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Why danger isn't as sexy as you think it is

We are drawn to what is just out of reach.

Desire is in reaching across the separateness between me and you.

Remember in Vicky Christina Barcelona when Penelope Cruz said that only unrequited love can be romantic?

(Um, can we talk about the scene when Penelope Cruz and Scarlett Johannson make out in the photo darkroom?)

We love mystery. We love a challenge. We love the unknown just as much as we fear it.

So of course we are attracted to the Byronic Hero, the James Dean, the Femme Fatale.

The danger is sexy.

Your attraction to the emotionally unavailable, the just-out-of-reach person is not a character flaw of yours.

It’s perfectly understandable. They present a challenge, they create uncertainty. Uncertainty can be exciting!

And it can be anxiety-inducing. And sometimes we mistake excitement for anxiety and anxiety for excitement.

This is where things get dicey: this precipice between excitement and anxiety.

This is where you start to do things like lower your standards, and obsessively check your texts, and make yourself available even though you are not because this person has unexpectedly given you a bread crumb of attention again.

The danger here isn’t sexy anymore. The danger is the erosion of your self-esteem. The danger is that in the anxiety-inducing uncertainty, you will doubt everything, including your sense of worthiness.

The danger is you want to stay in it because at this point you just want to win the game.

This is a game that no one wins.

You need to start playing better games.

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