Steve observed the other day that I often date or become involved with people I'm not really interested in. Although it is not a pretty thing, I see truth in this observation. I have been involved with a large number of people throughout my life, but I have only been strongly drawn or attracted to a small few.
I mentioned this to Chris Araman yesterday and it turns out he does the same thing.
Chris and I talked for a while of whys.
To some degree, I think I fall into this pattern because I date people who are interested in me.
It is flattering to have someone show interest in me. It makes me feel like a better person, somehow. Warm. Loved. Cared for. Deserving of love and affection. If someone cares for me, can I not find it in myself to care for them? Can their attraction not be enough? Why should it need to come from within me?
So I let myself get tangled up in relationships where the attraction does not come from within me.
For the short term, this isn't a terrible thing. I don't think. I don't know.
For the long term, it is not stellar. It is not fair to me or to the people I am involved with.
Or is it?
Sometimes I think that perhaps attraction could develop over time. With length and depth and time, my love could grow. It might never be the passionate stuff that Harlequin Romances are centered around, but it could still be a stable, lasting affection that would benefit both I and my partner. Arranged marriages often work out well for both people, possibly because of the attitudes and beliefs they take into the relationship. With the right attitudes and beliefs, I could be in a working long term relationship with any one of many people, regardless of level of attraction, of draw and pull.
This is all nice and good, but there's more to it.
As another motivating factor, I get lonely. I think that because there are so few people I am strongly attracted to, I settle in the meanwhile. I don't want to be alone. I want to be emotionally and physically intimate with others.
This is selfish of me, I know.
Somehow I still rationalize it to myself as being okay. I don't want to give this up. I want what I can have while I can have it, even if less than optimal, while I wait for whatever else may come along.
This is a terrible attitude, eh? I hate when my significant others act as if they feel this way, that they are settling for me while they wait for something else. But here I am thinking and feeling it.
I'm sure more to this, that there are subtleties and nuances I am unable to see or to explain. I don't really understand why I do what I do, and the picture I have painted thus far is far from complete.