This “superhero” makes you feel: special, attractive, good enough, and stronger. The world seems open, full of possibilities, and conquerable. You believe your patience and good-girl attitude will lead to the coveted spot in his heart. Only to find (just like in the comics) these Supermen can never settle down for long.
Though great with damsels in distress they eventually leave damsels full of stress! Understanding the limitations of the Superhero can help you look beyond the cape and into a healthy relationship.
Settling Down is His Kryptonite.
Initially, he swoops in and exceeds your expectations of what you need. The superhero has learned that this special power gets your love, appreciation, and admiration. Now that you’re super into him … “Mission Accomplished” on his part! He has that admiration from you and now he is on the lookout for other women in need.
Afraid that settling down would kill his superpowers, he does not want to change the person he is. Not ready to let go of the cape and tights, he sees himself as special and these missions are more important than close relationships.
You Cannot Save a Superhero, Only Self-Destruct Trying
Every superhero has baggage to deal with before they can be in a healthy relationship. Though he has revealed some vulnerabilities to you, doesn’t mean he wants to deal with them. Another superpower is his ability to show you just enough of his soft human side to help you connect even closer. If he wanted that side of him to dominate, then he would just be Clark Kent!
Batman saw his parents murdered and Spiderman suffered with guilt for his uncle’s death. Your superhero would have to be ready to deal with the issues under his cape to experience a real relationship! More often than not, they would rather “fly-on” than dig deep. Often women get trapped into thinking “they” are not good enough for him to make it work. The fact is that the superhero is simply not ready … and may never be.
No Equality = The Death of True Intimacy
Superheroes want to appear strong and in control, so they hide their weaknesses. Your desire to be emotionally close appears to him as a diabolical plan to destroy his independence. Unfortunately, this prevents you both from being on equal footing. Without the consistent ability to be vulnerable and face his flaws while being sensitive to your needs, true intimacy cannot form.
In his current world, there is only room for one superhero. This means long-term reciprocity will be a super-challenge for him and even more for you. Eventually, emotional distance develops and annihilates the relationship.
Eventually Your Supervillainess Emerges
You are mortal and therefore imperfect. Trying to transform a superhero will bring about the supervillainess in you. “The Questioner” will emerge about why he cannot give you the little you ask for. The “Princess of Passive-Aggressive” will start pulling away and copying his superhero tactics of appearing and then disappearing. You may be fighting to save “the perfect world” you desire with him, though “his world” is uninhabitable for the healthy relationship you deserve.
Bring YOURSELF to Justice
It is understandable why you were initially attracted to him, but now ask yourself: “What are the reasons I am holding out to make this relationship work?” It’s important to honestly reflection on why you’re still on the pursuit. Do you believe: “If his love is difficult to attain, it must be valuable;” “If he changes for me, then its true love;” “If I move on now, then it will all be for nothing”?
Fact-checking these beliefs will help you see that your good intention is to “make it work.” But, there are no facts to support his lack of commitment as related to your value, changing someone is a sign of love, and getting out earlier is nothing more than you knowing how to care for yourself. He can’t maintain the “superhero” long-term with you, but don’t confuse his inability to face his kryptonite with you not being “good-enough.”
Superheroes are entertaining. I would see them on the big-screen, but would not make them a part of my big-picture. In relationships, they swoop in and out. What comes on as a relief can leave your environment in rubble. It is important to see a “Red Cape” as a “Red Flag.” Accepting that every superhero has his relational-limitations may lead us to rethink the values and true strengths that are most important for a truly Super-Relationship!
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