“I never felt the way I felt with him.”
“The passion was so intense between us.”
“I knew from the beginning that he was wrong for me, but something about him just pulled me in deeper.”
“When it was good, it was like fireworks.”
These are classic words from someone struggling to love or leave a User, Narcissist or Scally Wag. Most often, you will intuitively know if a partner is going to be good for you or not. You can tell by the person’s patterns of behaviors, past relationships, job history or lack thereof, if the person is going to be a decent catch. But sometimes people still fall for “bad eggs” even when they know the person is not healthy for them.
For example, if he has children, how often does he see them? If she has gobs of credit card debt, is it from Nordstrom? If he boasts about being a Christian, does he go to and give to his church regularly? If you just met, is she pressuring you for a commitment? If he says he respects you, do you feel pressured to go faster than you want to go? Is she critical and judgmental, talking about others behind their backs? Is he a real jerk to other people, but overly nice to you? Does she expect you to buy her things that are out of your budget? These are examples of character flaws that should alert you to keep watch.
Most people will be alerted to these warning signs, and will take precautions to find a better catch. But others will ignore them, make excuses for them, and pretend they are not a big deal just to keep the relationship. Why?
Why do some people ignore the red flags warning them against toxic relationships with Users, Narcissists and Scally Wags?
One reason, among many, is sex appeal. You may be unexplainably attracted to a User. The intense eye contact, the light touch of his hand, or her flirtatious smile sends your body over the top. Your body responds to his/her overtures with explosive excitement. The sexual attraction you feel may be unparalleled to anything else you’ve ever experienced. This keeps you hooked. It’s hard to deny or resist the attraction because it seems to have a pull all its own.
The issue of sex appeal points to a larger and deeper issue of Soul Holes. Each of us carry around wounded parts of ourselves called Soul Holes. These are original wounds from long ago when our personality, values and character were being formed. If we didn’t get what we needed in childhood, we grow into adulthood with holes that beg to be filled. Those desires can get sexualized in development and become sexual stimulus, attraction and drive.
Often this sexual intensity is a sign that your Soul Hole is talking. The vulnerable part of yourself is unreasonably and unconsciously drawn to the type of person that never could or would fill your Soul Hole as a child. Sometimes people may even recognize a User first not by anything the User does or doesn’t do, but by the sexual feelings that arise in themselves. Pretty cool alert system, right?
If you had a father who was either absent or emotionally unavailable because of work, addiction, abandonment or mental illness, your inner little girl longs to be seen, valued, and cherished. Since you didn’t receive those important gifts from a father to a daughter, you carry these Soul Holes into adult hood. The trouble starts when you unconsciously look for the same distant, addicted or depressed personality to fill those original holes. Users, Narcissists and Scally Wags smell your vulnerability like a wolf waiting to attack.
If you had a mother who verbally shamed you, put you down, or compared you to other children, you learned early on that you were not good enough. Without intervention, you’ll unconsciously try to get a rejecting type person to finally accept you. You’ll overlook glaring character flaws, pathological behaviors and toxic love in order to have that “crazy in love” feeling from the same type of person who originally rejected you. You’ll think, “Maybe this time, I’ll finally feel good enough.” But Users are incapable of doing anything else but using you.
The following are some ways to help you deal with the sometimes uncontainable feelings you may have for the User, Narcissist or Scally Wag in your life.
- Be Aware: Pay attention to how you feel, and how your body responds to certain types of people. Your sexual feelings and attraction are just impulses in the body and brain. Sexual feelings do not care about your values or morals. They are just feelings that every human has. You have the power to do with them what is best for you in the long run.
- Be Strong: Your sexual desires can inform you but do not have to rule you. Your body gives you signals that you can learn to read. Once you master reading your body’s signs, you gain in strength and are able to use those signals for your benefit.
- Be Smart: Once you recognize you’ve got a thing for Users, you are 10 times further along than you were before. You are armed with information. You are now able to say to yourself, “Hey, I’m totally turned on by that guy. In the past I’ve been turned on to Users, Narcissists, and Bad Boys. My body is telling me that it feels good to flirt with them. But I’m so smart now, I can tell my body that being used doesn’t feel good in the long run. Peace Out!”
- Be Cool: Hey, having sexual feelings isn’t the beginning or the end of the world. Don’t judge yourself about them. Don’t shame yourself for having them, even if they are misdirected. Your body is like every other body- it has involuntary responses that are normal and human. Sexual feelings are a good thing that tell you you’re body is working.
- Be Alert: Wise people know themselves well enough to recognize when they are acting out of their Soul Holes. Attraction born out of insecurity, competition, celebrity worship, or imbalance of power never turns out well. Wisdom tells us that though we are free to do all things, not all things are good for us. Wise people stay alert to the desires, impulses and temptations that could pull us down farther than we ever intended to go.
Though simple, this advice is not always easy to carry out. Find some trustworthy people to support you along the way. Forgive yourself for not being perfect, and let God be strong where you are weak.