Are You More Attracted to the Happy-Go-Lucky Type, or the Tortured Soul?

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seoulsearch

OutWrite Trouble
May 23, 2009
12,704
2,974
113
#1
Hey Everyone,

When it comes to romantic attraction, do you tend to be more drawn to the "happy-go-lucky" (optimistic, cheerful, able to shrug off adversity, the glass is always half-full types,) or are you more taken in by a thorn-laden, tortured soul?

I know there are no absolute answers and mostly in-betweens, but I was pondering this question for myself and thought it would be interesting to see what you all have to say about your own preferences.

I also realize that because of sin and the way the world is today, "happy-go-lucky" types might also be nearly impossible to find. We ALL have thorns in our souls somewhere, so I guess what I'm really thinking about is the way people react to or deal with them.

For years, I was like a moth to the flame when it came to pain-laden, tortured souls because I used to think that there was something I could do to help, which is what I found fulfilling.

Over the years, one of the most important lessons I've learned (through a lot of trial and error, and mostly error,)is that some people cling on to their thorns tightly and don't want them removed (because it brings them attention or benefit - just look at daytime talk shows or even within the church.) And, even if a thorn is removed, its beholder might take out all the resulting pain on the one who is trying to help, or is closest to them.

Because of this, it's made be a lot more cautious about whom I get close to (whether in friendships or dating,) though it hasn't really changed my "nature" or preference. When it comes to romantic attraction especially, I am still often drawn to a tortured soul who is genuinely trying his best, while not making excuses or blaming others for his own subsequent choices.

I know it sounds crazy, but I wonder if I would feel rather useless if the other person didn't need me to somehow help him with his thorns.

And, it has me thinking about how I deal with my own thorns as well.

How about the rest of you?

* Are you more attracted to positive, optimistic people, or the darker, brooding types, and why do you think that is?

* On which end of the scale do you consider your own self to be?

* If you are attracted to those on one side of the scale, do you think you would, or could be, attracted to the opposite? (Or at least, someone who is more of what you normally attracted to.) Why or why r?

I'm looking forward to hearing your thoughts. :)
 

Lanolin

Well-known member
Dec 15, 2018
9,962
3,620
113
#2
daytime talk shows are terrible.
My sister used to watch them but I couldnt stand them after a while they just all blurred into the same thing.

to answer your q
I think most people Ive met had some kind of thorn, I dont know if I was so much attracted to them as they were to me! maybe I was the relatively happy go lucky person?

But then most people seem happy on the surface as in general thats how people present themselves to be, not everyone wears depression on their sleeve.

Funny you bring this up as a topic as the novel Im reading brings up this dilemma. The narrator has just driven her exes car off a cliff. Shes attracted to artist types, not necessarily tortured, but she kind of worships guys with a talent to create, which she herself does not cultivate. But Its hard work loving an artist.

They can be irresponsible and hopeless with money. and plus if you marry or shack up with an artist, then you must contend with their groupies.
 

Lanolin

Well-known member
Dec 15, 2018
9,962
3,620
113
#3
actually no she torched the car I dont mean to say she did a thelma and louise. I havent finished reading it yet to understand why she did this though. He left her after she had a miscarriage for someone else.
 

JustEli

Well-known member
Dec 23, 2018
1,368
975
113
46
#4
"Reflect: is not the dreamer, sleeping or waking, one who likens dissimilar things, who puts the copy
in the place of the real object?" Plato The republic

In reference to knowledge and opinion.
 

JustEli

Well-known member
Dec 23, 2018
1,368
975
113
46
#5
To paraphrase the opposite side of the coin.
those who are not dreamers will distinguish the idea from the object that participates in the idea, replacing neither with the other.
 

SoulWeaver

Senior Member
Oct 25, 2014
4,891
2,521
113
#6
Husband is both.
He has an optimistic and chill personality, but also people and things deeply emotionally affect him, and it's taxing him more than he's aware of. I try to help by talking to him more because he doesn't understand the importance of talking and not sweeping what bothers you under the carpet until you crash, you won't ruin the day, you tell how was your day, and get a bit of relief and clarity about it if it was not good. I mean, he sees it himself by now, but... stubborn!
I've always admired optimists because it's totally not how I see the world. I don't think it's about attraction to problems necessarily (it might be that in some cases), but it's that your sensibility must match, you want to able to relate, to have a friend who can really see what you see. I think this is important. I'm easily distractible, which does help take some edge off, otherwise my personality would be a lot darker. The future is bleak... oh look, it's a squirrel!:LOL::ROFL::ROFL::ROFL:
 

IToreTheSky

Well-known member
Aug 20, 2020
695
519
93
N.Y.
#7
I would say I am attracted to balance. I don't mind if someone's a bit dark and thorny at times,but some ppl are never happy and are way overboard. That gets to be a bit much.
On the other hand ppl that are overly bright and cheery all the time tend to give me a headache. LoL after a while it just seems fake.
Now with that said when I was younger I think I leaned more towards the tortured soul, either because I could relate to them or I felt needed like I could help "rescue" them in some way. I don't feel this way anymore.
Most of my angst or attraction to ppl who were tortured souls had a lot to do with my own issues.
The more I let God help me with my junk, the more I found pleasure and peace around ppl who were more optimistic or just happier in general.
It's nice to feel needed by the person you are with but not in a sick or destructive way.
I'm someone who needs balance,and in turn I would want to be that for them too.
With God's help I don't think that's too unrealistic of a desire to have.
Ok I'm rambling again. LoL
Btw...Great thread seoul!
 

Dino246

Senior Member
Jun 30, 2015
16,620
9,063
113
#8
Um... is there a 'door number three'?

Generally, I prefer upbeat people to downbeat people. It's a musical thing.

People who have a dark, brooding outlook on life generally are poor company. However, upbeat people can be irritating at times as well.

Maybe that's why I just prefer my own company. I play on the upbeat, I play on the downbeat, I even skip a beat at times. ;)
 

TheIndianGirl

Well-known member
Nov 22, 2019
901
602
93
#9
I have family members and a best friend who are tortured souls so I'm pretty sure I would not want a tortured soul as a life partner. Tortured souls tend to be negative and pessimistic based on my observations, and they tend to make me unhappy after awhile to the point where I need a break from that person. The (fictional) person that came to mind is Heathcliff from Wuthering Heights; while he has some romantic traits some women would pine for no way would I want to marry someone like him. Another example would be Darcy from Pride and Prejudice (but he isn't so bad when compared with Heathcliff since at least he isn't vengeful).
 

cinder

Senior Member
Mar 26, 2014
3,578
1,660
113
#10
Questions like this are why I stay away from romantic relationships. What I know about me is that I need to hash things out and deal with them. A while ago I had to read this book about cross cultural stuff and in addition to the many aspects of culture that like every book covers, this one talked about crisis vs non-crisis orientation in a culture. And to sum up crisis oriented people are the ones who think about what could go wrong and make plans to mitigate the negative effects, and non-crisis oriented people are those who think things are just fine, until the moment of crisis is upon them and then they deal with it as best they can in the moment. I don't know if I'm completely doing justice to that dichotomy because I'm so crisis oriented it I think non-crisis orientation is stupidity.

All that to say, I couldn't be with someone who was non-crisis oriented and doubt I'd even be seriously attracted. But I know I do have a soft spot for those guys ( a couple guys from the past spring to mind in particular ) who are struggling and wounded but have a few good characteristics as well and I can get very caught up in wanting to do whatever I can to see hope and healing come to them. So far I've been wise enough to remember that I'm not the savior and that compassion does not equal romance and haven't dated or really gotten romantically entangled with any such guys, but it is something I need to keep my guard up on. One of the best resources I read on this can be summarized by saying if your main motivations in the relationship are fear, obligation, and guilt then it's not a good and healthy relationship.

And all that put together plus the opinions I hear from other people makes me think that if I ever were to venture into the dating arena I would be so cautious and distant in the early stages of getting to know someone that I'd probably be the world's most frustrating date ( and not make it to the later stages, so I guess it's good I believe in a God who works miracles ).
 

JustEli

Well-known member
Dec 23, 2018
1,368
975
113
46
#11
Questions like this are why I stay away from romantic relationships. What I know about me is that I need to hash things out and deal with them. A while ago I had to read this book about cross cultural stuff and in addition to the many aspects of culture that like every book covers, this one talked about crisis vs non-crisis orientation in a culture. And to sum up crisis oriented people are the ones who think about what could go wrong and make plans to mitigate the negative effects, and non-crisis oriented people are those who think things are just fine, until the moment of crisis is upon them and then they deal with it as best they can in the moment. I don't know if I'm completely doing justice to that dichotomy because I'm so crisis oriented it I think non-crisis orientation is stupidity.

All that to say, I couldn't be with someone who was non-crisis oriented and doubt I'd even be seriously attracted. But I know I do have a soft spot for those guys ( a couple guys from the past spring to mind in particular ) who are struggling and wounded but have a few good characteristics as well and I can get very caught up in wanting to do whatever I can to see hope and healing come to them. So far I've been wise enough to remember that I'm not the savior and that compassion does not equal romance and haven't dated or really gotten romantically entangled with any such guys, but it is something I need to keep my guard up on. One of the best resources I read on this can be summarized by saying if your main motivations in the relationship are fear, obligation, and guilt then it's not a good and healthy relationship.

And all that put together plus the opinions I hear from other people makes me think that if I ever were to venture into the dating arena I would be so cautious and distant in the early stages of getting to know someone that I'd probably be the world's most frustrating date ( and not make it to the later stages, so I guess it's good I believe in a God who works miracles ).

I think it is safe to say Socrates would not put Cinder in the dreamer crowd.
 

seoulsearch

OutWrite Trouble
May 23, 2009
12,704
2,974
113
#13
Just to clarify, I'm certainly not trying to say that all, or even most people fall into mostly one category or the other. EVERYONE is some kind of a blend.

In fact, one of the purposes of this thread could be seen as an opportunity to ask how much of each side you see in yourself, and where you would fit on the spectrum.

Part of what led me to write this thread has been a time of introspection regarding my own leftover thorns.

I've been having a bit of a "Pennywise" moment ("Everything floats down here!!!"), and therefore, my expression in the original post was a bit more skewed towards the extreme than I actually meant it to be.
 

IToreTheSky

Well-known member
Aug 20, 2020
695
519
93
N.Y.
#14
I think we all have leftover thorns.
As long as we have flesh that will be something we (through God's Spirit)
have to contend with I think.
Therefore life being life it's all part of the journey and growth.
I find that the more I give things to the Lord the less toxic or depressing things I want to be around ....
If that makes sense. 😊
 

Encouragement

Well-known member
Aug 25, 2020
1,261
1,149
113
#15
Hey Everyone,

When it comes to romantic attraction, do you tend to be more drawn to the "happy-go-lucky" (optimistic, cheerful, able to shrug off adversity, the glass is always half-full types,) or are you more taken in by a thorn-laden, tortured soul?

I know there are no absolute answers and mostly in-betweens, but I was pondering this question for myself and thought it would be interesting to see what you all have to say about your own preferences.

I also realize that because of sin and the way the world is today, "happy-go-lucky" types might also be nearly impossible to find. We ALL have thorns in our souls somewhere, so I guess what I'm really thinking about is the way people react to or deal with them.

For years, I was like a moth to the flame when it came to pain-laden, tortured souls because I used to think that there was something I could do to help, which is what I found fulfilling.

Over the years, one of the most important lessons I've learned (through a lot of trial and error, and mostly error,)is that some people cling on to their thorns tightly and don't want them removed (because it brings them attention or benefit - just look at daytime talk shows or even within the church.) And, even if a thorn is removed, its beholder might take out all the resulting pain on the one who is trying to help, or is closest to them.

Because of this, it's made be a lot more cautious about whom I get close to (whether in friendships or dating,) though it hasn't really changed my "nature" or preference. When it comes to romantic attraction especially, I am still often drawn to a tortured soul who is genuinely trying his best, while not making excuses or blaming others for his own subsequent choices.

I know it sounds crazy, but I wonder if I would feel rather useless if the other person didn't need me to somehow help him with his thorns.

And, it has me thinking about how I deal with my own thorns as well.

How about the rest of you?

* Are you more attracted to positive, optimistic people, or the darker, brooding types, and why do you think that is?

* On which end of the scale do you consider your own self to be?

* If you are attracted to those on one side of the scale, do you think you would, or could be, attracted to the opposite? (Or at least, someone who is more of what you normally attracted to.) Why or why r?

I'm looking forward to hearing your thoughts. :)
Interesting thread here.I believe that all of us have various personal struggles that we are aware of that could have a big impact to a relationship in one way or another.Someone can see us as a tortured soul but we can't see it for ourselves..
Personally what can draw me to a person really depends on the individual because some people who are optimistic all the time can occasionally gloss over issues with a flood of superficial positivity instead of digging deeper and facing things head on..and also those who have lots of thorns can also be hurtful and could treat you unfairly at times coz when you get too close to a thorn...you will get pierced.Sometimes its not the struggles that's the issues...
...but rather how this individual feels about their struggles that actually defines them.
A tortured soul is also a person wounded by life and yet they can also be very sweet and delightfully endearing and can love you to death despite what they are going through. Some people would love to meet someone who will actually listen to them and take them seriously and you manifesting such traits is beautiful in their eyes..even christlike and they can sincerely fall in love with you not because of what they gain from you...because of who you actually are.
A partner who can encourage and even minister to another is a God given dynamic...but wisdom is needed as another persons need can appeal to our need to be wanted and validated ect...which in itself can be a reflection of our own insecurity.
I think it's good to be able to approach life in realistic way ..example...
If one has body dysmorphia and wants to open up about this to the other person but the other person just keeps quoting scripture at them instead of letting them open up and share their struggles with body image or how they think they are ugly ect is a reflection of the optimistic person being unable to manage the emotional weight of another...so their optimistic view on life can also be at times rooted in a form of escapism.
I could be attracted to either type to be honest...what would define the attraction will depend on the individual coz we are all unique.
There is joy in meeting a realist...Yet there is also joy in meeting an optimistic too.I guess it's more a case of what kind of optimistic are they...?..what kind of tortured soul are they..?
 

Encouragement

Well-known member
Aug 25, 2020
1,261
1,149
113
#16
Interesting thread here.I believe that all of us have various personal struggles that we are aware of that could have a big impact to a relationship in one way or another.Someone can see us as a tortured soul but we can't see it for ourselves..
Personally what can draw me to a person really depends on the individual because some people who are optimistic all the time can occasionally gloss over issues with a flood of superficial positivity instead of digging deeper and facing things head on..and also those who have lots of thorns can also be hurtful and could treat you unfairly at times coz when you get too close to a thorn...you will get pierced.Sometimes its not the struggles that's the issues...
...but rather how this individual feels about their struggles that actually defines them.
A tortured soul is also a person wounded by life and yet they can also be very sweet and delightfully endearing and can love you to death despite what they are going through. Some people would love to meet someone who will actually listen to them and take them seriously and you manifesting such traits is beautiful in their eyes..even christlike and they can sincerely fall in love with you not because of what they gain from you...because of who you actually are.
A partner who can encourage and even minister to another is a God given dynamic...but wisdom is needed as another persons need can appeal to our need to be wanted and validated ect...which in itself can be a reflection of our own insecurity.
I think it's good to be able to approach life in realistic way ..example...
If one has body dysmorphia and wants to open up about this to the other person but the other person just keeps quoting scripture at them instead of letting them open up and share their struggles with body image or how they think they are ugly ect is a reflection of the optimistic person being unable to manage the emotional weight of another...so their optimistic view on life can also be at times rooted in a form of escapism.
I could be attracted to either type to be honest...what would define the attraction will depend on the individual coz we are all unique.
There is joy in meeting a realist...Yet there is also joy in meeting an optimistic too.I guess it's more a case of what kind of optimistic are they...?..what kind of tortured soul are they..?
Man...I need to write a book...the comment I posted was llllllloooonnnnggggg..😅😅😅
 

Pipp

Majestic Llamacorn
Sep 17, 2013
4,813
1,803
113
#17
Definitely a more positive kind of man.
 

christian74

Senior Member
Oct 1, 2013
566
250
43
#18
Happy is probably not the word I'm looking for but someone who knows how to be content in all situation.
Also, I need to let cinder know that I'm a typical non-crisis oriented type; I do love and enjoy my life.
Lastly, I'm attracted to the one I am attracted to (I don't think I can truly explain/describe why I am attracted to someone particular and frankly don't care why).
 

Ruby123

Well-known member
Mar 1, 2019
5,174
3,932
113
#19
A happy, upbeat person always seems to come across as false to me. A tortured soul has depth to their emotion and can understand when you are feeling down instead of dismissing it and telling you to get over it. Having said that a tortured soul who chooses to embrace their suffering and remain in it without attempting to work through it is not what I like either.

So someone in between who has gone through the tough times and has made their way out or is on their way out and has that sense of peace and strength and thankfulness is what I like. Of course the only way you could ever reach this state is to truly surrender to the Lord and let him do the work within in you and obey any instructions he may give you to do.
 

Lynx

Folksy yet erudite
Aug 13, 2014
16,945
4,142
113
#20
Well... it all depends.

I'm a fixer. If the tortured soul is wanting to find a solution I'm there. I'm also a semi-pro listener, so if the tortured soul just wants to vent for a bit I'm there.

If the tortured soul vents about the same thing every day and just wallows in it, I'm out like last century's light bulb.

For the other end of the spectrum, if the happy-go-lucky type is quietly content with his life, that's cool. If he is an optimist who sees the bright side of life, that's great.

If he's the determinedly cheerful type who deliberately ignores anything negative, and castigates anybody around him who is feeling down, that is annoying. One should not make others feel guilty because they do not feel happy right now. When somebody is down and another person says, "Smile!" I feel like punching the second person in the gut and saying, "See? Smiling can be harder than you thought." I have never done it before, but I sure have felt like it.


SHORT VERSION: Up or down, either is okay as long as the person comprehends the other is possible and understandable.