Why you should never date Florence Nightingale

I am still somewhat ruminating over my relationship dynamics where I would date men who somehow needed to fix me. Not only did I date men who wanted to fix me, I also had friends around me who needed to fix me. I have now cut out most people from my life who had this attitude, however I am still trying to figure out all the sides of it.

To be honest, I find these kind of people extremely dangerous. The thing is, relationships with Florence Nightingale’s are all about control….that is about them being in control. Yes, their acts of kindness might look selfless on surface, but serve a need for them to feel like they are in a superior position. Furthermore, they keep finding issues in you which they think you should fix. Florence’s get the most aggressive when they sense that you are somehow becoming independent and then they quickly try to find a new issue which needs to be dealt with in you.

I am thinking of my ex friend who needed to ‘diagnose’ an eating disorder in me just to somehow stay in control of our relationship. I am thinking of my ex who constantly kept finding issues in me and went as far as to tell me this winter how his friend had told him about me being distant and having obvious trust issues. When you break down and actually accept having these issues, Florence’s are there to help you, not for your sake, but for their own.

What I am still struggling with is accepting that it is not love though. Their care might look like love, but in reality it is pity and sympathy. It is kind of difficult to accept that some of your closest people have looked down on you your whole life. They have said to themselves, well I will befriend or date this person who obviously needs fixing, because then I can be in control. It is not going to be an equal relationship, I am not dating my equal, I am dating someone who is beneath me. How does that sound to know that you are this person who is beneath?

It is however even somewhat healing to see these things. Healing, because I can finally admit that I did not imagine people looking down on me. No, they actually did look down on me. My own dear friends looked down on me. It is a weird feeling really. Weird feeling to see that I still mostly have unequal relationships in my life, because I am only slowly transitioning. But some day I will actually have friends and a partner who sees me as equal. Who does not have such glaring control issues that they need someone below them to feel good about the relationship.

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