Mark Manson explains why you always end up with women who eventually drive you nuts.
If all of the women you end up emotionally involved with are psychos and find a way to make your life hell, the only thing they all have in common is you. So start by looking at yourself.
We see this pattern quite often — the quiet, reserved, “Nice Guy,” continually meets and attracts the emotionally explosive, manipulative, and sometimes hyper-sexual woman. Why does this happen? And why does it seem to happen to the same men over and over?
It happens when you are uncomfortable with intimacy and expressing your emotions openly and honestly. This inability for an emotionally healthy intimacy will inadvertently narrow down your dating options only to the women who are equally screwed up in their ability to maintain a healthy intimacy. Here are a few reasons why:
(Public Service Announcement: This article is written from the perspective of a hetero male for other hetero males. But pretty much all of it is applicable for all intimate relationships, regardless of gender or sexual orientation.)
1. Her boldness counterbalances your inhibitions. Generally speaking, it’s not considered socially acceptable for women to initiate sexual interest. Men are expected to. But if you are a man who is uncomfortable initiating interest sexually, then you are limited to the few women who are bold enough to act out first. These women must be willing to go against social norms and be less concerned with the opinion of others. While there are definitely some legitimately confident women who are willing to do this, all of the crazy ones are.
2. Their emotional instability stimulates your suppressed emotions. Men who are uncomfortable with their emotions suppress them in a few different ways. They numb themselves completely and feel indifferent towards others, or they rationalize reasons to avoid engaging others emotionally. In some circumstances, men will over-compensate by completely objectifying their relationships and sex life (I refer to these men as the fake alpha males).
When men suppress their emotions and shun intimacy, the only women whose emotions are intense enough to break through are women who are emotionally unstable. These men, by suppressing themselves, unknowingly self-select women who over-express themselves. These men tend to get particularly hooked on these over-emotional women because it allows them to experience their own emotions vicariously through the drama of the woman they’re with.
3. Her addiction to drama makes you feel important. But what really gets emotionally suppressed men hooked on these women is the drama. These women are always in a state of crisis. They’re always the victim of something. And they always need to be saved from somebody or something. This makes the man feel important and needed — two things he’s rarely felt so acutely before — because he’s gone through his life suppressing intimacy and keeping his relationships as superficial as possible.
Inevitably, the emotionally unstable woman will find a way to turn on him. Any peace and equanimity he works for, she will find a way to sabotage it. Because the sick truth is that always being in a state of emotional crisis makes her feel important as well. Her fear is the same as his: that she’s unimportant. But she achieves it through an equal and opposite strategy: drama. And so the over-emotional woman and the under-emotional man (or vice-versa) enter into a toxic unconscious dance of victim and savior, oscillating between giddy euphoria and abject misery.
These women almost always end up leaving these men, as you may have found out the hard way, like I did. As time goes on, the man is willing to sacrifice more and more of his own identity to fix her emotional problems, to the point where he loses any ability to think or choose for himself whatsoever. This destroys her attraction for him, as people who have no self-worth are the epitome of unattractive. At this point, with her man 100% pliant to her whims, the only way to keep the crises flowing is by seeking out another man to complicate things.
These women are naturally drawn to love triangles especially, with themselves being the point between two men (or two women, or a man and a woman, or whatever). Love triangles provide endless fuel for their need for drama. And it also provides endless fuel for the suppressed man’s need to “rescue” or “win over” the woman.
As you can tell, although these women are responsible for their own behavior, if you are consistently bringing them into your life by your emotional suppression, then it’s your own fault.
Tomorrow, I’ll write on how to find emotionally stable, amazing women and bring them into your life naturally.
Originally appeared at MarkManson.net
Photo: Flickr/Psycho Photography ©