Is He Really All That and a Slice of Cake?
The mind is a funny thing. It is a contributing factor for why clouds sometimes appear like galloping horses, or a dancing pencil wearing a tutu (okay, so maybe that’s just my own mind). It is the reason why some of us fear a dark basement or baring our legs to the lurking crevasse underneath our bed after watching a horror film. It is also the reason why a glass may appear half full, even though someone is clearly still drinking out of it, and why some men look like angels, even though their halo has been pieced together from old wood shavings from the notches they’ve made on their bedpost over the years. If you feel like you are constantly picking the wrong guy, perhaps it’s time to consider the fact that a good man is nothing more than your mind playing tricks on you.
The Illusion of a Good Man
Put your flame throwers down, guys. I’m not trying to say that there aren’t any good guys out there, but simply that any man has the potential to be wonderful in the mind of the woman who loves him. There are a number of psychological reasons for this. One, we think positively toward anything that we think we really want. It could be a flaming ball of monkey excrement, and if we have decided that is something of value, we will have nothing bad to say about it. Two, positive thinking is also driven by our need to make good choices that we can be proud of. If one of our friends shows us a glittering disco ball and and says that hers is more fun and better smelling, we will still stand behind our flame-fueled excrement, simply because it makes us feel good about ourselves.
The third reason why women fall in love with a bad guy, is because she is programmed to feel less pain while in love. In other words, she can take more heartbreak. This theory was put to the test when fifteen undergraduates (committed in a new relationship) volunteered to be subjected to moderate pain while looking at various photos. Using imaging of the brain, it became clear that while viewing those we are romantically involved with, it minimized the sensation of pain by stimulating the reward section of the brain. And finally, women give men the benefit of the doubt because of a biological blip that has kept our species in the baby-making business for centuries.
In other words, researchers theorize that when falling in love, the brain shuts down the prefrontal cortex (rational thinking), in favor of investing in the relationship, which may, or may not be such a rational idea (cheating, marital affair, etc.). If we weren’t able to splash a little rose coloring on some of our faults and disappointments as a couple, we’d never stay together long enough to pop the champagne cork, or play a little of Marvin Gaye’s “Sexual Healing” on the MP3 player.
However, there are a number of ways to jump into a new relationship without handing over your life jacket.
Shed the Blinders: Steps to Minimize Falling for the Wrong Guy
Step One: The first step is to drop your inclination to stand behind your choice, and at least consider the impression of those around you. Just because your mom doesn’t like him doesn’t mean he isn’t necessarily a gem. However, if your entire family tree, including a few shrubs (friends) cast along its side is pointing out red flags, it might be wise to consider them. Wondering where all the fun has gone in your relationship? Get it back with the help of Psychic Skylar ext. 9887.
Step Two: Keep a journal of your relationship. Pay attention to both the good and bad moments, and express your feelings honestly. The reason this works is when in love, we tend to pass off inexcusable behavior as a fluke. It is all too easy to ignore an emotional attack on our character, after receiving a bouquet of flowers, and a heartfelt, “I’m sorry.” By creating your own love story in writing, it is easier to step back and view the whole picture, and make an informed decision about its potential.
Step Three: Pace your relationships, using psychologist, John Van Epp’s, five points of relationship escalation. He contends that there are five things in every relationship, which must be on (reasonably) equal ground, and traveling in the same direction. These points include understanding, trust, reliance, commitment, and physical intimacy. In other words, as a couple, you should never offer more trust, unless you are also getting to know each other better (understanding), you should have an increased sense of reliance and commitment, and have experienced a new awakening of intimacy (sex). So long as none of these points exceed another by a significant margin, you will avoid compromising your judgment for the sake of following your heart! Feeling rejected by your partner? Psychic Hern ext. 5239 can tell you what’s going on.