Do your fears and believes block you from having a healthy relationship?
A long time ago, when I did not know myself as much and was OK with anything or anyone crossing my path, I learned pretty quickly that most men are emotionally unavailable and users. I thought that this is just the way life ‘is supposed to be’ and that I had no control over who I date, who I am with, and what they are doing.
Because of so many failures, I lived in constant fear and anxiety. As all kinds of weirdos kept crossing my path, I was firmly convinced that there was something about me that kept attracting them to ME, and I was not good enough to change them to make them love me more, or to want more. It seemed like all of my girlfriends had loving boyfriends or were getting married, except me.
Somehow I figured that I was not worthy or there was a major flaw that wouldn’t let men (any man!) want to become my boyfriend. It was always the other girl, but not me.
When one lousy relationship goes after another, and if this pattern lasts for a while, it is easy to assume that we are ‘worthless’ and are ‘good for nothing’. We feel miserable when in a relationship and feel miserable when we out of one. We are scared to date because doing so would mean ‘looking for more pain’, but we are scared not to date because we do not want to miss out on an opportunity. We wonder also how others get ‘lucky’ and how easy it is for them. They do not seem to play some ‘roles’ or act in a certain way to get what they need. It seems so easy and natural.
I do not know for how long things would have stayed this way, but thanks to a long term friend, I made a stunning discovery. She and her behavior with men made me see myself from a different perspective. You know, it’s like we cannot really see ourselves and what we are doing wrong, but we can see it and learn it from other people.
Her problem was that she could never say ‘No’. You may wonder ‘so what?’ and ‘what’s the big deal?’ The big deal was the same as mine – she felt like ‘since she was not good enough’ and ‘nothing good would come out of it anyway’ she was OK with staying with lousy partners and lousy relationships. The lousy relationships were reinforcing what she was believing about herself and so she stayed because it felt ‘right’.
If you think poorly of yourself or don’t believe in winning, you may unconsciously make decisions leading to the exact outcome you fear and avoid the most. On top of that, it is hard to stick to boundaries because in most cases like this, there are usually none. No boundaries means they will cross the lines and invade the territories they should not, and they will certainly take all they can until you put a stop sign on it.
Now, I am going to say something you may not like: we are responsible for who we date and what happens in our relationships.
Just because they ‘like you’ and you ‘like them’, and it feels good, it does not mean they get a free pass to date and sleeping with you. I understand we all make mistakes and first impressions are not always right, but there is always this particular moment (aka a troubled future predictor) in a dating relationship after which we have to say ‘No’. It is interesting how we always know, or are aware of that moment, but still choose to stay. And, if we do so, we may have no one to blame but ourselves.
We choose to stay because it feels ‘right’ and feels ‘familiar’. These feelings usually stem from our childhood or early adulthood:
~ If, for example, you grew up with an emotionally cold father, then being with an emotionally cold man will feel ‘right’. As you had all the reasons to believe that your emotionally cold father loved you, you may now assume that emotional coldness is a sign of love.
~ If you were neglected by your parents, then being neglected by your current inappropriate partner will feel ‘OK’, too.
~ If you were competing with your sibling(s) for attention and always felt like ‘the second best’ nevertheless, then you may feel extremely insecure and needy in ANY relationship with ANY partner, no matter how loving. Neediness is one of the major attraction killers in a relationship (besides negativity).
~ If you were criticized by your parents excessively no matter what you did or said, or there was a lot of drama and conflict, then you may have learned how to please or not to speak up to keep it quiet. The next thing you know (when in a romantic relationship) you keep it all to yourself because you do not want to rock the boat. You do not want them to explode should you say something. You are afraid they might leave.
~ If your dad was cheating on your mom, then you will have this underlying paranoia and belief that ‘all men cheat’. It is hard to build something meaningful with a woman who assigns such a label to every man she meets.
If you look at all of your previous failed relationships you may notice a stunning similarity between all of them – even though they were with different people and in different places, they were all THE SAME; the same relationships with the same outcomes.
Wrong fears and believes, lack of boundaries, inability to call it off, and a lack of self-love and self-esteem were the main reasons they all ended up the way they did.
Was it all your fault? Mostly – yes. The good news is, you are THE BOSS here, and you are in control of what happens to you. You can certainly try to make the change on your own, but if you feel like you need the help of a professional counselor to separate from your childhood issues to break the pattern, then please do so. You will win, and I believe in you!
YOU MAY ALSO LIKE: Articles - When it is time to leave a relationship... and we don't and He won't say 'I love you' after a year or my empowering e-Book: When you are DESPERATE FOR HIS LOVE - how to leave your bad relationship without feeling like you are going against yourself