Ever notice that people attract the same types of partners over and over again? Isn't it perplexing when you end a bad relationship -- vowing to never again date a person like that -- you seem to end up with a new partner who turns out to have those same qualities?
In the beginning of each relationship, you are convinced this time it will be different. But at the end of each of these relationships, you wonder if you will ever stop doing this to yourself.
Why does this happen? One primary reason has to do with our relationship programming, which begins in early childhood, and can lead us to repeat the same scenario. These patterns come from the following events in our lives:
- Hurt, disappointment, and unmet needs in our childhood. It's not that our parents or caregivers meant to hurt us or to set us up to fail in relationships. But hurt does happen in childhood.
- Our parents' or caregivers' relationship, which we used, and subconsciously likely continue to use, as a model for our relationship.
- Early relationship experiences, which likely solidified the patterns created by the first two points above.
- Adult relationship experiences that again continue to solidify our patterns and additionally narrow our ability to trust.
A woman who as a child didn't get enough attention from her father may find herself partnering with men who don't have time for her or are not inclined to give her attention. She may spend the bulk of her time in any given relationship chasing after her partner, trying to convince him that she is worth his attention.
A man whose mother wasn't interested in the boyish things such as sports that he enjoyed during his childhood may involve himself with women who don't care about the things that are important to him. His partners may not celebrate his wins with him. He may spend the bulk of his time in relationships feeling the same way he felt when he was a kid -- unimportant and unloved. We often unconsciously re-live our childhood trauma and retell the stories of our childhood hurts in our intimate relationships. We find partners who are similar to our parental figures in just those behaviors that caused us pain and disappointment in the first place. This way, if we are really good and lovable, our partners will finally love us and care about us. They will change for us and we will get our wounds healed -- by symbolically changing our parents/caregivers. In so doing, we will become whole. If this technique worked, it wouldn't be a bad way to create a relationship and to heal our childhood. Unfortunately, often whatever it is we want from our partners is exactly the thing that they don't know how to give -- not unlike our caregivers.In order to meet our needs, our partners have to heal their own childhood traumas. And they may not be able to, may not want to, may not know how to, may not know they even have childhood trauma to heal. They may be perfectly happy the way they are and perfectly satisfied with the status of their relationships. They may not see any need for change.
Unfortunately, many people pick partners who are not willing to grow. In fact, they pick them just for that reason. It's not enough to get your needs met. You must convert and change your partner. It doesn't count as healing your childhood wounds if your partner grows willingly. He or she must be a hard case and you must win him or her over with your incredible lovability. Just the way our parents were -- unchangeable by us because they were the adults and we children.This pattern is a no-win situation for both partners, because one will try to unsuccessfully heal their childhood through the relationship and the other will be told to change -- or else -- and will likely fail.So, what do you do when you notice you are picking the same kind of partner over and over again? What do you do when you notice you are picking people you have to convince to love you? First and foremost, understand what you are really doing in relationships. Look at your motivations. Look at the story of your life that you are trying to tell. Second, start to heal those childhood wounds by giving to yourself. Didn't get enough attention as a child? Spend an hour a day in solitude and silence finding out how you feel and who you are. Didn't get enough toys? Establish a separate savings account and call it "Play Money." Spend it only on toys, and make sure to spend it all and often. You get the idea. Get your needs met.
Third, learn how to be only with people who are willing to grow. People who are not willing to grow are not bad. But being in an intimate relationship with them will hurt, because relationships are always about growth for both people involved. And finally, choose people who want to be with you beyond the three-month crush. Be conscious and choose wisely. It's your life. Make it full of love. Master Certified Relationship Coach Rinatta Paries coaches singles to attract and build loving, fulfilling, long-term relationships. For more information about Coach Rinatta Paries and the myriad of services she has created for singles, visit her Web site, WhatItTakes.com.
Source: Relationships & Love