I have a friend who once told me something like, "People with a lot of darkness are attracted to people with a lot of light. You are a solar person, meaning that you have a lot of light, and that means that dark people will try to latch on to you and drain your light."
Since as long as I can remember, I've been attracted to people with a dark side. Recently, I've decided to stop wasting my time on people who bring me down, and look for someone who has it together a little bit more. To be clear, I don't think I have it all together myself. Some days I feel like I've got it together, and some days I'm one step away from falling apart. That's exactly why I need someone who is a little bit more stable than the usual people I gravitate towards. Here are some tips for avoiding being attracted to people who just bring you down and will never love you back.
Join a volunteer cause.
Meeting a companion while volunteering is a great idea because spending time contributing to the wellbeing of others signifies that someone can add to your happiness, rather than subtract from it. Keep in mind that some people are complex. Maybe you could meet someone who likes to volunteer, but will still bring you down because he or she is going through a rough time in life.
In this situation, it's up to you whether to continue investing in the relationship, but remember that the choices you make in life should be for you, and that means sometimes saying no in order to protect your own happiness. Communication is important, and if the two of you are able to work through your issues together, that's great, but you should not waste your time on someone who shuts down when things get difficult.
Keep your boundaries clear.
If you're like me, you don't like saying no, and if someone shows interest in you, it makes you want to like them, too. The reality is, you should keep a strong sense of boundaries, and once you've already decided that a person doesn't rise to your expectations, you shouldn't go back to them just because they say that they miss you. It's okay to be picky, and it's okay to turn your back on someone who isn't good for you. That doesn't mean you need to be mean or “ghost” them. You can say, "Hi, I hope you're well," but still not ask to hang out.
Stop trying to save people.
Kind and empathetic people sometime see a person who needs help and feel a desire to rescue them. Try to limit this type of behavior, because you can't help someone who can't help themselves. It's up to each person to figure out how to be alright in life, and if you sacrifice your own needs in order to try to help someone else who is struggling, you run the risk that they will take you for granted, walk all over you, and even abandon you when you are no longer of use to them. It's that simple: Stop choosing people who need saving.
Make your needs and expectations clear.
I've heard it said that dating different people is good because it teaches you what you do and don't want. If you're just getting over someone, make a mental list of what was missing from the relationship, and put that on your checklist for next time. Either make a mental note, or actually write down a list of your needs for next time.
When you're about to get involved with someone new, actually have this conversation with them. For example, you want to hang out once a week not including weekends, you want to sleep in the same bed together or you want this person to meet your family within the first year or two of the relationship. Think about what's important to you and make your needs heard. This is a way to avoid getting caught up in a situation that is bringing you down because it's not going anywhere.
These are my tips to avoid being attracted to people who bring you down. What it comes down to is that the things you do and the choices you make should be for you, not somebody else. Look out for yourself, and take your time finding someone who looks out for you, too. Then, you can look out for each other.