Why You’re Attracted To Men In Transition

May 13, 2019  |  
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in a transition period

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Do you always find yourself in relationships with men who are going through something? Perhaps they’re fresh out of a divorce (or still very much in the middle of the divorce proceedings). That is a hot mess of a situation that, typically, you probably shouldn’t touch. Perhaps he’s an alcoholic who is finally seeking treatment. Maybe he’s someone in the middle of an identity crisis who just left a job that he thought would be his life and instead realized made him miserable. Or, he could be someone in therapy for some untreated trauma from his past. If these situations sound rather familiar, then you likely date a lot of men who are in transition. When you meet them, they aren’t standing on solid ground. A lot of the fundamentals of their circumstances and even personalities are changing. It’s no coincidence if you keep winding up with such partners. Here are reasons you’re attracted to men in transition.


in a transition period

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Codependence feels like love

A man in transition will be very needy of you. He’ll want to see you a lot. He’ll need to call you a lot. He’ll give you a lot of attention and affection quickly because he feels pretty lonely and scared, so he’s just grateful that you’re there. This feels like love—almost.

in a transition period

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But it isn’t

Having someone be extremely reliant on you and demanding of your time is not love. That is codependency and that is very unhealthy. Though it may hurt to hear this, a codependent partner does not love you—not for whom you uniquely are, at least. You could be anyone. He could replace you with anyone in an instant. He just needs someone to be there. Don’t you deserve to be with someone who sees you as irreplaceable?

in a transition period

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You’re afraid of moving forward

If this man is in no position to do things like…move in with a partner or…get engaged, then that means you won’t get to/have to do those things for a while. And maybe that’s exactly what you want. While the realities surrounding commitment phobia are complex, your attraction to men in transition could just be feeding into your fear of a serious relationship. A man who is currently in a sober living house or going through a divorce certainly won’t ask you to get married any time soon.

in a transition period

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But eventually, you’ll want to

The thing is that eventually, you will want to move forward. You wanted a relationship that would go slowly but even this will become too slow for you. You will reach a point—several years in perhaps—when this isn’t working for you anymore.

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You’re avoiding your goals

Taking care of someone else who is deeply in transition will certainly let you avoid your own life, right? Maybe you know you need to get to work on that business idea or you know that you need to seek therapy for some trauma of your own. But you keep yourself busy taking care of this codependent partner, so you have an excuse not to face your own stuff.

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But this project can’t last forever

This relationship/project can’t last forever. Eventually, your partner will no longer be in transition. He will figure things out. He’ll be on stable ground. And then you’ll just leave him for a new man in transition because you need a distraction from your problems.

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You’ve been hurt by strong men

One reason you may be drawn to unstable men is that strong men have hurt you in the past. Maybe a very confident man who did have his life together rejected you. Maybe he rejected you because you did not have your life together. So you feel safe with a man in transition—how could he hurt you? He’s, well, weak right now.

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But broken men can hurt you too

In his own, unintentional way, this currently broken or downtrodden man can hurt you, too. If he is codependent, he could get angry with you if you assert any sort of independence, slowly brainwashing you into also being a nervous, needy individual.

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They’re like birds with broken wings

Men who are going through something can seem so sweet. They’re vulnerable, and vulnerability is attractive in a man. They seem so harmless. But, there’s a difference between being intentionally vulnerable with a control over that vulnerability, and just…broken.

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But they’ll silently drain you

That sweet bird with the broken wing can drain you of all you have to give. You may neglect your friendships, your career, your family, and even your health to tend to him. That doesn’t seem so harmless after all, huh?

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You feel inadequate in some way

If you feel insecure or inadequate, you may seek out men in transition because, compared to them, you feel strong and powerful. You aren’t as bad off as they are, which makes you feel better about yourself.

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But being less broken doesn’t = being whole

Just because you are less broken than somebody doesn’t mean you are whole. The fact that this man is in a slightly worse position than you are won’t distract you from your reality—your insecurities and fears—forever.

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You don’t feel worthy of a good relationship

You may feel, deep down, that you are not worthy of a loving, stable, good relationship. We seek what we are—or what we think we are.

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That belief is the only reason that’s true

Your belief that you aren’t worthy of a good relationship is the only thing keeping you from being worthy of one. It’s amazing how, when you tell yourself you deserve to feel happy and uplifted, you begin to attract people who make you feel that way.

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A relationship needs two stable people to thrive

Ultimately, a relationship cannot last for long if one or both people are less than whole—less than strong and stable. Whatever reason you’re attracted to broken or in-transition men, it isn’t good. And the truth will come up eventually.

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