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He pictures his dream girl. Maybe she is smart, quirky, independent, balanced, funny, nurturing, strong, good in bed and he feels lucky to have her.
He can’t wait to show her off to his friends and family and enjoy a relationship filled with mutual respect, trust, connection and love.
Then he pictures the opposite – the type of woman he can’t help but want to avoid at all costs. He pictures a relationship filled with neediness, attention-hogging, criticism and nagging, and he fears being controlled, trapped, used, emasculated and miserable.
Here are seven types of girlfriends and women you don’t want to be.
You want to spend every waking second with him and feel insecure by the thought of spending any time apart.
You dread him wanting to have time with his boys and feel uncomfortable when he suggests healthy separation, such as each having your own friends, hobbies and goals.
You are needy and base your happiness on his availability and attention, preventing you from having your own life and accepting that he can successfully have his own life without actually leaving you behind.
When you don’t hear from him constantly, you find yourself panicked and pursue contact with him. When you reach him, you become hostile and untrusting of him.
Unfortunately your desire to be with him all of the time results in him feeling smothered, trapped and wondering how to get out.
A confident, independent, social man wants a woman who can be the same, and although it is common clingy women attach to clingy men, a relationship based on mutual neediness only breeds codependency.
You love being the center of attention in your relationship and with your family, friends and co-workers.
You have chatterbox tendencies that exhaust him because he struggles to get a word in and wonders why you are telling him and the world your every thought.
While he appreciates your outgoing nature, he wishes you wouldn’t dominate conversations, exaggerate stories and share everything on your mind for the sake of attention and approval.
He also wishes you were more self-assured and able to give yourself internal praise and love instead of looking for external validation from him and others.
You are overly dramatic, high maintenance, easily upset by trivial matters and cannot differentiate when it is appropriate to be angry and upset and when it serves you better to let it go and move on.
You describe a minor negative experience so dramatically and disproportionally that one would think you just survived a disaster or tragedy.
You also tend to create drama and discord between your friends, family and co-workers and thrive on extreme emotions, gossip and backstabbing.
In his eyes, you take the fun out of life by making everything into a big deal and pinning innocent people against each other. He grows to experience you as irritating and questions your ability to think logically and rationally and handle your emotions, which are important qualities to him.
You bring up one of his greatest fears – a woman only wanting him for his money, status or success. He wonders if you only like him for what he has to offer versus who he is as a man.
You overvalue material things and gifts and undervalue nontangibles, such as his love and admiration for you. Your primary interest in being with him is material or financial gain.
As you notice and mention his nice watch, sunglasses, attire and home more than once, he grows nervous that you are using him.
Although he loves being generous and treating you well, you tend to be overdemanding with what you expect of him. This puts him in fear that you will leave him if he loses his job or money, greatly interfering with emotional connection in the relationship.
You have unrealistically high standards he can never meet. You have him jumping through hoops to meet your every need and give him a hard time about his weaknesses and shortcomings.
Not only are you critical of him, but you unfairly judge everyone from strangers to his family. You have trouble letting your inevitable difference go, tend to play the blame game and act like he’s your punching bag.
You make him feel everything he does for you and for your relationship is not good enough, causing him to feel insecure, inadequate and judged.
You are constantly in his ear. “Pick up your clothes,” “take out the trash, “walk the dog” and the list goes on.
When he does not drop everything to do what you ask of him, you get louder, more demanding and go into broken-record mode. You believe the more you bug him and the louder you become, the more likely he is to do what you want.
However, it is generally the opposite. As you become more like a drill sergeant, he is likely to retreat, avoid and shut down, creating tension, distance and conflict in your relationship.
Your motherly instincts are on overdrive, causing you to constantly want to fix him and care for him as if he was your son and not your equal partner.
You baby him and insist on taking care of everything for him, including dressing him, scheduling his appointments and doing his laundry.
While helping him stay organized and being nurturing is appealing, you eventually push him away and are likely to lose sexual intimacy and physical attraction, as he views you like a mother figure and not as his beautiful partner.
It is important to remember personality traits exist on a spectrum, meaning it is absolutely OK to relate to the above descriptions.
You are human and you will have moments filled with insecurity, neediness, jealousy, anger, etc. The key is to not let a negative emotion or behavior turn into a pattern that inhibits you from living a life filled with love and happiness or ends a happy relationship.
Stay tuned for part two when I’ll be discussing strategies to help you manage any of the above tendencies that resonated with you.