Updated: Sep 11, 2019
In a previous post, we explore whether people have relationship types (If you haven't read that post, find it here). In this article I'll be exploring how people can break the cycle of picking the wrong type over and over.
1. Identify the Pattern
Remember that before you can do anything to change your future, you have to identify that there is an issue in the past/present. Recognize that no one person has every area of their lives figured out, and if relationships are an area you struggle with, you might need a little help. Therapy, family, friends, relationship coaches are all things you can use to help identify negative relationship patterns.
The main thing is, you want to understand what it is about the relationship that keeps going wrong. Are you picking the same selfish person? Or maybe you pick people you constantly have to take care of.
Remember that identifying the pattern also means understanding your role in your past relationships. Knowing the pattern is the first step in making a change.
2. Understand That Comfort Often Masquerades as Intense Attraction
Most people generally accept the idea that we are ruled as much by our unconscious (some might say even more) as we are by our conscious thoughts. Relationships are often unconsciously our attempt to finish "unfinished" business from our past.
Our relationships are going to be a combination of the relationships we've experienced in the past - the relationships we've witnessed around us (usually our parents), our relationship with our same sex parent - and most influentially- our relationship with our same sex parent. Very often, what seems like an intense sexual attraction to a potential mate, is often an unconscious recognition that this person is a good fit to help us resolve unfinished issues from the past. Being aware of this helps us make clearer decisions about potential mates.
3. Learn What a Good Relationships Look Like
This can be difficult for people who grew up in homes with no role models for healthy relationships. And as mentioned before, since your current negative patterns most likely stem from your early years, it might take a little research.
I'd suggest reading articles and books that talk about what healthy relationships look like, and then consciously looking for couples you know that fit that bill. Change your social circle if necessary, and get limit your interactions with friends and family who have negative and toxic relationships. You want to surround yourself as much as possible with good relationships, so that this becomes what is normal to you.
4. Understand Relationship Red Flags
Most people with negative relationship patterns don't recognize they are in a negative relationship until it's too late. Knowing and acting on relationship red flags can help avoid staying in a bad relationship longer than you should.
For example, if the love of your life is 35 years old and never held down a job for longer than six months, that's a red flag that they ares not as responsible as they should be for their age. Someone who is constantly fighting with everyone around them will eventually be constantly fighting with you.
More important is to understand the red flags to relationship issues such as yours. If your pattern is picking emotionally unavailable people, then you might consider the option that you're unbelievably attracted to that facebook crush because of the fact that they live 700 miles away, and not despite it.
5. Change Your Beliefs
All behaviour whether positive or negative have a specific belief that's attached to it. You allow people to treat you badly because you don't believe you deserve to be treated well. You give 200% to a relationship and get 25% back because you believe you have to earn other peoples love. Again, these beliefs are often unconscious and go back to our childhood, but its important to identify them and form new beliefs if we want to find new and better relationships.
6. Visualize, Meditate, Imagine
One of the best ways to create a new experience in our lives is to imagine what it would feel like to have that new thing. If you have surrounded yourself with positive relationships as discussed before, you'll be in a better position to imagine the feelings you would have if you were in the type of relationship you consciously desire. Visualize how you would interact with that person, meditate on what feelings would be attached to being with that person and most importantly believe that it's possible to find it.
7. Go Slow
Take your time when you're developing a new relationship. Make sure you leave a few days in between phone calls and dates to reflect on the person you're getting to know and your interactions with them. Find a mentor, spiritual advisor, counsellor or relationship coach that can help you maintain your perspective through the process. Evaluate and re-evaluate potential red flags. And make sure you're getting to know the real person you're dating, and not just creating in your mind the person you want them to be.
For people that are trying to form new relationship patterns remember, you're retraining yourself to understand and interact in a different way than you had in the past, and that takes time.
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