7 Reasons You Always Pick Partners With Big Unresolved Issues
1. You were a very ‘good girl’ or ‘good boy’ as a child.
If you were always the ‘good’ kid, it can mean that at some point you learned you had to fit into what others want to receive attention.
“I like you better when you are being a good girl.” “Bad boys stay in their rooms until they are ready to behave in an acceptable way.” “What would Mummy do without her angel”. These are all versions of teaching a child that only part of them is worthy of love and affection.
Children raised with this sort of parenting grow up into adults who hide vast parts of themselves, aspects they don’t accept or expect others to.
This of course attracts others who are as equally inauthentic, hiding their issues, possiblydepressed ( thus attracted to someone who seems ‘happy’ and ‘good’ all the time) and likely very critical. In other words, someone in need of counselling.
Always choosing partners with issues means that on a certain level you don’t believe you deserve a relationship with someone with enough energy for a healthy relationship. In other words, you have hidden low self-esteem.
Sometimes it’s a need for drama that has you picking partners with serious issues.
On a surface level, drama can make you feel interesting and exciting.
But on a deeper level, it is often because you are using the drama of dating someone with issues like a drug. This helps you to avoid facing what you don’t like about life and yourself. This is often referred to as being a ‘love addict‘.
6. You have your own issues to deal with.
Inevitably, always choosing partners with issues masks that you yourself have issues that need resolving. The partners you choose can be ways into seeing what issues these are. For example, the woman with trust issues is attracted to the man who is unreliable, the man with low self-esteem is attracted to the woman who is always critical or emotionally abusive, and the addict is attracted to the codependent who gets worth from taking care of others.
It’s also common to choose partners who are similar to the parent you have the most unresolved issues with. It’s as if a part of you longs to heal from the past and so recreates the same issues. If you had a controlling mother who always put you down, you might pick a partner who does the same. (Read our piece ‘Worried Your Partner is Like Your Parent?’ for more on this dynamic).
For example, a child who was abused as a child might end up with a partner who abuses him or her, even if a different way. So even if your partner is not physically abusing you, they might be emotionally abusing you, or doing abusive things like withholding love or using you for money.
Recognise yourself in the above?
What matters is not the hand you are dealt, but how you deal with it. This might mean seeking couples counselling if you are still with your partner and they are willing.
But if you are seemingly only able to attract partners who won’t seek therapy even though they need it, it might be time to recognise the best way to attract partners who don’t have unresolved issues is to at last resolve your own.