How does that old song go? To know, know, know him is to love, love, love him. I feel that when we give ourselves the opportunity to truly know others, it becomes easy to love them. There have been very few people in my life that I haven’t really liked. Honestly, most of the ones I’ve disliked have come as a result of their obvious dislike and poor treatment of me. My natural tendency is to feel positively about the people I meet. Of course, I know people who say the opposite: that there are few people they truly like. That can be understandable, in a way, too.
But so often, we find ourselves attracted to someone, and we allow ourselves to get close to them. To know them. To understand them. We do this when all of the red flags are telling us to run away. We know we shouldn’t fall, and yet we allow ourselves to do so anyway.
I’ve been there. I’ve seen all the signs, and yet I’ve fallen headlong in love with an unsuitable person. And by unsuitable, I mean the ones that we know we shouldn’t fall for and do anyway. When we start to fall for these types, we need to find a way to stop. Grab a handhold or attach a bungee, but do not, I repeat DO NOT, fall for these types:
- The cheater: You know the most important thing about this person already: they have no respect for their partner, for honesty, or for fidelity. They see little value in commitment and will always take the easy way out. Their integrity is questionable, and they will use any means to justify the ends.
- The narcissist- This person will never make you number one in their lives. That part is occupied by themselves. This person tends to gravitate to manipulative and abusive behaviors like gaslighting to keep everything firmly in their favor. They might be pretty, but their hearts aren’t.
- The chronic liar- If there’s one thing I despise, it’s dishonesty. When someone is caught out in a pattern of lies, we need to accept that they do not value the truth. We need to have respect for the red flag we’re seeing by not tolerating these behaviors in our lives. Often, this person is a cheater or narcissist, too, if not all of these at once.
- The spendthrift- When we fall for someone with an unhealthy relationship with money, we often find our own finances drawn into their web. If this person is chronically in debt, overspending, and even using your funds to pay their way, be wary. No, strike that. Get the hell out! It’s not your job to help them be financially responsible. They need to do what it takes to figure this out, and it’s not your job to save them from themselves.
- The addict- I’m not saying that addicts don’t deserve love. What I am saying is that someone who is currently addicted is not relationship-material. This person has work to do, and they’ll be unlikely to have a healthy relationship as long as they aren’t facing up to their addiction. Even if they are in the beginning stages of recovery, they will unlikely be in a good place to begin a relationship for some time. Allow them that time, and be a friend.
- The emotionally unavailable person- They’ve showed you in every possible way that they aren’t available. Perhaps they’re hung up on a past relationship or are too self-absorbed to ever consider your needs when theirs are paramount. They don’t show up for you at all, or do so inconsistently. They avoid conflict and aren’t effective communicators. They are likely to ghost you rather than be honest. These people have issues to work on before they’ll be ready for a real relationship.
- The bad boy or bad girl- Yes, I know being attracted to these types is a thing. Oh, do I ever know! But no matter how many times you’ve seen the romantic comedy where the bad boy/girl reforms for love, I’m here to tell you that it’s all a lie. People are who they are, and we should believe in what we’re seeing, not what they’re saying. Stop falling for these types. The real issue is immaturity. It’s not that they are misunderstood; they simply don’t take responsibility for their choices or the consequences of them. It’s not your job to help them grow up.
Everyone deserves love, but when we find ourselves falling for someone who has shown us that they will likely never love us back in the way that we need and will almost assuredly harm us, we need to quit it. We can be aware of the feelings we’re forming and end it anyway. We can say that this isn’t what we need. Because I’ll tell you this: as long as we’re giving our time and attention to one of these types, we’re blocking ourselves from finding the love we need. They are in the way, and we need to stop falling for them and let them ensnare someone else.
We can send them off with love, but they need to go. Or, rather, we need to walk away. It’s not an unkindness. Perhaps one day they’ll be ready. But for now, we need to stop falling for someone’s potential rather than the reality and make way for a love that’s ready for a healthy connection.