In dating a lot is spoken about the chemistry between partners.
“We just clicked” “It feels right”
Even a big compatability based dating site uses phrases like “really click with” and “truly connect with” on its home page.
The right chemistry in a relationship – whether mental, sexual or spiritual – can be a positive - even electrifying - experience.
However, not all chemistry in a relationship is good. Sometimes the chemistry felt towards a lover can be a result of deep fault lines in our own psyches that we are inadvertently feeding in our relationships.
Are your loving relationships ruled by your past?
“Give me a child until he is seven and I will give you the man” Ignatius Loyola
The experiences in the first formative years of our lives influence our personalities forever. Sometimes imperfect childhoods can leave errors in the way we emotionally respond as adults.
These emotional traps, for want of a better word, can cause sufferers to seek out partners where they live out their negative childhood experiences all over again. Although this is destructive, they can be powerless to the strong romantic chemistry it can create in them.
Here are some examples of psychological flaws that can lead to bad chemistry in love:
Being abandoned as a child, perhaps through a parent leaving or dying, or even not being there for the child in other ways, like because of alcoholism or substance abuse, can result in a fear of abandonment. It causes undue fear in relationships that a partner may leave, and when they do go away, even for short periods, there is a lot of anxiety, followed by sadness and anger when they return.
Guys with a fear of abandonment can feel a strong chemistry with men who are ambivalent, unstable or uncommitted. In relationships like these they can relive all over again the childhood experience of someone not being there for them.
Abuse and mistrust
When someone was abused, humiliated or manipulated as a child their rightful boundaries were violated. Child victims of physical and sexual abuse fall under this category. They were not protected as they should have been, and this can create very negative feelings and cause mistrust of others. In adult relationships it can cause the victim to be abused again, or deceived, or they themselves may become an abuser.
Guys who were abused as a child can feel right with men who abuse and humiliate them, perhaps hitting them or verbal abuse. On the other side of the coin they may ‘click’ with a partner who tolerates being abused by them. Bad chemistry all round.
People with emotional deprivation have a feeling that they will never be loved properly. It is a feeling of emptiness that stems from early childhood neglect by the mother. A person with emotional deprivation may feel that something is missing and have an inner sense of loneliness.
Guys with emotional deprivation may avoid loving relationships altogether, or their relationships may be very short. Gay guys like this will feel a great deal of chemistry for emotionally cold men. Again, this is bad chemistry, because they really need someone who will be emotionally generous to them.
Over or under-protective parenting can result in the dependence trap, where a guy can feel he simply cannot cope without the support of other people. In relationships this manifests itself in seeking a partner who will take care of them, like a father figure.
A guy with dependence problems will find very high chemistry with strong, overprotective men. This is a bad chemistry because really they will be happier with a partner who will help them become more assertive.
Anxiety is the main feeling behind the vulnerability emotional trap. A guy suffering from this will worry too much by exaggerating the risk of danger and minimising his capacity to cope. As a child there are a number of factors that may have caused this trap, including living with parents who also suffered from it.
Gay guys who suffer from vulnerability will feel romantic chemistry with men who can take care of them and protect them from danger or illness. Again, this is a false chemistry, influenced by a psychological flaw, and this type of partner may not help them grow.
Defectiveness is a self-esteem emotional trap where the sufferer feels intrinsically worthless inside and has deep feelings of shame about his past. It stems from over-critical parenting, being rejected by a parent(s), being abused and many other parenting flaws. One way or another, the child felt unlovable and not respected.
Some guys who suffer from the defectiveness emotional trap avoid dating altogether, or have short intense relationships. They feel a strong chemistry with men who put them down and are over critical, or who physically or emotionally abuse them. They also may pursue men who are ‘out of their league’ or who they are unlikely to reciprocate their feelings. More bad chemistry - this kind of partner is the last thing they need.
Overly submissive and self-sacrificing are the hallmarks of the subjugation emotional trap. It stems from a childhood when the child was dominated and controlled, and where they were not allowed to make choices for themselves.
A guy who suffers from subjugation may feel a strong chemistry with a partner who is self-centred and selfish. One sided relationships like this may feel great at first, but this bad chemistry will only result in a feeling of being trapped later.
Good chemistry vs bad chemistry
Chemistry in a romantic relationship can be a very good thing. It adds excitement and intimacy and brings a deep pleasure to our love lives.
But beware - sometimes romantic chemistry can be a lie. What feels so natural and right may only feel that way because it is feeding an emotional trap. If it isn’t spotted, another destructive relationship can hinder the happiness that sadly also escaped a troubled childhood.
By David Abrehart
(c) Copyright 2012. All rights reserved.
Reference: Reinventing your Life Jeffrey E Young PhD, Janet S Klosko PhD