Why We Sabotage Relationships With People Who Treat Us Well
OK, I’ll admit it: I’m a former bad boy addict.
I’m not talking about the motorcycle-riding, cigarette-smoking, edge-walking rebels-without-a-cause. I’m talking about the type that didn’t treat me very well. They didn’t call when they said they would; they weren’t forthright with their feelings and liked to keep me guessing; they made me feel like my feelings for them were my mistake, and not a product of their mixed signals.
I used to be repelled by nice men, those who wanted to honor me and adore me. I always chalked it up to an absence of chemistry. I thought I just didn’t have physical chemistry with the nice ones. But I wasn't really stopping to take real inventory on the men I did feel chemistry with compared to those I didn’t.
When I finally followed the trail of relationship crumbs to find out why my love life had been so filled with frustration, I felt embarrassed that I had allowed myself to be treated this way. I had to get curious, and tap into my courage, in order to step outside of myself. I had to dig deep to see why I had always been drawn to unavailable men and see (and accept) that it was, really uncomfortably, all about ME.
A few years into bad-boy recovery, I now have nothing but gratitude for this period in my life. These men taught me of my deeper fears of love and insecurities about my worthiness. And they taught me of my own “darkness.” They brought a wholeness — an acceptance of all parts of myself —into my life that I wouldn’t have been able to reach as quickly without them.
By allowing them to just be, these men became my teachers. It took some time for me to get here — to begin to receive the love and affection that I deserve — because my unconscious mind was still fighting it.
Do you find yourself doing the same? Do you blame the downfall of your relationships with people who actually treat you right on the absence of a “spark”?
Well, in reality, this lack of attraction might point to something deeper: a fear or belief driven by your unconscious.
Our ego-mind is the part of our mind that constantly whispers to us about our “mistakes” and the reasons why we’re just-not-good-enough. When the ego’s whispers are convincing enough, it keeps us clenched in its claws. Right where it wants us: stuck.
But it’s actually not the whispers of the ego that are truly in charge. Instead, it’s the silent screams of our unconscious mind. This part of our mind reads the world as if it were one giant inkblot, projecting all sorts of meanings onto neutral events.
If your unconscious mind carries a fear of vulnerability, a resistance to loss of control, a belief about being unlovable (or any myriad of other unconscious reasons to take pause), then you will likely feel repelled on some level by those who seek your connection and love. When a partner who shows up who’s present and ready for love, your mind will read the inkblot of his or her actions from a space of disbelief or fear of connection.
If this part of you remains unseen, there’s a good chance you will sabotage relationships with these fully available people because your unconscious just isn’t ready for it. You might sabotage by pulling back or pushing too hard, both subtle ways to challenge the person to leave you so that your unconscious can feel safe again.
This was why I was so attracted to the bad boy archetype: they allowed my unconscious mind to stay safe by making sure I was always right about the dangers of love.
But by moving towards these parts of myself, I was freed of the fear. And don’t get me wrong: just because I’m a love coach doesn’t mean I have love all figured out. Despite the fact that the nine-year-old me was convinced that one day I would wake up as Wonder Woman, I woke up human yet again today, just like I do every day.
I still make plenty of love “blunders” and get nervous when I’m really falling for someone. I feel insecure and sometimes unsure of how to act around said person, constantly convinced that I’m doing it all wrong.
But what has changed for me — and can for you, too — is that I now have toe-curling chemistry with men who treat me right. I no longer want to sabotage these relationships because I’m no longer afraid of this kind of love.
And you don’t have to be afraid either. You deserve to be cherished. Get quiet and ask yourself: Am I ready for that? Reach out and share your answers!