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Koren Norton

Pulling the Wrong Person, Part 2

Continuing where we left off last week, here are some more character traits that, when taken overboard, tend to attract romantic partners that will only hurt us in the long run.

• You have a tendency to try to fix people. Boy, am I myself guilty of this one. You are not your partner's counselor, fixer or mother. The sad truth is that a "momma bear" or fixer type person will inevitably attract the broken, the distressed, the helpless and the problematic. Often, they know they need to improve themselves on some level, but would rather be with someone who makes them feel good as they are instead of trying to change themselves. Not sure if this is you? If you have a high tolerance for pain and feel like it makes you a better person; or if you keep enduring and trying to repair what is not in your power to fix, it is. Of course you can support your partner who is actively working on self-improvement, but you are not miracle worker. Worse still, if someone doesn't realize they can improve, you will be like an ant trying to push an elephant up Mount Everest trying to change them.

• You give too much of yourself. Toxic people are attracted to persons who don't say no; they take and take and take. It could be your money, your time, your body or your heart. They love it when you are the kind of person who would drop everything to solve their problems, you must answer their texts even if you are busy at work and you are their personal taxi service. They can often be needy and suck the life out of you and being the giver that you are, it feels normal until you realize they own you and you become resentful.

• You have an idealistic view of people. It's nice to be optimistic but you must trust your radar that tells you when something is off. Sometimes others see the reality of your relationship but you just make excuses: she swears she will change, he is just going through a phase, she was hurt as a child, he can't help himself and more and more. When you realize that something is wrong, follow your instinct and deal with it. Recognize that while there are many truly wonderful people in this world, there are some who are users and abusive and predators and you can help them from a distance: just say goodbye and pray for them – from far away.

Even if you recognize yourself in this list, don't blame yourself for others' shortcomings: Your heart was in the right place. Your generous personality could really add a lot of positive to a relationship with the right person. You're meant to be loved, treasured, and treated with care and respect. Keep being your wonderful self, but in all of your giving and your positive view of others, practice setting boundaries and know when to walk away.

Send your questions confidentialy to askoren@live.com or via twitter @korennorton