Oops, I did it again: This time, get love right!

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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!


7 Responses to “Oops, I did it again: This time, get love right!”

  1. Debbie, I absolutely loved your article. I am going to forward it to my baby. Jillian is 21 and was dating a 29 year old. They dated for 13 months. He has a bachelor’s from Lewis University and is a captain in the army reserves. He opted to go to Israel to train and to attend school. He’s working on his master’s. He left the end of February. I was against a long distance relationship and didn’t hesitate to tell Jill how I felt. If she was older, maybe I could see her waiting the year. The week before he left for Israel, he had a “fling” with a former friend. Matthew is a childhood friend of my daughter-in-law, and I wasn’t thrilled about Jill dating him because he had already done what she was about to experience. I didn’t want her to miss anything just because she had a boyfriend she was waiting a year for. Anyway, the week before he left, he had a “fling” with another friend from his past. So, who got the blame? Yours truly. She believes that “fling” would never have occurred if I hadn’t pushed her to break up with him. And maybe I should have minded my own business, but as a mother, I didn’t. Now we both know the fling would’ve happened whether they were formally still “going together” or not. I told her if she feels better and can deal with him cheating by blaming me, I get it. So, I read this article, and it’s a perfect comparison to some of the things I’ve discussed with her these past six months…and then some. Thank you so much for sending me the link. I am so happy you are so wise and so successful in your field. Have a good evening, Debbie, and thanks for listening.

    • avatar drdeborahkhoshaba says:

      Thank you so much Carol. I can understand that you don’t want Jillian to get hurt. When we’re young, we will jump through hoops, even the unreasonable ones to keep a relationship going. Jillian may think now that love conquers every problem, like the age difference and long-time spent away from her boyfriend, but of course we know it doesn’t. I know it’s hard to let her have enough experience to learn these lessons on her own, and at the same time help her to avoid unnecessary pain through sharing your observations and wisdom with her. I recall telling my young niece one time to take care of her heart, to make good choices in love so that she stays open to loving. I’ve treated many young persons who already at such a young age have a cynical view of romantic relationships. They’ve become so disappointed and hurt by love that they no longer want to try.

      I hope Jillian sees that no one forced her boyfriend to have a fling with an old friend. He made this choice all by himself. If her boyfriend handles problems this way, she may be glad someday that the relationship ended before she became too entrenched in it. Carol, in time, I’m sure she’ll see this and thank you for your loving concern and protection. Thank you again friend.

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  4. avatar Christine Griffith says:

    I really enjoyed reading this article. The third tendency definitely resonated with me. It means a lot to me that even after all these years of knowing you, your insight and use of language continues to inspire aha moments. Thank you Dr. Khoshaba!

    • avatar Dr. Deborah Khoshaba says:

      Hi Christine, I’m so glad you enjoyed this article and that it inspired you. I remember you well and admire how you continue to give your best as a mother, student and professional. I am happy to call you a colleague and friend. Thank you dear Christine. Warmly, Deborah


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