Addict Magnet: What to Do When You Can’t Stay Away From Mr. or Ms. Wrong
Do you have a predictable tendency to attract the wrong man or woman? You may have noticed that there seems to be a pattern when it comes to your dating life. You meet a person who seems to have it all—charm, good looks, a sense of humor, maybe even money. You fall head over heels for this person. Before long you realize that it was all an illusion and that you have become entangled with Mr. or Ms. Wrong yet again.
There are many people out there who have the same problem. They know that in a room full of potential partners, they will pick out the one person who is troubled or an addict. How does this happen? What makes you a magnet for the wrong person time after time?
Reasons Behind Attraction to Addicts
When you end up in one troubled relationship after another, it’s not by accident. It’s not because of bad luck or a punishing universe. It’s because you have internal struggles that you are trying to work through. You are attracted to the type of people who make it possible for you to continually relive the same struggles.
For example, you may be attracted to people who are emotionally unavailable because your parents were not emotionally available to you. You’re in a subconscious struggle to prove you can make an unavailable person pay attention to you or acknowledge that you are worth loving. You may be attracted to people with addiction problems because the drama provided by their lifestyle makes you feel alive or needed.
Attraction to addicts is really a form of addiction known as love addiction. While your significant other chases his or her next high, you are consumed with trying to control him or her. You are riding an emotional rollercoaster, and on a subconscious level you wouldn’t have it any other way. Your relationship has become your drug of choice. It allows you to experience intense feelings and it distracts you from focusing on your own life.
Why Addicts Are Attracted to You
You may have some characteristics that make you especially attractive to troubled people, especially people who have addictive tendencies. You may be a warm and caring person who is genuinely interested in helping other people get past their personal problems. You offer a willing ear when someone you have met tells you about all the difficult situations he or she is facing. You want to help, and he or she knows it. You’re more than ready to put his or her needs before your own.
As your relationship progresses, you begin doing a dance, and the steps are very familiar to you. He or she can’t seem to make life work, and you are right there trying to fix everything. You keep picking up the pieces and suggesting solutions.
Love addicts tend to have low self-esteem. On some level, your self-worth is tied up in how much love and attention you’re able to get from other people. This desperate need for love keeps you hanging on to unhealthy relationships long after you should have let go.
Healing From Love Addiction
Codependency is a pattern of excessive emotional attachment to another person, usually an addict or alcoholic. Awareness of your patterns when it comes to being attracted to unhealthy people is the first step toward being able to make some changes. Willingness to do something about it comes next.
By attending support groups such as Al-Anon and Co-Dependents Anonymous, you can begin to learn more about codependency and how to take care of yourself if you love an addict. These support groups can also give you valuable insight even if your relationship with an addict has ended.
Asking for help from a counselor can also be very valuable. Working diligently to raise your own self-esteem and to remain aware of your patterns can put you on a new path where you are not consistently attracted to Mr. or Ms. Wrong. In learning to truly love yourself, you will gradually be more attracted to people who can give you love and support in return.