Ever asked yourself; "why do I keep attracting the wrong partner?". While the reasons for this may differ from one person to the next, asking yourself a few important questions may just help you figure out where you may be going wrong.
Am I attracted to the same type? There is this thing is psychology called "repetition compulsion". It means that we tend to be attracted to people who feel "familiar" even if that familiarity is based on a past relationship/person that was painful and destructive. Go back to your earliest relationship experiences, they might be your own experiences or what you observed from other's around you, such as parents, older siblings etc. Does the "bad boy" just feel "right"? If you are more aware of the type of men you are attracted to, then you can make different choices.
Do you sell yourself short? Do you look at all those happy loved up couples and think; "gee, I just don't think I deserve to be happy like that". Do yourself a favour and write down 10 wonderful things about yourself. Get a friend to help you if you get stuck. Remember no one is perfect, not even Mr Right!
Are you afraid of rejection or of being hurt? Well who isn't, however if this fear dominates your relationships then you are likely to end up either being paralysed by jealousy and possessiveness, or worse you could be the one sabotaging relationships. "I'll reject him, before he gets the chance to reject me". Everyone likes to be the one in control, but guess what? You cannot control what may happen tomorrow or next week. Embracing uncertainty and reminding yourself that you are strong and will survive anything, is one way to keep those natural fears in a box where they belong.
Do you know what's important to you in a relationship? Ok so we all have an imaginary list of what we want Mr Right to be. Forget looks, the car he drives, how much money he might earn. All of those things can change, and mean nothing if he doesn't treat you with love and respect. Think about the big things: Honesty, sense of humour, ambitious, loves kids, laid back, loves the outdoors. Write down the 5 most important things to you, and never compromise on these. We can always compromise on the small stuff, but when our partner doesn't measure up to the big things, then be prepared for lots of conflict.
Do you keep thinking about your ex? Ok so he broke your heart, maybe he was the first guy you ever really loved. While it is so important to allow time to grieve, it's equally important to learn from your mistakes and take those lessons with you into your next relationship. There is no set "time" to give yourself after the end of a relationship, so the first step to working through relationship grief is to accept that you need to feel. Don't block it out, and certainly don't dive into a relationship to fill the void. In time you will be able to see the wonderful things that that relationship taught you. You will also be able to refine your list, and perhaps gain more clarity with regard to what's important to you in a relationship.
So now that you may have a clearer understanding of why you may be attracting the wrong partner, what can you do about it?
Hit the pause button! Take a break from dating, and get to know yourself. If you don't like your own company, then how can you expect someone else to?
Learn to nurture and treat yourself, and put a gag on that little inner critic who tells you that you don't "deserve" it.
Once you learn to treat yourself with respect, then you are much more likely to attract a partner who will do the same. This is the first step in creating healthy boundaries!
You know that feeling when someone asks something of you, and you say "yes" so that you don't hurt their feelings? That's a sign your boundaries have been crossed. Pay attention to that feeling, and learn to respect and listen to it. If you find yourself constantly in situations that you don't want to be in, you need to start asserting your boundaries and stop putting everyone else's needs before your own. Compromise is about give and take, so if you find that you are always the one giving – it's time to be assertive!
Learn to trust and forgive. Forgiveness is a very powerful thing. By letting go of the past, you get rid of its hold over you and free yourself to make new choices. Remember we are so much more than the sum total of our mistakes!
Don't over think things! While reflection is important, over thinking and over analysing simply takes energy away from enjoying the moment. Typically over thinking stems from a perceived lack of control over something, however it almost always leads to a more negative and pessimistic view of it! So the next time your mind starts over thinking, focus on action; do something that brings your attention back to the present.
Always remember there is no such thing as Mr Perfect. It's our imperfections that make us interesting!