I never accept a second chance proposal from men I once loved

Hi, thanks for reading about my situation.
I am very confused. I am a giver in relationships. When I am in a relationship, I am loyal and devoted. I have never ended any of my relationships. They were not all perfect but I was able to see the good over the bad in my partners and stuck by them, in some cases for years. All of my partners have left me (not the other way around) and of course I was heartbroken. At that point, I would have done anything to get back together. The weird part is that many of my ex's do come back to me years later and want to give our relationship another chance but I never do. At that point, I can see what was wrong with the relationship and that we would not be able to make each other happy. When I look back at my dating life (I'm in my 40s) there is not one man I dated who I regret not being with now.

This scares me. If I feel that all my ex-boyfriends have "deal breaker" qualities that keep me from giving them a second chance, then they must not have been right for me in the first place, right? Assuming that is true, how come I couldn't see it? I know I was filled with Oxytocin and had bonded to them, but would that have worn off eventually? Or would I have been able to overlook their flaws forever? If it would have worn off, then how will I be able to pick someone who is right enough for me so it will last since I am blinded to their flaws until well after they have left me? Help.

Ben's Answer:

Interesting question. Maybe you are letting yourself be mistreated and you really are "blind" to the ways that these relationships are hurtful to you until they are over... or maybe you're looking for perfection - and alternately idealizing and later devaluing every guy who comes and sweeps you off your feet.

If you put people on a pedestal, and lose your individuality in relationships, then eventually, the guy might start to feel bored, or smothered in some way, and end the relationship. Once you have some distance again, and can see the guy in a more balanced way, it might then be obvious to you that they were not what you thought they were.

Everyone has flaws. Part of having a good, lasting relationship, is accepting the person's less desirable traits, and loving them anyway, just as you would hope they would do for you. If you are looking for a guy with no flaws, you'll never find him. And if you try to change the person you're with, to make him less flawed, you'll end up getting hurt, or end up alone again.

Just be sure you're not choosing to be with guys that are abusive, demeaning, sadistic, dishonest, or otherwise hurtful to you. If you have a hard time seeing these things clearly, consider the impressions that your friends have of them. If you find that most of your friends see things that you don't, then it may be time to explore that in therapy, to help understand why your perceptions get distorted in relationships.

It's very normal to see golden halos around the new lover in our life, and see no negative qualities at all in the beginning. But if that "honeymoon" phase never ends for you until the guy leaves you, then you might be missing something.

Why are you "the giver" in all your relationships? If you find yourself being overly comfortable being the giver, but uncomfortable receiving love, kindness or nurturing in relationships, then something is out of balance - and the answer to your question might be found right there. Maybe as the "giver," you're only finding guys who are "takers" and deep down inside, you're wishing and waiting for the guy who can take care of you but you're afraid of that because it's unfamiliar and you don't believe you can really find a guy like that.

Don't look for a relationship that will make you happy. Look for a relationship in which you can be your most authentic, genuine, true self. The best relationship is one that allows you to grow and discover new things about yourself as you go, while the relationship grows with you.

Best wishes,
Ben Schwarcz, MFT
Santa Rosa Psychotherapist

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Mar 08, 2010
Thanks for answering
by: Original poster

Thank you for your insights. I appreciate your help. For the record, none of the men I dated were sadistic or abusive to me. They were all good flawed people. My biggest problem with them as partners was usually that they were not emotional or affectionate enough for me. I don't think I tried to change them because I know that is impossible. Perhaps on an unconscious level I tried to get more affection by changing myself. Perhaps that is the dealbreaker part, as I was not always my natural true self. Well this is something to watch for in the future. Thank you.

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