Monday, February 29, 2016

Dating a loner or an attention whore: which is worse?

The loner and the attention seeker: one is solitary and prefers their independence, while the other is the life of the party, dependent on others’ affection. But dating either of these types can be a shit show—for the same reasons.

When I say loner, I mean the guy who’s never invited to any birthdays or weddings, and rarely gets a phone call. Or the woman who claims that her career leaves no time to maintain friendships. (Not someone who has a small social circle, just moved to a new city, or has a tiny family.) Does this sound familiar?

When a loner disguises themselves as “too busy” for friends, because they’re starting a company or studying, remember that there have been people who have founded companies, built them up, studied, been on the fast track of their career, etc., who have also been able to make time for friends and family. I’m not saying that people shouldn’t lead busy lives, but whatever they’re busy with may be a crutch that prevents them from getting too intimate or having too many responsibilities—which will eventually manifest into an inability to become too intimate or too responsible in your relationship.
 Then there’s the drama seeker. She makes friends quickly and possesses charm. He says whatever’s on his mind—usually in an attention-getting, humorous way. You feel like you’ve known them for weeks within the first few hours and sense you’re the center of their universe, which is refreshing after your last relationship. Then you find out their closest friends are people they’ve met in the past few years and, instead of talking about former friends from whom they grew apart, their friendships end in a dramatic fashion that doesn't leave either party on speaking terms at all.

Someone who only has superficial, “new” friends—even if they refer to them as their “four best friends”—doesn’t stop being that person when they're in a relationship. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that they're this way with everyone else but you. It’s only a matter of time until the relationship is no longer new. They panic, because drama seekers can’t cope with stability and steadiness.

Relationships with friends and family (and even co-workers) are where we learn communication, empathy, conflict resolution, and forgiveness. Enduring relationships like these teach us how to build intimacy, a requirement for any long-term relationship. It’s tempting to give the independent girl who seems misunderstood a shot or to go for the guy who seems to know everyone, but tread carefully. Have you ever found yourself in a relationship with someone who didn’t have longstanding relationships? How bad did it suck? Comment below!

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