Remember the last time you thought you had finally met “The One”?
You were so excited.
You felt the connection almost immediately. You went home after every date feeling hopeful and optimistic.
All your past heartbreak and disappointment seemed to suddenly fade.
THIS TIME, it was going to be different. It was going to work. Your love would be strong and you would weather any challenges that came up.
You pictured your future, and all you could see was more of the passion, romance, and joy you felt as your beloved wrapped his arms around you and whispered his devotion into your ear.
You finally had someone in your life who understood you, was emotionally available, and was probably ready to commit.
You had it all figured out. And this time, it was going to happen.
Or so you thought.
Because it wasn’t long before you found yourself in the same, familiar place—confused, desperate, and hurting when your partner said or did the same familiar things.
That he needed time to figure things out, and just wanted to be friends for now.
Or needed time to explore other options in life.
Or didn’t think you were really compatible together.
Or ignored your feelings and needs.
Or started dating someone else behind your back.
Why does it seem that no matter how promising a new relationship feels in the beginning, it always ends up breaking down the same way?
By now, you have your theories about why your relationships keep breaking down and why you’re still alone.
Mostly, you may see how your ex-lovers had their shortcomings.
They lied, they cheated, they were narcissists who only cared about themselves.
When I was 41 and still single after 20 years of dating, I had a theory, too. I decided I was alone because I kept attracting unavailable men. I dated alcoholics, workaholics, engaged, gay…you name it, I’d go for it.
I settled for crumbs. It had gotten so bad that I was actually thrilled when a man I was dating bestowed me with the honor of taking care of his cat while he was out of town.
I saw other women getting married, having families, and I felt broken somehow because no man had ever proposed to me or asked me to be the mother of his children.
There were moments when I wondered if there was something wrong with me, but I was still looking outside myself for the answer. I still thought I was the victim of some sort of bad luck because I literally could not meet a decent, available man. I kept trying to find and attract “The One” but the more I tried, the more men slipped through my hands like water.
One day I had an epiphany that led me to seeing how I was co-creating my love destiny.
I realized: my life wasn’t happening to me, it was happening through me.
What that means is that my fate had nothing to do with luck, the wrong men, or bad timing. It had to do with the way I was showing up. Therefore, I had to take responsibility if I wanted my life to be different, and choose different actions and behaviors than those I habitually defaulted to in the past.
And if you’re feeling stuck and unhappy with your love life, chances are, so do you.
If more often than not, you feel like the victim of back luck or the wrong partners, you are failing to see your part in your past relationship breakdowns.
Even if what happened in the past was 97% your lover’s fault—because he lied, manipulated you, or disappeared—there’s still a 3% piece of culpability that’s yours and yours alone.
You showed up in some small or significant way that allowed whatever happened to happen.
In my case, I showed up unconsciously fearing vulnerability and clinging to my independence, and repelled any available men as a consequence. It wasn’t until I acknowledged this, that I was able to open up to love in a way I hadn’t before, and attract my soul mate to me.
Until you take responsibility for how you’re showing up, you won’t feel empowered to change your destiny, and you’ll feel distrustful of future partners. That’s because you won’t trust yourself, and deep down you will know that you’re likely to repeat that pattern again with someone else if you let them get close.
That’s why now, you have a choice…
You can remain comfortable in your conviction that all your problems in love are “out there,” and continue to experience the same negative patterns, no matter who comes into your orbit…
Or… you can make new choices. You can adopt new relationship skills and behavior that can help you co-create a healthier, more resilient dynamic with a partner, and change your love destiny forever.
There are certain skills that can assist you in co-creating the kind of happy relationship that can stand the test of time.
These skills are particularly useful if you’re the kind of person who tends to feel like you abandon yourself to relationships, or dismiss your needs in order to win love and acceptance from a partner, or have a pattern of dating self-centered people.
These skills are like relationship magic because they instantly shift the way in which you show up with your partner, and can alter your entire experience of love for the better.
Boundaries are statements you make to another person of what behavior you will, or won’t accept. This can be as simple as, “I’d like you to call me instead of texting,” or can be something like, “Because we’re being physically intimate, I want us to be monogamous.”
Setting boundaries is an important relationship skill, not just for love relationships, but for ALL relationships. When you don’t set or express your boundaries, you run the risk of struggling with ongoing angry feelings and telling people off in your head. This leads to resentment. Resentment leads to feeling victimized. Feeling victimized leads to powerlessness.
There is an antidote to that pattern!
When you are able to set boundaries, you are taking a stand against future resentments. You’ll feel more relaxed and empowered because you’re in control of what happens inside your relationships.
You need certain things from your partner in order to feel safe and secure in a relationship.
Maybe you need them to listen for 5 minutes before responding when you’re sharing difficult feelings. Maybe you need them to call you the day after a date. Maybe you need them to be more physically affectionate with you, so you can feel loved and adored.
Whatever it is, your partner may not know what you need unless you let them know. Maybe you have a history of not honoring your needs, or paying more attention to your partner’s needs. This trains them to act selfishly.
Take time to get in touch with your needs and then advocate for yourself, it will serve you everywhere in life, not just in romance.
You’ve had a disagreement with your partner, and now he is upset with you. You’re angry too, and you’d like your partner to understand how their behavior is unfair or hurtful.
In this moment, can you stand up for yourself and push back when you’re being attacked? Or are you hesitant because you think that your feelings and needs aren’t important? Or that your partner won’t care, anyway?
When you go along with whatever your partner is saying and don’t stand up for yourself, you risk harboring hidden resentments later. If you’re unable to speak your truth, you won’t feel that you’re able to be authentic inside the relationship, and that will cause you distress in the long-run.
Your ability to stand up for yourself can have a positive impact on the happiness and longevity of your relationship, even if, at first, it may cause you anxiety and create more conflict. Have the courage to stand up for yourself, even if it frightens you.
Have you ever felt like you were on an emotional ledge because your partner was upset with you? You had so much angst inside you could barely stand it. You almost felt as if you would die if you didn’t set things right.
Self-soothing means being able to keep your emotions from getting the best of you. It’s being able to see a situation clearly and for what it actually is, not reacting to an imagined worse-case scenario. It also means being able to collect yourself without turning to substances or venting non-stop to your best friend.
When you self-soothe, you’re more capable of having calmer discussions with your partner and listening empathically without becoming overwhelmed with defensiveness or hurt. Communication improves and you and your partner feel more inclined to compromise or let things go.
Your ability to self-soothe, or calm your own anxious feelings without outside influence, is a critical relationship skill.
When you approach relationships with these powerful skills, you create a new reality for yourself in love.
You’ll stand grounded in your truth of who you are and what you need in order to feel safe, loved, and secure. Partners will feel more confident in their ability to make you happy and therefore, more relaxed in your presence.
More importantly, you’ll break the pattern that’s been dragging down all your hope into the same well of disappointment.
You’ll show up in a new way, and a new, brighter destiny will unfold.
There’s no doubt that what happened to you in the past shapes who you are now.
Past heartbreak can make you distrustful, jaded, and withdrawn.
You are the one holding the power to determine your fate by the choices you make right now.
Find lasting love by uncovering destructive patterns and making new, empowering choices.
Breaking a pattern to experience something new in love isn’t easy, but it isn’t impossible, either. The alternative—continuing on in the same unconscious fashion, creating the same disappointing results—is simply insufferable.
Create a happier ending in your next love story.
Lots of love and bye for now,
P.S. Are you a magnet for narcissists and selfish partners? There are subtle, unconscious choices you may be making that are actually training your love partners to dismiss your needs and feelings. It all originates in the “story” you have about yourself and the power that story has to perpetuate a reality you don’t want.Read More Here