Both of them told me that they had realized that they purposely seek out young men in relationships whom they "know" to be no good for them. My young friend said that she does it because she needs the drama, as well as the praises (for her beauty, intelligence, charm, etc.) that these young men invariably offer her. My daughter said that she does it unconsciously, because she's trying to conform to the model of the earliest male-female relationship she had ever witnessed; that is, the relationship between me and her mother, who divorced me after a relatively brief marriage some 15 years ago.
Although I agree that the model my ex-wife and I presented to my tiny daughter was definitely not that of a healthy male-female relationship, I think it's more important at this stage that we find some way for her, as a grown woman, to find a healthier model of an intimate relationship within her experience, and to follow that model instead. What the two young women seem to have in common is a "need" to experience a dark side, even though it's a destructive dark side, in their romantic relationships.
While I think it's great that they both have realized this, and it's probably a good thing that they decided they had to tell me about it, I'm a little bit overwhelmed. Did I, for whatever reason, think so lowly of myself that I unconsciously sought out a woman with whom I "knew" I could have a destructive and unhealthy marriage?
The component that they both have in common is low self-esteem. They seem not to think themselves *worthy* of a positive, healthy relationship. Now, for my part, I basically, consciously, have no real desire to even be in a relationship. I'm not cynical about them; I just function best alone. Every now and then I have a girlfriend, but it never really goes anywhere, and usually the relationship just sort of fades out. But in my youth, it was very important to have a girlfriend. So I can't imagine that I would have on any level, consciously or unconsciously, sought out an unhealthy relationship.
What do you guys think of all this?