Many of us have been drawn into a relationship with our classic opposite, the ‘bad boy’ or ‘bad girl‘ relationship. Intense, passionate and exciting. But once the infatuation goggles come off ( which the research shows for most of us is within six months to two years), what excited us initially most often becomes annoying , then downright impossible to put up with day to day.
Some of us get stuck in a rut, and keep choosing those same types again. If that’s you and you want long term happiness, it’s time to break the mould. A little more on how to do that later !
Some of us don’t walk away. We stick with a relationship that is unlikely to bring us happiness.
Maybe you are a kind, loving person and you find yourself trying to make it work with someone who’s not consistently available for you, or not kind and decent. Psychologists use a term “attractions of deprivation” to describe this. We get only intermittent and unpredictable reward from such a relationship. It’s like gambling, and like gambling it can draw us in powerfully, feeling exciting and intense. But if it’s not healthy, why do we stay? It’s both the endorphin hit and often a fear of abandonment, of losing love. We tell ourselves love conquers all, and it will change but unfortunately it won’t .
The alternative they call “attractions of inspiration”. This is a relationship with someone similar to us. Available, kind, decent. Often times when we hold ourselves back from this kind of love because of a fear of intimacy. We would need to let someone care for us, and that may not be an experience we’ve truly had , or feel unconsciously we deserve to have.
Both types of attraction can feel equally exciting and intense. We are however not taught the difference, meaning we are not equipped with tools to beware of one and seek out the other .
Breaking the mould – Choosing someone you can be happy with.
When you go out looking for a new home or car, you will have a list in mind for what you will be happy with. The simple advice to avoiding repeating your old relationship patterns is to do the same. What are the values, attitudes and personality traits that matter to you and you are happy to be around ? What traits do you deserve to have in your life ? Write them down, really look at them. Test any potential new partners against them. In your early dates if you step back and look you will see the tell tale patterns early.
When we work with you at HeartMatch we spend time with you to understand your relationship history and patterns. We help you make your key life values and ideal partner attributes conscious, avoid old mistakes and choose well, so you can have both: a chemistry and the fulfilling relationship.