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Do You Attract The Wrong People Or Retain Them?

Berger's post-it note
Where my Sex and The City fans at?

I made a (since deleted) post about it a few days back - how this guy was consistently running hot (even after we slept together), gained my trust, constant compliments and gushing about me...then completely went cold/shut down after a romantic day trip in the mountains (a milestone of sorts). Completely stopped contacting me, stopped replying to my social media, just...cold. We mutually didn't speak for about 4 days (longest we'd gone previously without speaking was maybe 10 hours). We had tentative plans for Monday (yesterday) that I wasn't sure to follow up about.

Everyone here told me to just get over the awkwardness and contact him about Monday. I did. He replied quickly, saying he'd come over to my place in the afternoon. The vibe was still completely off, and I actually mentioned to a friend of mine, "He may only be coming over to formally end things with me." Turns out, I was right.

I was honestly pretty floored that this guy, who lives an hour away from me, actually drove out here to end things with me in person; I thought he’d just ghost or send a text at most. I appreciate that he came to speak to me in person. But admittedly, part of me was hoping that the sudden coldness was just a fluke. That small hope was crushed quickly.

He basically told me over the last few days, he was losing his mind thinking about us. He mainly said that he didn’t feel a "spark" and that something was “missing” from the relationship. He then proceeded to tell me he couldn’t understand why, as I was “so out of his league” and “beautiful” and “smart” and he even joked that something must be wrong with him, maybe he’s gay. He even said he’d probably end up regretting this. Maybe it’s the timing, maybe it’s just his current headspace. But overall he said he didn’t think we should keep seeing each other. He asked if he could hug me, I said sure, and he left. I (somehow) handled the whole thing very tactfully and gently. I waited until after he left before crying. I couldn’t help it. I really felt like I had the rug pulled out from under me. I believed in this dude. He gave me every sign to...It's all just very confusing to me.

How do I stop attracting these types of men? I can’t do this anymore.

Sometimes we meet people that we know - immediately - are good people. We share common interests, there's an attraction, we enjoy their company.


That but is the key here. To me, it sounds like this man genuinely enjoyed spending time with this woman. That he drove an hour and a half to break things off instead of simply ghosting or sending a text speaks to his opinion of her and how he felt she deserved to be a treated a certain way.


The spark, that click, that -zsa zsa zsu - many of us need to take things to the next level just wasn't there. He wanted it to be, but it never materialized. The day-long trip they took cemented for him that whatever they had wasn't enough to continue pursuing the relationship.

The woman who wrote the post is wondering why she keeps attracting these types of men - ones that make the effort and appear interested only to bail - so regularly. What she doesn't understand is that:

  1. These kinds of people don't seek out a specific type of person. This is just who they are, and they are this way with whomever they meet.

  2. This is dating. Every connection we make is not guaranteed to go the distance. It works until it doesn't and then we start over. Or, it doesn't work until it does.

Sometimes, when we meet someone we know we should be into, we try to force it. We dial things up to eleven hoping that that zing we're looking for will suddenly kick in. Because I've done this, my personal opinion is that these types of people are struggling internally with intimacy issues or wounds from the past. They want so badly to be in a healthy relationship but haven't fully addressed whatever it is going on inside of them that makes them avoidant or ambivalent. It's not that they're bad people or malicious in anyway, they're just stuck in a pattern they are struggling to break.

However, that's for them to figure out. If they know they have a tendency to run hot and cold, they really have no business inflicting their maladaptive behavior on other people.

All that said, someone in the comments made a very astute observation.

You don't attract a type of person. You retain them.

This, my friends, is the truth. If you have a habit of getting into situationships and other entanglements, it's not because you give off some kind of signal to abusers, avoidants or time wasters. Rather, when you encounter them, you latch on in the hopes this time it will be different. It's not you. It's not them. It's both of you.

Trying to psycho-analyze them is wasted energy. We do that because it's easier (and less intimidating) than turning that introspection within to assess our own behavior. While they're trying to figure out why they can never seem to see any relationship through, you need to figure out why you don't walk away from situations that don't serve you.

That's the game changer. That one action will turn everything around for you. It might not happen overnight, but it will certainly speed up the process and make you more available to the right people.

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