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Sep 13

Rescue me!

Posted on Monday, September 13, 2010 in dating, Happiness, Honesty, Men, Relationships, Women

Mia, Sara and I had gone to an author reading, one of those authors — you know the kind, the passionate, sensitive ones who write about how their dysfunctional family past made them seek ways to live in the moment, find compassion and forgiveness, and give their time and energy to help others.

It didn’t hurt that he was drop-dead gorgeous.

As we sat there, listening to his stories, his vibrant blue eyes sparkling as they flashed up to make eye contact with the audience, his dimples dancing, his voice faltering as he recalled his a soul-searching journey, the hardships he’d experienced and seen in the world, we were overcome. I felt my eyes well up, and as I reached up to wipe away a tear I saw Sara do the same, too.

“Wow,” that was something, Mia said as we sat at a nearby bar after.

“Very inspirational,” Sara said.

“I could soooo go for a guy like that,”
Mia said.      

“Me, too,” Sara agreed. “Couldn’t you, Kat?”

“He’s gorgeous and obviously has
a huge heart. But, man, he’s one damaged soul. I mean, the guy admitted that he can’t get close to people. I’ve been the woman in that kind of relationship — it didn’t feel
too good.”

“Hmm, you may be right about that,” Sara said. “It seemed like he was laying on that dysfunctional childhood thing a little heavy.”

“But, he got better!” Mia said.

Maybe. Still, I have to wonder why
so many gals are attracted to damaged souls. Because, if it
were a woman at the podium talking about her family’s divorce and death and abandonment and how that made her fear intimacy, how many men in the audience do you think would be saying, “Hmm, wow, what a great catch!  I am soooo attracted to that”?

You get the picture.

Not too many — maybe a handful who suffer from knight-in-shining-armor syndrome or something. And then when one or the other gets exhausted and walks away from the relationship, those women end up being the “psycho” exes so many guys seem to have.

I’ve been sucked into falling for the damaged, vulnerable types. I’ve dated men whose past would make anyone pause, but I saw enough good stuff in them to hang on — especially because I believe we’re all sort of damaged souls to one degree or another. Then, in moments of strength and reality-checking, I’ve ditched men to whom I was attracted for various reasons but recognized that here was a man who needed to work through a lot of things — on his own, if he wanted to — before I’d get any closer.

But, let’s face it — people who have trouble pasts have a vulnerability that appeals to the nurturer in all of us.

I’m all for being compassionate about people’s past hurts, but you have to have an awareness of it and not use it as a crutch of why things are messed up for you today. Unless, of course, you can become famous for it …

  • Why do some people gravitate toward damaged souls?
  • Does it make us feel good to “save” someone?
  • Do we think someone’s more likely to stay with us if we do, like the faithful pound pup (who would probably still drop us in a New York second if someone else started showering love and treats)?
  • Are some people drawn to drama because it’s more exciting (and maybe easier) than a “normal” relationship?
  • Is it true that damaged women are easier to get into bed?

Photo © Petr Ivanov –