So why do women (and men) fall madly in love with people who treat them badly?
It’s not the excitement factor. People always talk about the allure of “bad boys,” but I don’t think that’s it. It’s not physical attraction. I don’t care how hot someone is, that’s not enough to make you overlook horrible behavior forever. It isn’t chemistry. It isn’t stupidity. It isn’t some romanticized “Beauty and the Beast” or “opposites attract” scenario.
We haven’t learned to love ourselves.
If we don’t have compassion for ourselves, don’t respect ourselves and haven’t made friends with ourselves, we aren’t ready to expect that from anyone else. Want to have a great relationship? Work on your relationship with you first. Take a look inside and get that sorted out. We’re all broken—that’s a given. That isn’t the problem at all! And giving love…giving is easy. It’s easy to love. I think one reason we fall for “douchebags” is because they don’t really care if you let them in—they are happy just taking.
The hard part? Looking honestly at ourselves. Making friends with ourselves enough to look someone in the eye and trust them enough to let them love us back. It’s harder to believe that we deserve to be deeply loved and really let someone in. It starts with maitri:
“The only reason we don’t open our hearts and minds to other people is that they trigger confusion in us that we don’t feel brave enough or sane enough to deal with. To the degree that we look clearly and compassionately at ourselves, we feel confident and fearless about looking into someone else’s eyes. ”
~ Pema Chodron
Bonus: Last month, I fell madly in love…