I’m always attracted to men that are approximately the same level of attractiveness as me, about the same level of intelligence as me, have a similar sense of humour and at least a few shared interests.
What I’ve always neglected, though, is our emotional compatibility. In fact, it’s never even been something to cross my mind. But it seems like the success of a relationship hinges on this.
I have insecurities. I have fears. I have baggage. But my partners never seem to. I’m attracted to confidence and emotional stability. They’re attracted to the damsel in distress. The classic fairytale scenario, but without the happily ever after.
Eventually, their lack of insecurity and lack of jealousy comes across as not caring about me, and my instinct to cling goes into overdrive. I become even more insecure, even more jealous, to make up the slack. But things don’t work out that way.
I still acknowlege that I have a lot of work to do on my emotional issues (which I haven’t given up on). But I also now recognise the importance of choosing a relationship with someone who is much closer to my emotional level. Someone who has had their heart broken, someone open about their fears and insecurities. Someone who isn’t afraid to cling to me a little, just so that I don’t need to hold on so hard. Someone who is as scared of losing me as I am of losing them. Someone who is understanding about my intense fear of abandonment and won’t constantly trigger it.
I’m not likely to find these qualities in the much younger guys I usually get involved with. And I realise most people hide this stuff anyway; most of us cover these things up until they get to a place where they’re impossible to ignore. Like myself, now.
I’m not going to hide it anymore. What’s the point? It will all come out anyway. And the right person will be relieved to hear that they’re not alone. I’d prefer to find out at the start if we will be emotionally compatible, rather than after I become attached.
So, in the name of progress, let’s all just be upfront about our emotional needs. Let’s get them out on the first (or second) date. Let’s put them on our dating profile. The ones that get scared off were never your match anyway.