ARE YOU A JERK MAGNET?

Date posted: October 1, 2009


Dear Marwa

I am the unluckiest person on earth. I have had four consecutive failed relationships and I do not know why they failed. They were all with men who showed a lot of interest and care. The long outings, the endless conversations, the quick bonding, and the daily phone calls were common in my interaction with the four guys and though they were of different ages, different backgrounds, and different characters, my relationship with them lasted between two weeks and two months. I also want to tell you that they ended abruptly and without any logical explanation. I do not know what it is that I do wrong; I am supportive, caring, understanding, and a great listener. I do my best to accommodate my man and I promise you … I am SWEET! What am I missing? Why do I attract guys who cannot love me back? I am going crazy!

E

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Dear E

I had to read a lot into your words and please correct me if I am wrong.

In your outings the guy would talk a lot about himself and his previous relationship (s). It is as though he opened up to you so fast and so easily. (I guess this is what you meant by bonding.)

He does not ask you any questions about your personal life yet he shares openly his most traumatic experiences.

He talks and talks and you listen with a smile.

If I would choose a description for your interaction with him I would go for comforting.

He calls a lot and checks on you with SMSes … as if you were together forever.

He has sudden mood swings and you blame yourself for it.

You feel honored with his trust.

You feel that you want to hug him, make it up for him, hold his hand, erase his pain, and heal his broken heart.

If this is the case then you are an ideal magnet for guys on the rebound! Yep! Your four men were hurt, confused, unstable, and looking for a quick fix. You kindly waived your right to be a girlfriend and embraced the role of a therapist. Here is the difference:

A girlfriend is looking for fun outings with a happy guy who enjoys her company. She equally shares stories and anecdotes and he equally listens. The outings are short and fun filled. The conversations are of a lighter nature. The relationship progresses slowly as they bond bit by bit.

A therapist has no rights; you sit, you smile, you listen, you comfort, and you nurture your wounded man like a mother nursing her wounded child. Your outing is not a date but rather a venting time for the man to speak his mind and restore his ego.

I will not go as far as telling you that the guys did that intentionally and that you were just a stepping stone; actually, most of the time, guys on the rebound do not know it. They are genuinely and sincerely drawn to you and they think that it is a relationship with Florence Nightingale. The words you used to describe yourself are supportive, caring, understanding, a great listener, accommodating, and sweet … doesn't this sound like a friend to you? This is why in the beginning of my message I told you that you are a magnet for guys on the rebound – it is not their fault … your attitude attracts them.

I just want to explain to you the phone calls, the SMSes, and the mood swings. The calls and the SMSes are a matter of habit! Yes … he got used to making those calls and sending those messages to his ex … and now that she is gone, you are there to fill in her shoes. In a normal relationship there are calls and messages but they are short in duration and spaced out. The intensity is an alarming sign. Think of a patient who is recovering from a car accident and is taking painkillers every two hours.

As for the mood swings; this is him struggling with the fact that your relationship is not real, that he still misses what he had with his ex, that you are great but you are not the one, that he needs his space, that he is growing stronger and no longer needs the crutches (You are the crutches), that he is tired of faking the role of the lover, that your emotional needs are a burden, and that he want out but you are clinging on to him.

I hope now you understand where you went wrong. It is all in your attitude, your self-image, and the role you want to play in a man's life.

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