How to avoid developing unhealthy attachments to romantic prospects you should avoid.
In this video coaching newsletter, I discuss an email from a female viewer who got a copy of my book, How To Be A 3% Man, from a guy friend of hers after she got out of a relationship with a toxic narcissist who took advantage of her kindness and generosity.
It’s a good email that perfectly illustrates how damaging it can be to oneself to project a romantic fantasy onto someone, while ignoring the red flags and toxic behavior that should disqualify them from consideration. My comments are in bold italics like this below in the body of her email.
I see guys doing this as well, getting involved with toxic people, recognizing when you’re developing an unhealthy attachment to somebody that doesn’t deserve it. Because we tend to project our romantic fantasy of what we want as soon as we encounter somebody that makes us feel something, that stirs our hearts, that stirs something in our souls, that causes us to be drawn to them. We make all of our decisions based on our emotions, and then we use logic and reason to justify those.
The idea is we want to learn from these kinds of emails. We want to learn what was going on, what were the red flags, what was the type of behavior that we should avoid as opposed to just getting caught up in the Disney fantasy that we see in the movies. You meet somebody and it’s just magical and perfect and you live together forever. It’s just wonderful and it’s bliss and there’s not problems. That’s nice in a movie but it doesn’t work in the real world.
So many people see that, and when you look at it, we’ve been basically propagandized from the time we’re little boys and girls, even into our adult lives. We see the same theme over and over, and it’s like we become trained to just respond based on our emotions without using any kind of logic or reason or any kind of a vetting process.
This particular woman failed to vet this guy properly, and after her having gone through the whole thing, she saw the red flags all along, but because she was so emotionally invested, she just proceeded anyway. And she got burned because of it. When we get burned in a relationship, that’s a really unpleasant pain, and it’s not the kind of thing that typically goes away overnight.
For most people, it takes many weeks, many months, sometimes years to get over a really bad experience with somebody that just rakes you over the coals. So, the key is you want to avoid it, because it takes a lot of your valuable lifetime, and that’s the one finite resource we all have. We all have a finite amount of days on this planet.
The amount of days we’ve been here is getting longer, and the amount of days we have left is getting shorter. And so, we don’t want to allow people like this to into our inner circle, especially when it comes to romance, because it can take sometimes years to get over it, and to get past it, and to learn from it. Otherwise, if you don’t get the lesson the first time around, and you’ve got that same wound or that same flaw, you’re going to continue to attract the same kind of people into your life. You want to learn as quickly as possible from it, so you won’t make the same mistake.
I am a woman, and I was introduced to your book 3% Man by a friend of mine after my husband cheated on me.
If this is the first video you’re seeing of mine, you can read “How To Be A 3% Man” for free at UnderstandingRelationships.com. Just subscribe to the email newsletter. You can also read “Mastering Yourself,” my second book, a book on self-reliance, and my third book, “Quotes, Ruminations & Contemplations.” They’re all in the members area, so you can start reading them now for free and get the help you need right away.
I highly encourage you to do that, especially if you’re thinking about booking a coaching session with me. It’ll be a much more productive for you if you book a coaching session after you’ve read “How To Be A 3% Man,” because otherwise there’s there’s no point in me trying to teach you things in a phone session that you can read in a book that, in essence, is free to read on your own. That way, we can be more productive in the phone session.
He told me that while your book is designed for men, he felt it would give me good insight how to avoid having to go through this in the future by knowing what to look for in a man.
That’s absolutely true, because women that understand “How To Be A 3% Man,” they understand the behaviors that 3% men display. And also, you’re able to separate the men from the boys, the guys that get it versus the guys that don’t. So, if you’ve got a single mom, or your sister’s single, or a woman that you work with, get her copy of “How To Be A 3% Man.” It’s a great gift for the holidays. Help them out.
I must say, your book has been super insightful and has allowed me to understand my own attachment to him. I’m having a difficult time letting go of this relationship emotionally, but thanks to you I at least understand why.
He was always a take charge kind of guy with a fix it mentality… or so he made me believe in the beginning.
So, what’s interesting about that is guys are all about purpose, drive, mission, succeeding, accomplishing, breaking through barriers, that’s all masculine energy. And so, men who are direct and decisive and they make things happen, this is a sign of competency.
Being competent as a man, being competent and coming up with a vision for your life, your personal and your professional life, and then executing upon that vision and actually making it happen. Because men who are indecisive, who are passive, who don’t do these things are not reaching their full potential. They’re displaying incompetence. That’s why women are attracted to men who display signs of dominance.
Men who display signs of dominance are displaying their competency as men, and men who don’t are displaying that they’re incompetent. That’s why, if you act like a beta male, women don’t feel safe and comfortable around you. They don’t trust your masculine core because, in essence, you don’t trust yourself.
I am very independent and never needed to rely on anyone. I’m always the one people come to when they need help. I also definitely test the boundaries and I always said that I need a man who’s not afraid to put me in my place.
In other words, you want to be dominated by a man where you trust his leadership. He’s competent, so you can let him lead. And you feel comfortable letting him lead, because you know he’s going to handle things. Incompetent men, men who vacillate back and forth, don’t make women feel safe. They can’t fully relax into their feminine energy, because the guy is just not getting things handled.
He was a first one who did so and in a calm manner. He was very driven and goal oriented but made sure to make time for me and show me our relationship is a priority. This was also the first relationship in which a man took the time to hear me out and address what we talked about. We were able to reach an understanding, even though we didn’t always agree. The fact that his English wasn’t so great, but he put in this effort spoke volumes.
This magical relationship ended with police involved, me finding out he’s been cheating, and him accusing me of many ridiculous things including changing his Apple ID to mine on his phone through his Apple watch that the watch wasn’t even connected to. Looking back, I overlooked many red flags, and my mistake was not walking away when I first saw them.
This is the point where the fantasy comes in. Especially if you’ve been single for a while, or maybe you’re lonely, or you just never really took time to heal and you’re feeling like, “Oh, another person is going to make me feel better about myself. Let me go and get into another relationship.” And then you meet somebody and they push your buttons emotionally, yet because you’re lonely and because you don’t think very highly of yourself, you ignore the red flags are there.
You want to feel good, and you look at the other person as the the source of your happiness. As opposed to you already being happy and loving yourself, loving your life, loving your time alone. And then you have somebody come into your life like, “Wow! They multiply my happiness and the joy that I already have.” You can’t give away what you don’t already have for yourself.
I made the mistake of giving the benefit of the doubt and thinking these were cultural differences.
Yeah, that’s where the logic and reason comes in. Your emotions are all wrapped up. “Oh, he’s perfect. He’s amazing.” And so, your logic and reason basically explains away the red flags, “Oh, it’s just cultural differences.”
We wound up having arguments about the same things over and over without anything actually being done about it.
In other words, things didn’t get resolved. She didn’t feel heard and understood. He wasn’t able to open her up properly. But because of that, she just said, “Oh, it must be cultural differences.” No, what it really was was this particular guy was incompetent when it came to communicating and understanding women.
He repeatedly would tell me he doesn’t like to fight, and I repeatedly told him I need things to change in our relationship. I am not the easiest pill to swallow, but I am open to hearing you out and working on myself so we can grow and get better together. In fact, I have changed some of my behaviors and part of my personality to the point my closest friends noticed and made several comments throughout it.
Well, it’s good that you improve yourself because, quite frankly, most people won’t.
I have a flirtatious personality which is not necessarily because I’m trying to flirt but just how I come off, so I toned myself down and became very quiet, even in situations and company I was comfortable in. He put me in uncomfortable situations life-wise, which I would take a breath, put my trust in him and follow. I am not that girl that would have ever done that before.
So, on some level, he displayed at least what she interpreted as competency, and that’s why she trusted him. Because she had never encountered a man that felt strong enough to stand up to her and that she could trust his lead. But then the question becomes, what does he do with that trust? Does he continue to show through his actions that he deserves it and he earns it? Or does he start displaying incompetency?
Like I said, he was driven, he was responsible, he was a problem solver and took action to do so. I always have to mention that I am not one to bite my tongue and will express exactly how I feel. I am a very straight forward person, and my words are spoken at face value, there are not hidden meanings behind them.
Well, that’s my kind of people, people that just tell it like it is.
As time went on, many responsibilities started to fall on me. For example, I was the one who was responsible to make sure I understand him correctly, as well as making sure he understood me.
Well, somebody’s got to do it, whether it’s you or it’s him. Ideally, it should be both you. But I know a lot of people that watch my videos, their spouse or significant other, somebody they’re involved with, is just simply not going to watch these videos, is not going to learn these things. And if you want to stay with that person, then you’re going to have to learn skills to make up for their shortcomings. Or you can leave and go find somebody else.
Remember that I said his English wasn’t great, so he began to use that as an excuse that he didn’t understand me correctly and I shouldn’t be getting upset. I started to apply different communication techniques that I learned and that our couple’s therapist, (he tapped out after 3 sessions), advised us to use.
So, if he was really interested in working things out, he if he didn’t like your therapist, he would have gotten another one. But if you look at his actions, he wasn’t making the effort anymore. And if you weren’t feeling heard and understood and he leaves the couples therapy and says, “I’m just not going to do it anymore,” if you look at his actions, it shows that the relationship is not important enough.
You’ve got to bottom line people’s actions. And that’s another thing I consistently see in phone sessions is people, especially guys, they don’t bottom line a woman’s actions. They keep reading things into it, because they still project their fantasy.
But when I applied those in order to make sure we were on the same page he would tell me that I’m treating him like a child. We also had some finances that we were both responsible for, and when he went through a rough financials period, they all fell on me.
So, he went through a rough period financially and basically started making her the man in the relationship, which obviously she’s going to resent because she was supposed to be following his lead. And even though he started out displaying competency in the beginning, he got to a place where he was incompetent. And therefore, to make up for it, she put her credit and finances on the line for the two of them.
I didn’t have a problem helping out, but then I was getting chastised that the house wasn’t getting cleaned and I can’t even cook dinner. I worked 6 days a week, picked up as many overtime shifts as I could, and I still had my pets to take care of. During all of this, I was still dealing with health issues that I was battling for the last year.
You’ve got to take care of your body. You’ve got to eat right, you’ve got to exercise, you’ve got to weight train, you’ve got to do cardio. Those are self-inflicted wounds. And unfortunately, most people, they just treat their bodies like garbage, they just don’t care.
Once his financial situation improved, he took me out shopping but didn’t offer to take on any of the financial burden that’s been put on me and continued to spend and I was telling him how he needs to save. I even asked him if he would please start helping me with the credit card that were both responsible for but is under my name, and with a nasty sarcastic remark, he petted my knee, (we were sitting), and said “Don’t worry, I will pay.” He never did.
I have to give him credit because he held up this image for almost a year before everything went into the crapper. For the last 6-9 months, we stopped having sex even though I kept questioning him on why.
Well, if he doesn’t have a physical ailment, he’s just not that into you. Healthy, good relationships, especially long term relationships, the people typically are having sex two to three times a week. But if you ask around, most married couples, they’re lucky if they have sex once or twice a month. Do you want a roommate that you have sex with once or twice a month and all those commitments and everything along with it? Does that sound spectacular? Does that sound like a lot of fun? Nope.
Looking back, I realize he was a total narcissist that played me, and I needed to walk away when I saw the fed flags in the beginning. Lesson learned. But besides him being a narcissist, what else am I missing, if anything?
Well, you’ve got to look at what people do, not what they say. And you’ve got to be strong enough to cut these people loose early on, so you don’t get emotionally attached. Because the longer you stay with somebody, the more the attachment forms, the more your emotions get engaged and the harder it’s going to be to pull away from them once your emotions are engaged. Because when your emotions are engaged, you bullshit yourself. “Oh, it’s fine. It’s just cultural differences.” That’s what we tell ourselves.
We make excuses and we stick around, because going through a breakup sucks. Nobody likes it. People that have been in a relationship for a long time don’t like the idea of going out and being single again because, quite frankly, you’re going to encounter a lot of people that you’re not going to be compatible with. And that’s not a fun part of dating, but it’s life. It’s reality.
Like I said, I’m not an easy pill to swallow and am willing to take responsibility for my own actions. I fought and argued when I should have walked away. But what else am I missing? I am still healing and avoiding dating until I find my center. So, in the meantime, I’m trying to grow so I can do better.
Best regards from New York City,
You want to get to a place where you love your time alone. You love being alone. You love being by yourself. And if you can really enjoy being alone and having a blast by yourself, then your great company. So, that should be your number one priority.
As far as finding your center, that’s getting to a place where you love your life. You love your time alone, you love being single, you enjoy the hell out of it. You take care of your body, you work out, you exercise, you do cardio, you do weight training. You look good and you feel good about yourself. That’s when you’re ideally ready. Because most people think, “Oh, if I just find the right person, then I’ll be happy. Oh, if I just find the right job, then I’ll be happy. Oh, once my business takes off and does 10x of returns, then I’ll really be happy. Once I lose 50 pounds, then I’ll be happy.”
You’ve got to get to a place where you’re content and satisfied with where your life is and you enjoy your time alone and you enjoy your time with your friends and your family, but now you’re looking for somebody to share your completeness with, not for somebody to complete you. That’s the big distinction, the big difference.
So, if you’ve got a question or a challenge and you’d like to get my help, go to UnderstandingRelationships.com, click the Products tab at the top of your screen on any page and book a coaching session with yours truly.
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Author, Speaker, Peak Performance Coach, Entrepreneur
“We tend to be attracted to people who have the same emotional and mental wounds and flaws. Like attracts like. It’s always best to get to a place where you love your time alone, love being alone with yourself, but you enjoy the company of others who enrich your life with joy, happiness and fun. It is very difficult to be unhappy and hate being alone but trying to get to a place of happiness once you meet a romantic prospect that makes your heart sing. You can’t give away what you don’t already have for yourself. Relationships are based upon giving, not taking from others based upon what you feel you lack.” ~ Coach Corey Wayne
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