All too often, the weight of your past is carried on to your next relationship. When you bring along these old hurts, it’s a sure-fire way to sabotage any new love.
Based on your childhood history, emotional wounds you’ve experienced in the past and baggage carried from relationship to relationship, we create belief systems about ourselves and the world. We then attract people into our lives who will treat us the way we “believe” we should be treated, whether respectfully or abusively.
Consciously or unconsciously, we teach people how to treat us. Our underlying levels of self-confidence, insecurities and fears play a part in broadcasting the message of how we “expect” to be treated. Those expectations are always met. So if you are used to being controlled, neglected, cheated on or physically abused in a relationship, you’ll attract the perfect partner to continue the same behaviors and maintain that treatment.
If you’re used to being with a certain relationship “type,” you’ll likely keep being attracted to that same type again and again, repeating patterns that never change — unless you bring new awareness and consciousness to your reality.
Many women do this because they gravitate towards what feels most comfortable – even when it’s not what we think we want. If your “type” is dominating men, for example, you may not find a more passive man attractive. Without realizing it, your choices become an unconscious habit that is difficult to break — without inner work and awareness.
So if you find yourself partnering with the same type of man again and again, step outside the box to try something – and someone – new. Avoid macho men and “players.” Allow those with a more sensitive and caring nature to sweep you off your feet. Then see how the relationship goes. You’ll finally be breaking a pattern that may have been a poor fit for long-term relationship success.
Identify Your Feelings about the Past
Your previous relationships may have left you with some unresolved issues, anxiety and low self-esteem. Those doubts and negative emotions can trigger irrational thoughts or behaviors within you. When you let these feelings grow, instead of releasing them, you unconsciously repeat the programming in your next relationship. This causes a cycle of unhealthy behaviors that can ruin any potential for lasting love. What can you do? Realize that giving negative emotions so much power can actually be harmful.
Focus your attention on pinpointing what’s troubling you. Notice any patterns that are common in all your relationships. While you may not be at fault for some patterns, there may be others you have been perpetuating. Be responsible for changing what you can about yourself. By identifying a problem, you’ve taken the first step toward releasing it.
Rosalind Sedacca, CCT, is a Relationship Coach and co-author of 99 Things Women Wish They Knew Before Dating After 40, 50 & Yes, 60! Visit http://www.womendatingafter40.com to receive a free Dating Tip Sheet along with a Tip of the Week on dating success strategies.