Can We Change Who We’re Attracted to?

22 06 2012

Are we all doomed to follow or fall into the same relationship patterns? And should I say “doomed” if it’s just bound to happen anyway? It’s not a very positive word to describe relationships—but maybe it’s accurate.

For example, I have been in several relationships where I have been the one telling the other what to do. Not that I necessarily want to tell the other person what to do, but because that person WANTS me to. The interactions do not function as well unless I am the one being assertive and/or making decisions.

I don’t know if I like this. Or if I’m just good at it. And just because I’m good at it doesn’t mean it’s how I want to live the rest of my life.

Is there any way to help build up a passive person’s assertiveness? This seems like an attempt to change someone, which will always fail.

Perhaps many people are just insecure when meeting/starting new relationships (friendships/more than friendships/friends with benefits,whatever types). Maybe most people are just really insecure.

Or the people I’m meeting anyway.

Or it’s just an act.

It’s hard to tell authenticity anymore.

My problem is that theoretically I want to be around people who can make their own decisions, who have opinions, who have passions of their own. I want someone to exert effort—not just for them but for me too. This is what I want. But this does not seem to be who I attract or am attracted to.

Is it just me falling into old patterns? Is it something that I can’t change? I tried dating against-type a few times and I never like them. For one thing, I don’t like people telling me what to do. So, it difficult to be around people who do that, not that they all tried that, just nothing ever clicked.

Maybe what I want is the impossible—basically—balance. A give and take, not a give give give or a take take take, whatever. Equality. Shared enthusiasms, decisions, discussions.

Perhaps in time, with lots of practice and failed attempts I can change this whole attraction / pattern issue. But for now, bring on the cheap passive insecure guys with attitude problems, yay!



One response

22 06 2012

I was spitballing ideas around with a close friend of mine and was trying to help him answer his question of how to deal with an uncomfortable roommate situation. He was saying something similar (along a sort of parallel) to you here, when you suggest, you shouldn’t have to be told what to do, nor tell anyone else what to do. Essentially hoping for a sort of equilibrium where people move about in harmony.

I suggested to him that literally everything in life, all interactions of any sort, are a power struggle, on level or another. Social power, physical power, cultural power, assignment of debt, privilege, blame… always something.

After several hours of trying on ideas to see if they fit, he decided to opt for (not specifically, but in a vague way) this direction where he’d just be wildly aware of the power struggle in play, but for his part, offer up a sort of wall. He’d come his half-way in the dance towards harmony, and then leave it up to the other person to decide if they want to ‘play nice’.

He’d make his own decision on a thing, trying to get as far as he could from the power issues, and focus on his needs and wants. And then he’d put up the wall if power issues came into play. Not with malice, but with a firm smile and a nod ‘no’,

Or applied to your situation – choose what you like for yourself, and (semi-politely) refuse to opt for anything for anyone. Throw the question back on them, then leave them behind if they stall, waiting for direction, waiting to be told what to do.

In that way, you’ve done your part toward the balance you seek – and when you find someone who does theirs, it’ll be a natural sort of coupling of personalities, instead of an anomaly.

Thanks for the read, I liked the post. Your writing is firm and direct as you describe what you want – it’s my experience that people like you who clearly establish what they want tend to find it, even if time intervenes to delay the ordeal.


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