To continue where we left off in part 1, we were exploring the psychological concepts behind why sometimes we get attracted to unavailable partner.
- Self-esteem issues
The manner in which we understand our own worth is usually by comparing ourselves to others within our community and also in the manner in which others relate to us. If the individual has learnt that one is lesser than others, then the relationship that this individual has created with others is that he or she is always lesser than everyone else. The excitement of trying to be accepted by others who are perceived as ‘better’ might move into one’s romantic relationships. By this I mean that if a potential partner might come along and is thought to be ‘too easy to get’. This in turn, might ward off interest in this potential partner as it might not be perceived as exciting enough.
The individual who has a low sense of self worth might seek potential partners who would either reject them or who would play increasingly hard to get. In this case the individual would have a higher chance of getting rejected by the potential partner. The chase is what is enticing, it’s almost as if the individual becomes infatuated with the individual and wants to be accepted by ‘the others’ who are thought to be ‘better’ than oneself. This perceived acceptance is what creates the rush to engage with these individuals in the first place.
- Attachment styles
Attachment styles are the ways in which we learn to relate to others from a young age with our primary caregivers, which tend to set the tone for the future relationships throughout our lives.
This links well with the previous concept of self-esteem, in which if an individual experiences their primary caregivers as chaotic, inconsistent, or anxiety provoking. This can translate to the way in which they think of other relationships, including romantic ones. When we form our attachment patterns with caregivers we are also learning how to think about relationships, these are called life scripts.
Life scripts may look like any of these phrases ‘Relationships are safe’, ‘Relationships will cause me pain’, ‘ no one will understand me’, ‘I am too complicated’, ‘I would rather stay by myself because I will get rejected in the end’, ‘Relationships are difficult and tedious’. These life scripts will constantly be tested by an individual as that is what they think about relationships. For example if someone who thinks that ‘I am too complicated’ will reinforce that understanding by consciously or perhaps even unconsciously steer the partner to think that the individual is in fact ‘too complicated’.
Hence, it is very important to be mindful of the way we relate to others in order to understand what within us is making us get pulled towards certain kinds of individuals and not others. What we create with our relationships is always co-created between the two individuals therefore the messages which are being sent to each other both verbally and non-verbally is of utmost importance in understanding the factors which are causing any signs of stress on the relationship.