How does one find the right person to date?

Dr. Brilliant Cliché,

I know that you regularly address various issues related to the pitfalls and obstacles of dating.
I have a question for you- what about when the person looking to date has been diagnosed with mental health issues? How does such a person find the right person to date?
Ok, that is a very general question, so I will be more specific. The person in question is myself. Due to the make up of my psyche, I only seem to meet men who need to be “fixed”. This can be fun at first; but it soon becomes tedious when I realize that there is no “fixing” them. The relationships all eventually come to an abrupt end.
I don’t know why, but I don’t seem to be attracted to men who are psychologically well-adjusted. The few times I have attempted dating this type of man, I have been bored out of my mind. I am beginning to believe that a sane partner is just not in the cards for me.

Any ideas?

Elizabeth

Dear Elizabeth,

You meet many different types of people. If you select only broken people, “fixer uppers,” it means you yourself must be broken too. We can only be with someone who reflects the skills we now have.
There are two important things that need to be addressed before you can change your path:

Intent: – you first have to think about what kind of relationship you would like to occur then work backwards from there. What would be the skills this relationship would need have in order to exist? You then only pick people who have those skills and you learn to acquire them and practice them yourself.

Balance: – The world isn’t black and white. All relationships are half your partner and half you . If you do too much, they do too little. If you are doing all the steering, you aren’t in a relationship. These are your choices, and not someone else’s fault.

If you are mothering someone and you sleep with them, that is incest.

A mothering relationship is not equal. If you want an equal and reciprocal relationship, you need to choose a partner who is not a child. Ask yourself what type of a relationship you want.

People can be measured by what they do and how they affect others. Either the people you are attracted to do nothing, or you’re not allowing them to do anything. It feels good to take care of someone but if it isn’t equal and reciprocal, it’s a job not a relationship. Even with kids this is true- over time you have to allow them to grow and reinforce their ability to take care of themselves. If you don’t do this you will cripple them emotionally. Ask yourself what kind of parent you want to be.

Listen to what you are asking, then look at what you are doing. You say that consistency, predictability and security is boring. Perhaps the chaos you have is exactly what you want. When you change your intent, you will find different things. There may be no right person to date, but there are right skills to bring to dating.
Remember the saying: be careful what you wish for, you might get it!

Dr. Brilliant Cliché

Granny says: OK, so Elizabeth finds stable, predictable men boring as hell. So what? So do I. Predictable men have generally not done much thinking outside of the box and they tend to have little creative ability, either in conversation or in bed. However, there is a BIG difference between unpredictable and oppressively neurotic. It seems to me that the problem is not so much that Elizabeth chooses men who aren’t sane…the problem seems to be more that she chooses men who are freakin’ babies. That becomes as boring as “predictable” after a while.
Dr.Brilliant’s Intent formula may be useful when it comes to personal behavioral change; but when it comes to the laws of attraction, behavioral science is on weak ground. If we ourselves are flawed, then whatever choices we make will likely be flawed as well. Deciding what kind of man you want to be with and then readjusting yourself to that end is ridiculous.
The people we become involved with can teach us many lessons. The men Elizabeth has become involved with should show her that she has some personal lessons to learn. But she needs to learn them for HERSELF and for no other reason. I don’t recommend trying to apply some formula in order to find the right partner. The intent is all wrong. That’s like trying to lose weight to attract a man. One’s motivation for weight loss should be for physical and mental health, not in order to hook some guy. No one should ever try to change themselves for someone else, it’s a formula for disaster.
Yes, when you change your intent, the men you are attracted to will definitely change too. But who knows how that will play out. Nothing guarantees the ideal mate. So, change for yourself. It’s the only motivation that will keep you motivated for the long haul.

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About Dr. Brilliant Cliché

Dr. Brilliant Cliché and the Granny Dr. are a fictional web presence and advice blog. Together we offer a joint perspective that is deep but not academic, entertaining but not fluff, and educated yet street smart. By joining the internet community we hope to share thoughts and stimulate insightful conversation around pressing issues that affect us all. Looking forward to hearing your thoughts. (This is not a site for therapy nor does it intend to replace medical or other professional care. ) You can leave comments here or email The Dr. at dr.brilliantcliche@yahoo.com and don’t forget to like us on facebook. Our facebook page is Dr. Brilliant Cliche
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2 Responses to How does one find the right person to date?

  1. Having a mental illness doesn’t really change any of the above. We all are who we are. We all are becoming who we will become. I liked the advice given on the HBO Show Dexter regarding what makes a relationship last, “Mutual Intent.” The rest is working it out.

    Dr. B.C.

  2. Ken Bryant says:

    Hi Elizabeth,
    This is more about the extent of a problem than whether or not some of us have problems and some of us don’t. To some extent we all have mental health issues, we’re all babies, and we all think everyone else has some magic qualities we don’t have. On the other hand there are degrees of mental health. Some people seem to have a very hard time with relationships while others can get along with most everyone. We all have days where we can really surprise each other in the things we say and do, some surprises for the good and sometimes not so good.
    First, you are bigger than any diagnosis given to you.. But be careful about putting sound advice aside. If you believe the diagnosis and the treatment recommended, you have successfully allied with that very important helper (counselor, psychologist, doctor) in your life. Remember, no matter who you date, the relationship will be different than the therapeutic one you had in the office. It was all about your needs in the office. But with the date its about both your needs. You know the other person is not going to change you. You will not change them either. If you believe you’re treating each other in a way that gives you both dignity, that’s cause for believing there’s a good attraction. Do you really want anyone to “fix” you? If not, than trying to convey this to your date may help him understand you have neither the time nor the energy to do any fixing yourself.
    Finally, there’s always a risk in relationships. There may be some correlation in your ability to predict how someone will treat you and how long you know them. But when you begin a relationship with someone else, you will never know for sure if you or he will always feel the same way. That’s a risk we all must learn to be happy with.

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