How to Attract the Man of Your Dreams/Disappearing
1) I did accidentally send this question to someone else on the board. I apologize.
Maybe easiest if I describe myself first. I turned 27 this year, have a career in finance, have a formal education, am a long distance runner, a dancer, and have worked as a model for years. I have doing fine financially, live in a wonderful area, and am considered mature for my age by my friends (many of who are older than me.) I've been praised by nearly everyone I've dated as an A+ and always talks of marriage and children are brought up by the guy first (literally never me.) I don't consider myself conceited, but I am proud of the decisions I've made and try to do the best I can every day.
I care about my health a lot, and consider myself to be a very solid and dependable person. My friendships are lifelong so far, I try to be considerate in the things I do and I would never mean to hurt somebody.
It wasn't really until the last year or so that I had considered it was time to get married in the next 5 years about. I think I have a pretty good idea of what I want in a partner. For some reason, when someone seems like they are on the right track and look to be a good person to continue to pursue, something huge and terrible will happen, and I will call it off, and months later, they appear again asking to see me again, I agree to give them another try and they disappear!
The first time this happened, we had stopped seeing each other for a few months, and he called out of nowhere after months of silence, and said he promised it would be different if I would only see him again, I was the most perfect person for him, he had to at least be able to try again, and it would be right this time. I agreed to meet him. Then silence, for weeks. Long past when he said he'd show up. This made me upset, so I called him out on it, asking why he'd even bother to reach out in the first place if just intending to leave me hanging. He said I had no right to be angry at him, took back all the promises he made, and that was the end of it. To be honest, looking back at that, there were a lot of signs he was not really a great person anyway (treated exes badly, was insecure, very controlling), and should be glad he didn't pull through.
Last year, another man who i had a more difficult relationship with (we argued more, and he was very temperamental) ended in him losing his mind so badly at a horse race that he started yelling at me and other people around him at the venue, and drove off, leaving me there. Obviously I broke up with him. Six months later, he did the same thing, and promised he had spent a lot of time working on himself, and understood where he went wrong, prayed hadn't found anyone else yet, and would like to meet to talk if I would only just see him once. I agreed to meet and talk to him. He said we would meet that weekend or the next, and he would let me know when he had a better idea of his work schedule. Again, he disappeared, and I never heard from him again.
Most recently, a man I'd only dated for maybe three months but was nearly everything I was looking for, showed up after absolutely no contact for a year. Our dating ended when he promised to help me with something really huge and important to me in my career, and then never did. I said I couldn't believe he would let me down like that, he said he didn't know what he did wrong, and was so sorry he'd upset me, then we never talked again. Just a month ago, he asked me if I was with anyone else, we talked for about a week or so, and asked if we could try again. I said yes, I'd love to see him (I always loved him, but didn't tell him that). He said this week we could meet up, and no the whole week has nearly gone by and he's been silent.
I don't understand what is happening. I have plenty of self esteem and self worth - I don't take things I don't deserve but I'm also willing to try and understand people and give a second chance if they demonstrate true effort and change. It's like these people show up who are 99% the right one for me, then a fight happens, they promise to go through it because they want me to stay with them, and they literally disappear. What is going on here?
ANSWER: Hello Jo!
No worries about sending this to others, but thanks for commenting it. Some people come here and "scatter-gun" their questions to everyone thinking that will get them the broadest answers. In fact, it gets that person completely unrelated - and thus, useless - views. The only way to make sense of them then is to have the experts "compete" on these views which is very inconsiderate of those here investing their time and expertise. Asking two experts the same question because their philosophies fit the requester's is perfectly ok.
Your question is actually different than what you've asked. You're asking me what's going on, but in fact, you want to know what's going on ... with these guys.
Here's the problem: I don't know these guys. I can't tell you specifically what they're thinking or feeling or why they're doing this. I can however tell you about you. Obviously I don't know you but I can see the symptoms and based on other things you've said in your message, I think I have a pretty good handle on what's really going on ... with you.
You've told me about yourself. You've given me a list of attributes, but I see absolutely no values here.
Imagine that you and I are on a first date. One of the questions I'd ask you is this: "What do you bring to the table?" In other words, what are your values that would make me want to date you? Are your values only that you are educated, can run far and can dance? If so, good for you - but not for me.
Jo, I teach my students to ask this question as well - and to really listen to the answers. This says more about you in relation to how you'd be with me than anything else. If you were to ask me the same question, not only would I tell you specifically how YOU would benefit from being with me, but I'd knock your damned socks off!
Do you see the difference here? You are coming from the position that you like you and therefore someone else should like you. I'd be coming from the position of what I understand you want and need and how I specifically fit those. That's a very different position indeed!
Do you even know what any of these guys want or need? (Don't answer that, I already know you don't. If you did, you'd have led with that information and they'd have reacted very differently.)
Here's an important fact of life: people; including you and me and all of these guys are primarily interested in themselves/ourselves. We don't normally look through the prism of other's values, we look at them through our own. But, therein lays your problem - and your solution.
After 3 or 4 or 6 or 12 months, people forget that they couldn't communicate their own needs and wants and remember what "features" you sold them. "Hey! She's smart and pretty!" Great, but that's not how these guys benefit at all. They've forgotten that part - until they talk to you again where you (again) "forget" to sell them on their own values - and how you benefit them and their values.
Thus, when they reconnect, they are hoping that you can see that clearly. When they talk to you again, they remember that you can't and your value (to them) goes back to almost nothing. It's not that you're worth nothing, it's that all your attributes don't directly fit their needs.
Even here in California, there are people who have this figured out. They are RARE but they are here. That is the person we are all ultimately looking for (at least, if we're smart). Consider that; you're already on the "marriage plan" with a 5-year goal. What's that based on? It's based on YOUR wants and needs - it has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with the guy or the relationship itself!
How would your plan benefit any of these (or for that matter, any other) guys? The brutal reality is that marriage is a huge negative for most men. It's not the positive things you see at all. Thus, you're going after getting your own needs/wants/goals fulfilled without at all considering what's best for the partner you want.
Being married isn't a great goal by itself because marriage rarely makes a relationship better. In fact, only 15% of people who are married consider their marriages "happy". Those are lousy odds! What do you bring to the table to change that? It's not all going to just "work out". You need to have all those skills and focus BEFORE even considering being married. Further, how do you know that being married is the right format for any particular relationship? Answer: you don't! You just assume and then expect guys to get it. They don't - and won't - as long as your focus is on your dreams and not theirs.
Dr. Dennis W. Neder
Producers: "BAM! TV" and “Love and Sex”
Publishers: "Being a Man in a Woman's World I, II & III”
---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------
QUESTION: Thanks for your answer. Your thoughts help a lot and are appreciated.
Maybe I left out details you were looking for in a question, assuming it was a long enough question in the first place. The reason I asked this question in this category, is because I do attract the wrong types, who seem like the right types, and end up the wrong types.
I get sold on their best attributes, as most people display very well in the early stages of dating, and we do grow very close. Like I said, most people I've dated for more than a few months are eager to move along much more quickly in the seriousness of the relationship than I feel ready for, and time and time again, and what i consider to be the best compliment to my partnership skills are that just about everyone I've been with has told me they trust me more than anyone else they know, feel I am the person who understands them more than their closest friends, and hopes that if I ever chose to leave them, we could still be close friends. I consider that a pretty good testament to true intimacy.
However, the reason I posted in this topic of questions is because while all these people recently seem so wonderful and the real thing for the first while, something changes.
One, unknown to me, had a really serious drinking and drug problem, and gambling problem as well, and a kid I didn't even know about, on top of a frightening temper. Really, I never would have known. I'm not sure if anyone really does, actually.
He was so smart, and healthy, and great in his career, and he and I could connect on life values so easily it seemed. Then, six months later, all this awfulness shows. His values and things he said he wanted changed dramatically. Ultimately he was nothing like the person I knew for the first six months, really.
So I don't really understand 1) why he'd reach out in the first place to see if things would work again 2) then just disappear after that.
I really don't get it. Also, I don't know who do deal with that big of a mess, and it scares me honestly.
The second one, is a similar story: and to summarize, he appeared to be very healthy, and caring and we were on the same page with life to a 't'. Then, big change in personality.
A counselor that I seeing at the time said I could have known from the beginning that he was demonstrating classic abusive and controlling behavior, and I was smart to have broken it off.
Still though, I don't understand, why reach out and say things will be better, they see all the ways to be a better person, and miss our intimacy etc. etc. and then disappear? Turns out he had a horrid reputation with his relationships already - and again I had no idea.
Most recently, the three months of bliss with someone I thought was perfect, told me the same sort of things of how i was exactly what he'd been looking for, and i should live in his house, all the same jargon I keep hearing, then pull the rug from under me, disappear, then reach out a year later.
Turns out with him, again, he's been divorced four times, has actually already dated people I know, who, along with people who have worked with him, describe him has "a horrible person" and "will ruin your life" and is possibly a "sociopath"
So it's two things I don't understand here, really. How and why is it that these people who are genuinely bad people to be with keep showing up for me, and I think they're wonderful for a while, see something is obviously wrong, end, it, and then they try to come back to make it better/try again, then disappear?
Is it actually a blessing they disappear?
How do I keep end up being involved with these types? I swear they are so wonderful at first.
I get what you are saying about selling yourself to someone based on their values - essentially telling them what they want to hear, showing them what they want to see (so long as it's honest and not just being manipulative with the intent on changing later!) And, truly, it seems like value for value, all these people and I fit so easily. But then they turn crazy. And everyone knew it but me. And I get my hopes up, when they reach out, thinking that maybe it was just a rough patch and they are really all those things they seemed to be initially (and everyone else is wrong)
So, ultimately, this is why I posted here. Why am I attracting people who value per value, and closeness and the whole package, line up so perfectly, then end up being none of those things. Am I just not listening properly?
How can I safe guard myself from this, and improve myself so I do not bring these kind of people around me?
Besides the attributes I mentioned earlier, what I have been told I bring to relationships are true intimacy, help to bring out the best in people around me, and am caring. Also, its usually appreciated I have a pretty full life, and do my own thing a lot, and am really optimistic. Fortunately/unfortunately, I really enjoy sex way more than most people, which I think has definitely left me objectified rather than valued in the past. I'm really at a loss for what i can do to bring genuinely better people around who don't just appear to be great for awhile and end up bonkers underneath that. Any insight is appreciated - thank you for your time.
Hello again Jo!
Let's be clear about your opening statement: you don't attract the wrong types. You are ATTRACTED TO the wrong types. That's a very different thing.
It's pretty clear from your response that you really didn't get what I told you. You reacted (emotionally) to the content but haven't really thought it through. This long missive added very little to your original save to repeat much of it.
You are much more given to listening to the music of someone's words than actually watching what they're doing. If anyone tells you they trust you, then turn around and dump or ignore you, what does that tell you? Here's what it tells me: they DON'T trust you - or that trust is far less important to them than it is to you. Instead, they said it (or you heard it) because that's what you wanted to hear.
My rule about these things is simple: actions, not words.
I don't give a shit what someone says. Words really are cheap. Actions on the other hand speak volumes. It's a pretty indefensible position to come to me with anything that someone says when the outcome doesn't match. Image if you will how many people say, "But he told me he loved me!" and then couldn't fathom why he dumped her for her best friend.
As to someone reaching out months after dropping you, it's pretty simple (and clear): they are trying to see if you've changed and can address their needs. Frankly, you (and everyone else) does this too! We forget immediate, short-term events and replace them with our own wants, needs, dreams, goals, desires, etc., etc. Then, when we reconnect with someone we had those things with, the forgotten events come rushing back - especially if that person (you, in this case) doesn't do anything to change that perception.
It's a mistake to believe that any of these are "bad people". There are bad people in the world, but changing someone's mind (or more correctly, waking up to a reality that wasn't seen before) doesn't make someone one of them. OF COURSE someone is going to trash their ex and claim sociopathy! Exceedingly few people will accept their own responsibility in ruining their relationship. Thus, they HAVE to blame the other person. That's a pretty lousy measure if you want accuracy.
But, as I stated in my first sentence, these guys don't exactly "show up". You actively go looking for them. You actively (albeit, unconsciously) seek out guys who match a certain profile. When you find them, rather than building on experience with them, you imbue them with all the attributes you WANT to see, and ignore the ones you don't. You come from an entirely selfish perspective here (feature-based rather than value-based) and I can be 99% sure that these guys do everything in their power to tell you so only for you to ignore them because that doesn't fit the model in your head. When they finally leave, you blame them instead of looking at your own responsibility in not being able to connect with their needs.
Trust me Jo, by the time these guys bolt, they've put in a yeoman's effort; loyally and valiantly, to express their needs and just feel like you've ignored them.
Look: I'm not trying to make you out as the bad girl here. I'm sure you're not, but you are making bad choices in a number of areas while focusing on the wrong things. When you really think about it, how is it possible that things could ever work out in your favor with all of that?
Ultimately, having a great relationship with a great guy is scary-simple. We (and in particular, you girls) over-complicate things by not focusing on what your guy needs/wants, not learning to listen to him in HIS language (not yours) and by not developing the skills you need to make all this happen. Obviously, these are much larger elements by themselves, but if just these things fall into place, your needs will be met with abundance. Then, you'll be happy, right?
Dr. Dennis W. Neder
Producers: "BAM! TV" and “Love and Sex”
Publishers: "Being a Man in a Woman's World I, II & III”