When I tell my clients that we attract each other at our common level of woundedness, they often ask “What exactly does this mean?” Our level of woundedness is the level to which we abandon ourselves. While how we abandon ourselves may be different, how much we each abandon ourselves within our primary relationship is similar.
For example, Jamie and Marie meet and are attracted to each other. Jamie abandons himself through ignoring his own feelings and pulling on others to fill him up with attention, approval and sex. Marie also abandons herself by being a caretaker — tending to others’ feelings while ignoring her own. Their common level of woundedness is the degree to which they each ignore their own feelings and avoid responsibility for them, and each turn to various addictive controlling behaviors to attempt to fill the emptiness within that results from their self-abandonment.
Likewise, a man who is operating as a loving adult with himself would not be attracted to Marie. Instead he would feel put off by her caretaking and the inner neediness from which it stems. He would feel her insecurity, her fear of rejection, and the anxiety that goes along with inner abandonment. No matter how beautiful Marie is, this man would not be attracted to her frequency, which would be much lower than his.
“Why can’t I attract an available partner?” ask many of my clients.
“Because you are not available to yourself — to taking responsibility for your own feelings. As long as you are abandoning yourself, you will attract someone who is also abandoning themselves, and may exhibit this self-abandonment…
Read more: Dr. Margaret Paul, Your Tango