Why We’re Attracted To People Who Are Wrong For Us

Opposites attract. It’s an age-old phenomena present in chemistry, physics and nature and demonstrated in relationships. You know the story. Jane, a beautiful, ambitious female entrepreneur and civic leader is attracted to Joe, an average-looking guy working part time for a nonprofit. What is the magnetic force compelling her actions? These four answers may surprise you.

Why We're Attracted To People Who Are Wrong For Us

The Nose Knows

Finding your soul mate should be easy. But both genders struggle to find Mr. or Ms. Right. Conventional wisdom tells you to just follow your heart. But the heart doesn’t create pheromones or anthropines, a compound found in the skin and follicles that produces distinct human odors. Martha McClintock, a leading researcher, discovered a releaser pheromone that drives a fast reaction associated with physical attraction.

Hit the Rewind Button

When Winston Churchill said, “Never give in. . .” he could have been referring to you. Psychologists tell us that an unconscious need to correct previous mistakes may have us irresistibly drawn to the same dangerous situations or people. Hence a desire for a certain type.

Live Life Dangerously

Maybe you already know Rebecca aka Wild Rebecca isn’t exactly the kind of woman you take home to mom and dad. But you aren’t looking for a wife just yet. You calculate the risk incorrectly, of course; your analytical skills are faulty. You jump in, enjoy the ride and plummet into an emotional pool of disaster.

It’s Déjà vu

Familiarity can breed contempt or the beginning of a tumultuous relationship. We all find safety with people who mirror our values, behaviors, lifestyle, etc. So even if you know that David is an alcoholic just like your uncle who raised you, you unconsciously find it comforting.

Does the wrong person represent a suppressed side of you? Does rebelling against societal norms seem exciting? Psychologists call this behavior a quest for your ideal selves.

Being attracted to people who are totally wrong for you is not necessarily a bad thing. Honestly assessing your previous choices can be cathartic. Use your discoveries to chart a course to find your real raison d’etre.

 
 
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