Social Question

boxer3's avatar

Why do people stay in relationships that do not fufil them?

Asked by boxer3 (4150points) August 21st, 2010

Recently, I’ve been overly frustrated with a person who- despite any relationship staus he may be in with someone else: always winds up “coming back” to me.

I have known this individual for about 7 years, and have seen him on a regular basis due to now living in the same town: and being involved with the same sports team for the past 3 years.

Initially, he tried making advances at me when he was unhappily dating his baby’s mother. I’m no homewrecker, and not an idiot, and evaded that situation. Eventually they ended up seperating and he persued me for more than a year.
We sort of had something going on , eventually for varous reasons, the situation sort of just died.

He started seeing someone else.
He is still with that someone else.
We’ve maintained friendship with no other romantic/more than friend connotation.

Two days ago he sent me a message how he cant get me out of his mind and all this non sense about potentially being his wife…
He thought he coulg just stop thinking about me on a more than friend level so on and so forth…
Again. not a homewrecker,
quickly reminded him of his current relationship status, and told him he can’t have both:
when in reality…. why would I even
give this guy a chance, when he clearly has displayed his true colors….
I don’t know how much depth of personality his girlfriend has, we’ve never spoke- however she is very attractive. I just can’t grasp the idea and unfairness of this all.

and it just keeps going from there.

So after that ridiculously long story, My real question is why do people do these sorts of things? Why would you be in a committed relationship if youre not onehundred percent down for that person.In my case, the man in question is in his late 20’s. Its not like he’s in highschool… sure, everyone likes to have someone there…but really? Anybody else run into situations like this? It seems to happen to me a lot.

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29 Answers

gailcalled's avatar

@boxer3: Use different words. Substitue I choose to let this happen instead of It seems to happen to me a lot.

boxer3's avatar

@gailcalled, fair enough..I could simply not respond to this person- or others you’re right, however I’m not trying to evoke pity or anything like that- just explaining the situation and wondering why indicuals think thats ok to do. Trust me, I don’t sugar coat things and do voice my opinion about the behavior being inapproproate…

Mephistopheles's avatar

Never underestimate the power of human inertia. We simply don’t like change, even if it seems obvious.

perspicacious's avatar

People stay for various reasons but it’s often simply because it’s familiar. We don’t like the unknown. That is the reason he wants to come back to you; you are not an unknown. However, I hope that you realize that’s not enough and will just keep his friendship without anything else. If it was going to happen with you two, seems it would have already.

chyna's avatar

Some people stay in relationships that do not fulfill them because they feel that any relationship is better than none.

SeventhSense's avatar

I don’t think we always attract what we want but rather what our emotional state draws to us. We may recognize intellectually that this doesn’t seem sensible yet our heart says otherwise. Personally I can always make a decision that is in by best interest from an intellectual standpoint yet when I allow my feelings some space to spread their wings often some strange bedfellows are caught in the net. But until I can really understand and accept that I attract and court certain types of women, I will continually do so. Once I can see the reason behind it then I can consciously choose.

Sometimes it’s a tremendous effort to resist the draw of what I know is just wrong for me. It all goes back to childhood and a recreation of certain roles and the temptation is to resist the draw of reliving over and over again certain patterns.

boxer3's avatar

@perspicacious, I agree: and no worries, I have come to terms with the fact that the situation is what it is, and when it comes down to it – I’m not sure he is even that great of a friend to be trying to put me in that sort of situation repeatedly- pretty unfair if you ask me, Id rather just let things be and hope things work out for the best for him and myself- seperately. haha.

boxer3's avatar

@SeventhSense, I have to say-that’s almost exactly how I feel. Honestly. It’s very cyclic-
to the point where I’ve founf myself falling into situations, that I probably should’ve seen coming had I taken a step back to analyze the situation a bit more..and the riskof reliving the past is always just at my fingertips, though I try to maintain level headedness..

jazmina88's avatar

familiarity, security, and scared of being alone

keeps families together. who are not all in it.

TexasDude's avatar

Like others have said, some people would rather be miserable with someone than outright lonely.

BarnacleBill's avatar

It would seem that he views you as the person he cheats with, if only in his head. Why does he think you would want to be in a relationship with someone who cheats on his committed relationships? Total lack of respect for you.

boxer3's avatar

@BarnacleBill , why he may think that is beyond me.
I’d have to agree that it’s a lack of disrespect to me as well as himself
and his girlfriend. I’m not sure I will ever understand human beings and
their rational for many of the things we do.

SeventhSense's avatar

Well how about just strange or should I say fatal attraction:

I just saw a girl I know from a very public venue and I have seen her many times. This was at a different public venue. She is young, fit and attractive. Now I had a fling with a girl she knows that did not go well but I don’t think she was that good friends with her. Now every time I see this girl (which is rarely thank God) there is a definite notice of each other but it is a strange tension. I don’t know if it’s sexual as much as just a dangerous vibe. I actually am repelled and attracted to her.

I have tried to befriend her or just say hello (for God knows what reason) and use her name and she just stares at me and I know she knows me. Maybe I’m a masochist or am just incredulous when I meet someone who won’t even be civil. Now this time I was just going to ignore her and not even bother. Why bother with such a person right? But she got right in front of me working out and almost begged me to say hello. I finally did and once again it was like she was deliberately trying to just play mute or dumb or something while looking at me. Not smiling not flirting or anything either but just evil. It drove me fucking INSANE but of course I just took it out on my work out. Now 99% of the people in my life who would ignore me and be so rude I wouldn’t care about but this one is like pouring gasoline on a fire.

Now I suspect that she is probably as much a narcissist as I am and that is what the strange attraction is. I’ve maybe met the female equivalent of me. But I’m not like that and I don’t think I’m that fucked up. I really know that we’re all only human and I can be humble. But she irks me and really gets under my skin. I have avoided seeing this girl in this other public venue for this very reason in the past and if I continue to see her in the gym it will be weird. There is some elemental and odd attraction. I don’t know what it is and I wish I could put it to rest but somehow her arrogant disdain or ignoring feels as if it’s deeply personal. Further, the things she does in my presence are like high school. Whispering to someone else in front of me etc. and it’s maddening. Almost as if she’s trying to get under my skin but not in a flirty way but an ugly way. And she has a “spiritual” saying tattooed on her back and I feel like screaming that she has no idea about spirituality. I actually think she channels Satan. Just kidding….well maybe just the devil who is assigned to me… :)

Now if I really got into a relationship with this girl which I don’t think is even remotely possible I think one of us would be dead. And if I saw her with someone I even remotely know I think I would be enraged with jealousy. Explain to me what the hell this is about. It doesn’t seem rational.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@SeventhSense Aw, you should go for it.

chyna's avatar

I agree. Go for it. If it doesn’t seem to be working out, end it.

boxer3's avatar

@SeventhSense , strange…fatal attraction is the worst,
mostly because you can aknowledge all of the things you just stated:
however, still feel drawn to the person for whatever reason….

It sound frustrating as all hell. ><

SeventhSense's avatar

Well I’m convinced that you just want to see me tormented. You probably put her up to it.
I’m frightened for your future. Just a guess but I imagine you’ve had some volatile and deadly relationships.

You must be a male. Women see “divine” drama and “I canfixthatedness” in everything I suppose.

chyna's avatar

@SeventhSense Come on. How often in your life have you felt this way about someone? Never? Once or twice? You have two choices. Start working out at another time to avoid her, or just suck it up and ask her out. Maybe the female version of you is exactly what you need in your life.
And it’s been so long since I’ve had a relationship, I can’t remember if it was volatile, deadly or fantastic.

SeventhSense's avatar

You’re better off. I’m going to become a Buddhist Monk. Of course then I’d probably be tormented with this shit on a daily basis.

But honestly, I’m afraid for her as much as me. I don’t think there’s a chance although I never recall a woman ever being that consistently insane in my presence who didn’t at least have a crush on me. Maybe I’m just not familiar with this species mating dance.

But I remember how this one
happens to end

Oh God though, that Species chick is so hot she could eat me alive for all I care.

chyna's avatar

@SeventhSense It is an odd way to act, but maybe she is so taken with you, she doesn’t know what to do or how to act.
Trust me, becoming a Buddhist Monk is not fun. I have lived it for 3 years, 3 months 2 days.
Not that I am counting.
I hope you at least talk to her, but hopefully ask her out.

SeventhSense's avatar

You’re serious? I’m flattered but render her speechless? I’d love to think so but that’s probably just my ego.
Maybe her narcissism is so deep that it cause her to be terrified of saying the wrong thing or something…. like she’s going to die…either way do I need this?

chyna's avatar

@SeventhSense Is this a picture of the woman you are talking about? :-)

I can relate to being so taken with a guy, I will not talk to him, afraid to come off badly. Funny, it was a guy at the gym also. He kept trying to talk to me, and I wouldn’t talk to him for almost 6 months. Finally we started talking. He honestly pursued talking to me. Turned out he was married. But the point is, yes, she could be taken with you. She could also not like you at all, but that wouldn’t make sense. Why else be close to the machines you are working on if not to get your attention.

SeventhSense's avatar

No but I would gladly be tormented for Natasha.

The only thing worse than someone who hates me is someone who hates me and I can’t figure out why. There are such sadistic individuals though too. I actually wonder if I pursued her if she would twist it into something else.

chyna's avatar

@SeventhSense So think on it and let me know what happens. I think you will eventually talk to her.

boxer3's avatar

@SeventhSense, haha fair enough – but no, I’m a female :]

SeventhSense's avatar

What really pisses me off though is people imagining that I have some issue approaching her. Like if I could only get up the nerve I could meet this delicate creature. WTF? Some people do not listen to a word I say. It’s not about that. It’s a bout a really fucked up twisted part of my nature which even considers this. I’m sorry I brought it up.
I’m impressed.

boxer3's avatar

@SeventhSense. Thanks, I like to think I’m a fairly level headed person for the most part….
Don’t be sorry you brought it up- I get where you’re coming from:
correct me if I’m wrong but its more about how she can deliberately
play petty little mind games, and not even aknowledge you saying hello to her :
which logically should then make you say. “wow this person kind of sucks ,”
and then begin to lose interest in her because why would you ever want to even consider being with somebody like that- but ultimately you still feel some sort of way about her and can’t shake the feeling despite her shitty attitude heh. Those are the worst, because the connection is there and despite what these people do, it may make you frustrated but not less drawn to them…I don’t say ngay for it. I say ignore her if you can manage, maybe one day she’ll realize how her actions are not really flattering..

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