Picture this in the words of Sophia from the Golden Girls’ sitcom. You just broke up with your lover. What happened, you say to yourself. When did the great talks we shared about our likes and dislikes, values, goals and hopes and dreams turn into a nightmare? It seems like yesterday we trusted each other and looked forward to sharing a good future. When did he, or she, become controlling, possessive, hostile and dependent, commitment phobic, insecure, abusive, toxic, or a self-esteem terminator? I don’t know if I’ll recover this time, you may be saying to yourself. I may never fall in love again.
But you do recover; you do fall in love again. It just takes the right person to come along to give you hope that this time it’s the one. That’s what we humans do. We tend to be resilient when it comes to love, because intimate relating is a vital part of living. Intimate love means so much to our lives that we tend to describe our life stages by our love successes and failures.
Several years ago, an old friend of mine contacted me to reconnect socially, for example. She shared with me what happened to her over the past twenty something years. She wrapped up her story by saying, “You know Debbie, I never found true love”. I knew what this meant to her because, to us humans, never having found true love is like a part of our self that has gone missing. No matter how successful we are in other parts of our lives, we don’t feel whole until we realize a fulfilling love relationship as part of our life.
No matter how many times love doesn’t work out well for you, you will try again so that you get it right and you can feel whole. That’s what I want to help you with in today’s post. I want you to get love right by choosing well so the theme of your love song isn’t “Oops, I did it again”.
Okay, so let’s begin. Why don’t you choose well? There are three tendencies in love that are part of our wiring so to speak. You should know about and resist them, so that you have enough strength and courage to choose right in love.
- Tendency One, the Lovability Factor: We tend to choose lovers based on ideas we have about how lovable we feel. If you expect to be disappointed, hurt or rejected; you will find the person to fulfill this love scenario, no matter her name or face. Whatever it is that you expect, you will find him or her to fulfill it. Scripts for our lovability serve an important purpose for us. They fulfill a particular relationship drama that we’ve come to know and accept. If you feel unlovable, you will choose people whose behaviors reaffirm this feeling in you. The solution: Examine your ideas about how lovable you feel. What is your lovability factor? If it’s low, you need to work on loving yourself more. Believe me, when you truly appreciate and respect yourself, you will stop attracting romantic partners who disappoint you.
- Tendency Two, the Identity Factor: We tend to choose lovers based on how we define ourselves in preferences and values. Humans like to type themselves and others. We tend to stereotype to feel grounded in the world. Rigid self-definitions do bring lovers who fit well into the hole that you’ve pegged for yourself. But, what happens when you begin to learn, grow and change? The relationship breaks down rather than moves forward. We are complex creatures, learning, growing, and ever-changing. The solution: Give yourself room to change by defining who you are less tightly. Don’t seek a type. You may get it, if you know what I mean. Be more open to dating people who fall outside of your type. You may be pleasantly surprised by what you find.
- Tendency Three: the Guilt Factor: This tendency in us is probably the most psychologically deep of the three, as it really falls outside of our awareness. We feel attached to our families of origin on a deep emotional level. When we make living choices, especially in love that contradicts our family in style, values and ways of being, we feel guilty, like we’ve done something wrong or bad for leaving them. I have had so many clients throughout the years who subconsciously chose wrong lovers to stay faithful to one or both parents. The solution: Examine past relationships. If your past lovers could not form healthy, whole relationships with you either through alcoholism or other personal problems, you may be subconsciously choosing them to assure that you never leave home, at least symbolically. You have a right to form healthy, whole relationships separate from your family of origin. Once you fully understand how the guilt factor has worked in your life, you will embrace your right to love freely and fully.
My three tendencies today boil down to a particular wisdom that you must heed if you want to bring the right love partner into your life.
It takes courage to be happy. You have to get comfortable with discomfort to start making choices that are good for you in love, work and play.
I hope you enjoyed my post today and have taken away something useful that you can use in your life. If you liked it, please say so by selecting the like icon directly below this article. Have a beautiful Sunday. Deborah!