A common complaint among my friends is that they always find themselves in the same dating predicaments with different people. They say, “Why is this happening again? Why do I keep running into the same type of guy?”
If you’re tired of finding yourself in the same go-nowhere relationships, don’t worry. Here are five steps to figuring out why this is happening and how to change it, so you can start attracting better potential mates.
1. Acknowledge that you're part of this problem.
If you’re repeatedly attracting the same type of person in your romantic relationships, you must look at the common denominator in all of those situations: You.
Each person you attract acts as a mirror, reflecting back to you aspects of yourself. If you keep running into different people who demonstrate similar maddening behavior, these situations are an opportunity to discover what limiting beliefs or fears are blocking you from finding the right fit.
So, what pattern are all those dead-end dates trying to illuminate? Below are some questions to ask yourself. Look to one or two characteristics that create a common theme among the group.
- What about them feels familiar?
- What about them frustrates you so much?
- Are they all afraid of commitment?
- Do they all have a history of cheating?
- Do you meet them when they are already in relationships?
- Do they only love you conditionally?
They could be highlighting the fact that you’re shut off to love, emotionally unavailable, have trust issues, or don’t love yourself unconditionally.
2. Find the source of the original pain.
Look back and identify the very first significant relationship where you felt the quality you identified in step #1, above. Who caused that first experience of heartbreak, abandonment, deep betrayal, or loss? Was it a parent, first love, or ex-spouse?
Whatever the pain, whenever it happened, this is the original source. This is when you erected a self-protecting defense mechanism so that you would never be hurt like that again. But by trying to protect yourself from future emotional pain, you’re inadvertently keeping yourself protected from love. Instead, you’re attracting people who are equally as shut off to an intimate relationship as you are.
Part of the process of attracting better relationships and welcoming new ones into your life is letting go of the old behavioral patterns that are keeping you stuck. You can begin to clear these emotional blocks by exercising forgiveness.
Forgiveness is about letting go of your expectations of others and how you thought they “should” have treated you. Forgive the original source for hurting you—they were only doing the best they knew how. You don’t have to agree with what they did, just forgive.
And forgive yourself for any blame you’ve placed on yourself. For allowing yourself to be in that relationship. For not getting out sooner. For not speaking up. For shutting down afterwards.
Be grateful for the lessons you’ve learned from that experience, for all of the gorgeous growth you’ve gleaned. And keep forgiving—over and over, each day. With continued practice, forgiveness will become second nature.
4. Be open to love.
Forgiveness and releasing is only part of the recipe. The other requires you to once again become open to love. Throughout this process, that original wound will be triggered, reopened and needled. Being open to love requires that you’re open to the possibility of feeling this pain again. The trick is to face this fear of being hurt and push on anyway.
Being able and willing to risk what’s necessary in order to be in an intimate relationship includes being willing to risk your heart, be vulnerable, and put yourself out there no matter what the result. It could be painful, sure, but it could also lead to the most fulfilling love of your life.
5. Get happy. Love thrives in a high vibrational state.
In order to attract love into your life from the right people—people that love, respect and value your self-worth—you have to get happy.
Love yourself unabashedly. Do things that overwhelm you with joy. Set boundaries and care for yourself. Surround yourself with supportive friends and family who love you. The more you do this, the more love you’ll attract from potential partners who will treat you with as much love and respect as you do.
If you want to attract an open, honest, conscious, emotionally available partner who is ready for commitment, you also have to be that open, honest, conscious, emotionally available partner who is ready for commitment.
No one said it would be easy, and being open to love can be terrifying. But this fear doesn’t have to control your dating choices and deter you from doing what’s necessary to be in the intimate relationship you truly want.
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