing the truth about your own… mistakes…weaknesses…flaws…downfalls…you will likely end up with a pushover. They’ll only ever flatter you.

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