Dear Dr. Love, I am a college student who was dating the perfect guy but for some reason I dumped him. He was perfect in that he did whatever I asked with no complaints, was faithful, I even put a dent in his car and he still stayed with me.I don’t know what is wrong with me as soon as I dumped I started messing with my ex who treats me like a whore calling me wheneever he wants sex. In the past I’ve had a lot of boyfriends like my college sweetheart but never seemed to stay interested, what’s my problem?
I can understand why you want to make sense of your behavior. It is very upsetting when an internal force causes you to behave in ways that you don’t understand or that aren’t in your best interest. Here’s what I think is going on.I think that you were abused as a child. This would explain your passing comment about your boyfriend not dumping you for scratching his car. That remark tells me that you expect to be dumped for having made a mistake.Clearly, you expect to be treated this way because you were mistreated when you made a mistake during your formative years. How does this lead you to dump your boyfriends?In order to protect yourself from being punished and dumped, your mind dumps the other person before he can get around to hurting you. This mechanism is like dying by your own sword. Since you are sure that you are going to be dumped at any moment, why not end it yourself?This keeps you feeling in control. The problem is that your preemptive strikes, or rather preemptive dumping, leaves you without a relationship. Plus, you live your life as if you were home with mom and dad, always protecting yourself against being punished by them. Doing so keeps you stuck in the past without a hope of ever experiencing a new, more healthy relationship.By the same token, being a creature of habit, you are uncomfortable with someone who treats you well and instead seek out men who treat you like garbage. The mind tends to seek out familiar pain, rather than seek out the unfamiliar.This is called the Status Quo Resistance, and all humans have this problem to one degree or another. Starting therapy would be a good idea. These kinds of patterns rarely dissolve on their own.My best wishes for a speedy recovery.