Last week I wrote a few posts about hooks , which are “conscious and subconscious ‘stories’ that we tell ourselves as to why we are with someone, why we think we feel so much for someone, and why we struggle to let go of the relationship.”
They’re your ‘blind spots’ because they affect your ability to see the person in their entirety because you instead, allow these hooks to carry so much weight that they distort your perception of the relationship, them and even you.
I also talked about ‘picturing’ :
This is where you take pieces of information that you hear or see (hooks), make assumptions about the person and correlate it to the rest of them, and as a result of this information and the resulting assumptions, adjust your picture of the potential of the relationship.
We then add hooks and picturing together and we come up with the potential for the relationship. Of course the problem is that while there are some elements of truth, they’re mixed in with illusions and it can seem difficult to disentangle ourselves which is why we end using the word ‘but’ a lot.
But he’s so busy at work. He’s so important and everyone wants a piece of him.
But he’s got a lot of issues he needs to deal with. He’s so kind, generous, and loving…or at least he would be without all of these problems.
We often exaggerate the ‘greatness’ and importance of these hooks because many of us are afraid of the consequences of change or the perceived cost of change. It seems more comfortable to be uncomfortable in inertia than it does to change our situations because it is uncomfortable, so we stay put and overestimate the wrong things (the hooks) to not only convince ourselves and him of our greatness, but to avoid having to do something about it and confront things about ourselves that we’re too afraid to see.
I remember many moons ago when I lived in Florida for a few months and ended up being involved with an assclown that turned out to be mean and aggressive with a drink problem, plus an allergy to the truth amongst his offences. When I told him it was over, he at this point was living at my place (freeloader). I was giving him the cold freeze for the two weeks until I headed back home to Dublin and after a few days, he actually had the brass nuts to practically demand that we should continue sleeping together until I left. I actually laughed at the sheer audacity of him. While some people can do the whole slipping ‘em a piece, me – when I break, I break. Sex was the last thing on my mind. He just expected to press The Reset Button and get shagging!
As I thought about hooks earlier, I realised that you can tell a lot about what the other person thinks your hooks are by what they focus on in the relationship, especially when the chips are down.
This deluded assclown thought my hook was ‘sex and passion’. He thought that even though he had lied and driven me nuts with The Dripfeed Manoeuvre and racked up a litany of black marks, the moment that I was presented with an opportunity to screw him, he assumed that I would jump on board. I screwed him alright…just not the way he intended!
Another ex Mr Unavailable that straddled the assclown fence, when he tried to get back together with me, he tapped into what he thought were my hooks ‘Security’, ‘Plans’, and even ‘Validation and Righteousness’. He talked about buying ‘us’ a house, getting me a ‘little car’, letting me do a ‘little course’ and how I wouldn’t want for anything. He started talking about the future all of a sudden where before he’d been reluctant to talk about the next hour, and it was ‘I’m an asshole. I didn’t know what I had. It wasn’t you’ and yada, yada, yada.
One of the interesting things you’ll notice which will be a sign of your own personal growth and increasing indifference is when the old hooks don’t hook you so much or anymore.
There was a time when, for instance, being secure, making plans, and getting validated would have felt like all my Christmases had come together, but actually, when he came back into my life, it turned out that the hooks were no longer attractive or effective.
This means that when you present certain qualities, characteristics and behaviours, they do their own picturing and assume the potential for them to be and do as they please.
And it’s also important to note, that particularly with assclowns and Mr Unavailables, they’ve danced this dance many times before and so in some sort of warped cloning type action, they think that because various other women they have been with who have exhibited that quality, characteristic, or behaviour, have accepted certain things from them that you’ll accept certain things. They assume they can also play to the same ‘ole hooks.
This is why the good looking guy that shags around and thinks all his ex’s were hooked on his great sex assumes that he can just jump your bones.
So looking back at the key hooks and ‘reverse engineering’ them:
Security – Money, family, perceived ability to commit, their presence, having a title. They’ll litter the conversation with ‘we’, talk about how they’d like to have kids with you, buy you this buy you that, how they don’t want to be with another….even if they’ve known you a relatively short period of time. If you’ve broken up, they use the word ‘girlfriend’ or make veiled references to you being their wife. However on the flipside, this hook can be used as a weapon to prevent you from leaving as they may say you won’t survive without them, how will you manage, they won’t support the kids etc. You’ll convince yourself you can’t manage without them.
Sex & Passion – Drama, spontaneity, excitement, great in bed, sexual chemistry and attraction, ‘best you’ve ever had’ syndrome. They’ll focus their energies on trying to seduce you. Even when you’ve been out of touch for a while, they’ll suddenly send a sex text. When you try to talk to them, they try to silence you with sex and seduction. They tell you that they’re the best you’ve had or that nobody does it like you do. It’s even the stuff like ‘My wife/ex didn’t do….’ so that you leap up and offer to do whatever that was. It’s the booty calls, suddenly turning up, suddenly disappearing and reappearing, and the air of mystery. If you’ve been practically hurling yourself at him naked or telling him that you’re hooked on his sex, he will think he has you in the palm of his hand.
Pain & Problems (Sympathy & Control) – They may know you like to feel needed so make out that they can’t manage without you (even though they can). They do the whole One Time In Bandcamp and Poor Poor Pathetic Me Whine and if it’s your hook, you’ll lap it up. He may break down in crocodile tears suddenly and you’ll think he’s in so much pain or that he’s exhibiting emotion. Of course…you’ll forget what was bothering you only moments before… Remember the episode of Sex and the City where the guy told Charlotte and a whole host of women that he was bereaved and grieving and was sleeping with them all? That’s a man who hooks women on sympathy.
Propensity (or lack of) to Commit – Beware of the person that knows you’re eager to be in a relationship. Again they’ll talk about ‘we’ a lot, litter the conversations with references to the future, make casual comments that you’ll think mean more than they do. When you break up, they woo you back with talk of engagement, kids, settling down. On the flipside, knowing how much you want it, they may use it to make out that you’re failing in certain areas hence why they haven’t committed. They may say they want to commit, it’s just bad timing or whatever obstacle they’re claiming stands in the way.
Disinterest & Rejection – They know that you’re interested because they’re not and then they dangle the possibility of potentially being interested and play to your sense of rejection and use it to their advantage such as still getting sex, an ego stroke, or a shoulder to lean on.
Appearance – They know you’re blinded by their appearance so it’s quite easy – they just keep making sure that they’re looking good and may even try to make you feel grateful for their presence.
Validation & Righteousness – They know you want validation so they either starve you of it and use you chasing it to gain an advantage or, for instance, when you break up or when they need to get you back on side, they give you validation to pull you back in. Also be careful because when someone knows you’re obsessed with being right, they’ll make out that you’re wrong to keep the drama going and wrong-foot you.
Plans – They fake a future with you and you get so caught up in someone making plans with you that you miss some alarm bells that should be ringing. When they’re trying to get you back or stop you from leaving, they talk up a storm about plans…that don’t materialise.
Interest - They know you’re hooked on the fact that they’re interested in the first place and that you may even be grateful for their interest so they may imply or outright demand certain expectations be met as a result. They may also dangle the possibility of them losing interest.
Connection – Sex, common interests, sense of humour, similar jobs, backgrounds, childhoods. They know you buy into these things so they used these seemingly shared connections to blind you to other things that may not be so great. When you tell them to beat it, they’ll remind you of these connections.
Fantasy – They know you’re not on the same planet as them and that you’ve got carried away with the fantasy and they exploit that by sometimes playing to it to get what they want.
Regret – They may know that you misguidedly are blaming and shaming yourself over the relationship and feeling guilty and they use the opportunity of righting those wrongs to their advantage. They’ll basically exploit your ability to bear the responsibility for the failure of the relationship.
Just like I explained in my post on unhooking yourself , it’s all about you getting very real about the lure of the hooks and working out what is fact and fiction. What you can see here is that the other party may see the hooks and the potential very differently because you may be thinking about the potential of the relationship whereas they may be thinking about what they can get.
Just like the local drug pusher that knows you’re hooked on crack and dangles some in front of you, in a relationship where there is hooks and illusions, the other party does realise that there are benefits to dangling possibilities in front of you but they do come at a price. Don’t sell yourself short and make it your mission and responsibility to give it to yourself straight no chaser and get back into reality so that you don’t continue to be involved with someone who can tug at your hooks. Just like me, when you do get real, the hooks don’t look or seem so attractive anymore and you realise that they need to step up to the plate a hell of a lot more to be worthy of your time. That’s when you’ll quickly see who is all talk and little or no action and who is really deserving of you.