I have a girlfriend who is dating a train wreck of a man right now and every time we talk, we spend a good chunk of time analyzing one of their recent fights. The truth is that he is the cause of all of their fights. It is always him who drops the ball, disappoints her in some way, or just has a terrible mood swing that ruins the day. When I talk to my friend, she will fixate on proving that the fight is his fault. But, I tried to point out to her that, in the larger picture, the fact that this toxicity is in her life is, well, her fault. Yes, this guy is problematic. But she chose him. So what does that say? I don’t say this in such blunt language to her, of course. And, I don’t push the issue too much, because I know something else is at play. It’s not like there aren’t good, emotionally stable, solid guys out there. There are plenty of them. She is with a train wreck because she wants to be with the train wreck. If you keep winding up with train wreck men, it’s time to face the fact that you want that. The question is why?
Real chemistry requires patience
Unfortunately, one must achieve a certain level of maturity to be patient enough to find chemistry with a stable person. When you get two stable people together, it isn’t going to necessarily be fireworks and explosive chemistry right out the gates. Both people are pretty calm. It takes more time to unearth that chemistry. If you haven’t reached that level of maturity, you won’t be patient enough to discover the chemistry that can be there with a stable and healthy individual.
Drama feels like chemistry
If you haven’t learned patience yet and are all about that instant gratification, you require something that feels exciting immediately. So you are drawn to drama. Drama can feel like chemistry. It isn’t, but because you’re so busy fighting with this person, you don’t even realize there really wouldn’t be anything exciting about this relationship if you were not fighting. You get false excitement from the drama.
Stable men will see your flaws
If you are deeply flawed, and have not yet done the personal work required to work on some of your more serious issues, you will be afraid of stable men. And emotionally healthy men will clearly see that you are, perhaps, not quite yet emotionally well. So that frightens you.
Train wrecks won’t judge you
At least unstable men won’t judge you for having issues. They won’t even notice those issues because they will be too caught up with their own issues to pay attention to you. Compared to them, you feel like you’re on solid ground.
You are nurturing
You might just be a very nurturing and generous person. It makes you happy to give to others and unstable men need you to give them a lot. It is in your nature to be helpful when someone is in need. So your radar goes off when you find this man whose life is in shambles and who, emotionally, is quite broken.
Don’t you want another giver?
Ideally, you’d wind up with another person who is also a nurturer and it is a mutually beneficial relationship where both people give. Being generous doesn’t have to mean winding up with a taker. You only have so much to give, after all, and a taker will drain you of it. But a giver will somehow give you the energy to give even more.
You feel bad leaving him
The train wreck may even accuse you of being impatient, mean, or simply not very empathetic if you try to leave him. You are not those things. But being accused of them hurts you on a deep level. If you are generally empathetic and generous, and someone tells you you’re not, you will do anything to prove him wrong. Including staying with an unstable and manipulative man.
You need a project
Perhaps you have some dreams or goals that you’re procrastinating. Maybe there’s something you want in your career that you’re afraid to go after or some major change you’d like to make and are afraid to make, like moving across the country.
This is a distraction
There is nothing like getting into an unstable relationship for distracting you from your goals. On a subconscious level, you tell yourself you cannot work on those goals because you are busy working on this relationship.
It’s a rather complex thing, but you may pursue unstable men because you are insecure. You have to fight so hard just to get those rare moments of stability when your partner is calm and present enough to adore you, but perhaps you prefer that.
Adoration should come easy
If you don’t think you are worthy of being adored, then you are only comfortable in relationships where getting that affection feels really difficult. Once you work on your self-esteem issues, you won’t want to bother with a relationship where it feels very hard to get the adoration and affection you deserve.
You don’t want to move forward
If you are too busy just working on the relationship, trying to get it stable enough where you can enjoy one day without a fight, then you certainly cannot move the relationship forward. You won’t be moving in together or getting married. You can always say, “Well as soon as we fix this issue we will move forward.” But there is always an issue to fix because you’re with an unstable man.
Healthy relationships come with expectations
If you date someone stable, eventually it will only seem natural for things to progress. It will only seem natural to get married, for example. So, if you are afraid of making this commitment in your life, you might choose a bad relationship that remains stuck in the fixing phase.
You don’t want to be alone
That’s a common fear. Nobody wants to be alone. But if you’ll do anything to not be alone, then you’ll likely attract and accept poor quality relationships like those with unstable men. Unstable men prey on women with codependency issues.
Caregiving is not a relationship
You have to remember that if this entire relationship consists of you taking care of this man, tending to his mood swings, and trying to make him a better person, you are still very much alone. A true relationship makes you feel like you have an equal who also takes care of you.