We look for people to love that recreate the feelings of love we knew from childhood. But the love we absorbed in childhood was intermingled with painful aspects: a feeling of not measuring up; a love for a fragile parent.
This predisposes us to pick partners with whom we feel familiar with and who are not necessarily kind to us. Instead of aiming for changing our partners or finding someone else, it may be wiser to adjust how we respond and behave around occasionally difficult people.
MORE IDEAS FROM Why We’re Compelled to Love Difficult People
Our problems stem from responding to difficult people in a way that we learned to do as children. We may react as squashed; we may sulk or feel it is our fault; we may build up resentment.
We probably cannot change who we are attracted to. The answer is also not the end the relationship, but rather to learn to respond in a more mature and constructive manner around our partner's less mature sides.
Straightforward people are easy to be around with because we know exactly what the issues are from the start. There is no need to guess or infer or translate.
If they don't want to do something, they will politely tell you it's not for them. If they are unhappy with your behavior, they will gently tell you how they view the situation.
Love is often seen as the exciting feeling we get in the presence of someone with great intelligence of beauty that we hope will reciprocate our interest and whom we badly want to touch and one day share our lives with.
But there is another definition of love that is not so much focused on the appreciation of strength as on the tolerance of, and kindness towards, the weak and misshapen.
Parents, for many of us, are a complicated relationship. They can be a source of joy and can also feel like an emotionally draining ordeal.
Confronting them and making them understand how they hurt us is an ambitious option, which is rarely successful. While we may assume we can make them understand, we are surprised to hear them blame us for being immature, ungrateful and naive.
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