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Choose Partners Not Projects

Alexis Azria

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When Lisa’s boyfriend broke up with her, we were all surprised. Yet after a few questions, it became clear that he was fiercely independent yet feared loneliness. He loved sex but not intimacy. He wanted a relationship but not the inherent growth attached to it. With the exception of Lisa, he consistently chose partners who were emotionally unavailable — married, cheaters, physically abusive — all who used seduction to reel him in.

Lisa was heartbroken.

“He seemed perfect. He loved his children. He was involved with his church. He loved his work and had tons of friends. He cared for his parents and we just clicked on so many levels. Yet despite him telling me that I was the one he looked for in his life, that he felt at peace whenever we were together, he literally became more distant the closer we became.”

“Maybe he wanted that,” I responded.

Lisa looked at me shocked.

With no addictions or character disorders, he definitely wasn’t on the list of “Projects”… those emotionally unavailable folks who do not have the ability to connect with their partners, nor can they grow within a healthy relationship without the help of therapy or self-reflection. And even then, some may not be able to change at all.

Who are projects?

  1. Addicts. Addiction comes in many forms, not just alcohol and drugs. It could be work, shopping, social media, video games, porn, sex, romance novels or even exercise. People literally can be addicted to anything to avoid their pain or their feelings of shame and anxiety. Most addicts tend to surround themselves with friends who also escape reality while justifying their behavior by blaming someone or something for their actions. Remember, you cannot help an addict until they decide they want help. Until then, you will always have a threesome — you, them and the addiction.
  2. Slackers — The ones who don’t have a job or close friends. Either one is a red flag but together it’s a highway billboard screaming “Stay Away!” Similiar to every “project” on this list, their friends or the lack thereof, will tell you a lot about a person.
  3. Dreamers — Those who think great things will appear magically including romance and refusing to put effort into anything. They falsely…

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Alexis Azria

Writer and curious creator. Passionate about work, life & social issues. Visit alexisazria.com