“Love is not something we give or get; it is something that we nurture and grow, a connection that can only be cultivated between two people when it exists within each one of them – we can only love others as much as we love ourselves."
~ Brené Brown
“Your heart gets bored with your mind and it changes you.”- John Prine
Bored, frustrated or even tired; Tired of the search for a partner, tired of the online pitfalls and tired of the emotional roller coaster that is modern dating.
I am lucky to get to sit with many bright, talented and awesome women who are thriving in other areas of life, but are STUCK when it comes to their romantic life.
This cycle can be changed with a few important steps:
1. Look inward
This is almost always the first step in welcoming someone or something wonderful into your life.
Get specific with yourself, grab a pen and paper, and answer these questions: Who are the wrong men? What made them a wrong fit for you? Where did you meet them? What was your first sign of them being wrong for you? The truth is red flags are there and it takes the same amount of energy to ignore them than it does to acknowledge them.
Don’t judge yourself for past decisions. Learn and be gentle with yourself. It is a process and we emotionally stretch and grow when we are aware, open and kind to ourselves.
3. Change it up
In reference to Prine’s quote, bring your heart and mind into your inner dialogue and let the change come. Inner change transcends into the external. So, change your online profile, change your dating site, or change where you go to meet people. Notice and appreciate your shifts in perspective and circumstances. You are harvesting the seeds of relational growth.
Sarah Callaway, MA, LPC, NCC - www.vivecounseling.com
If you are a female and your relationship track record is less than desirable, then you may want to ask yourself why you seem to repeatedly attract the wrong men. In the beginning of any dating relationship when there is a mutual attraction, it’s exciting, and both people are on their best behavior.
I have what I call the ‘Four month rule.”
By the fourth month, give or take a few weeks, true behavior speaks for itself. Usually if there is underlying behavior that you have not seen prior to now, it may surface.
People are unable to sustain their false selves for long.
Our family of origin is the blueprint for understanding what we may or may not look for in a partner. Subconsciously, we tend to seek out a partner who we are trying to work through what we didn’t with our parents.
We often get a partner with similar characteristics as in our parent or parents.
We ultimately learn that the same situations tend to yield the same results that we experienced early on. You may feel that there is ‘something wrong with me.’ This is not necessarily so. However, it’s important to be clear about what you seek in a man and the signals you give off that attract him.
Here are some thoughts about what may be going on:
1. You choose men based on your physical attraction to them.
While chemistry is important, there is more depth to just a physical attraction. Pay attention to other positive qualities; his demeanor, his interest in you. Does he ask you pertinent questions? Does he follow through with what he tells you?
2. You are feeling inadequate so you settle for someone less.
If you don’t feel worthy of a wonderful giving person, then you won't attract one. One of these relationships end up with being belittled, and not being treated with honor and respect. You may seek validation from a man and you won't get it.
3. You really don’t understand what a healthy relationship is.
If you grew up in a dysfunctional family dynamic, then you don't know what healthy means, so you are prone to attracting a dysfunctional man. When you don't have healthy role models, then how would you know what to attract?
4. You attract the known and familiar.
When you are unconsciously heal childhood wounds, it is common to repeat these patterns because they are familiar although you consciously know they are unhealthy. Our unconscious operates most of the time, so it is more likely you are operating at an unconscious level when attracting someone.
5. Previous Relationships get recreated.
Women often bring past wounds into new relationships. If there are unhealed wounds, it is more likely that you will bring these wounds into a new relationship, especially if you have not taken time to work on healing.
6. Often women have a strong need to please.
This is referred to as co-dependency, which evolves from our family of origin, especially if you never felt you were enough. You want to be the ‘perfect’ partner for him and you will do anything to please, including sacrificing your soul and you wind up as the doormat. You will end up in a position of damed if you do and damed if you don’t.
If any of the above resonate with you, then you may want to seek professional counseling to help yourself heal and learn how to improve your own level of self-confidence so you can attract an equal who loves and respects you for who you are.
It will be worth the investment in yourself and you will be far less likely to repeat the pattern of attracting the wrong man once and for all.
Connie Clancy Fisher, ED.D. – www.drconnieclancyfisher.com
Ah, the Bad Boy or Bad Girl. Despite that he or she is “mad, bad and dangerous to know”, as Lord Byron the ultimate Bad Boy described himself, you are drawn to them despite the pain inflicted and the calamitous endings you experience.
No matter how much you try to please them, the less grateful they are. The harder you chase them, the more elusive they become. The less they want you, the more you want them. And then there is the fear – the fear of abandonment and the fear of letting them know what you truly need or feel in the face of their anger or indifference.
Even so, you go back for more, if not with that person, then with someone who is like them. Again, the relationship ends badly or fades into non-existence.
For the sake of argument, let’s call this dynamic a relationship pattern. And however distressing a pattern it is, it is likely quite addictive.
And this is for a variety of reasons – early experiences with parents and caregivers prominent among them. Through these young experiences, you probably have adopted some beliefs about yourself, life and others that were not true. These beliefs provide the underpinnings for this painful pattern in love.
For example, perhaps you came to believe that we aren’t worthy of love, that love with someone who loves you unconditionally and treats you well isn’t exciting enough, and that true intimacy in a relationship – allowing someone to get to know you warts and all – is impossible or fear-inducing.
However, there is a way out.
Step 1: Take Your Power Back
Now this is important to come to grips with no matter how tough it sounds. However, the pattern began, you’re the one that perpetuates it through your beliefs and choices. Taking ownership of continuance of the pattern is the breakthrough moment, because by taking ownership you empower yourself to change it.
The next part of taking your power back is to understand that the pattern fulfills a need or serves a purpose, probably one that’s outside of your conscious mind. So, some delicate digging is in order to discover what’s underneath the pattern and the purpose it serves. Include in your search the beliefs that drive the pattern (beliefs about your worthiness, your desirability and so forth).
Step 2: Take Action
Having taken your power back, it’s time to act.
So, I invite you to do the following:
1. Uncover the ways that you’ve perpetuated the pattern. I refer to the specific behaviors and choices you’ve made in each Bad Boy/Bad Girl relationship. For example, you might have ignored the danger signals. Or you might have given up your power in the relationship in any number of ways.
2. Make a commitment to forever change the behaviors and beliefs that drive the pattern. Yes, draw that line in the sand and say unequivocally, “No more!”.
3. Forget your relationship “type”. Begin to embrace the idea that your type maybe something or someone quite different than your default Bad Boy or Bad Girl. Decide that your type from here on in is someone who truly loves and positively regards you, demonstrating that positive regard consistently through their actions.
4. Decide that you are worthy of reciprocated love. This is your deepest truth. Write it down. And most importantly, absorb it into your very bones.
5. Claim your healthy, legitimate needs in relationship and find the words to express to those needs. Practice speaking the words, so that you can fluently express them to important others.
6. Identify at least one new way of being or an action that will begin to break up the pattern then road test it in your relationships. For example, you might begin to express in respectful ways how you honestly feel and what you need to someone important to you. Or, if in the past, you ignored the trouble signals in a relationship, you begin to heed the warnings of your small inner voice.
Remember, any pattern can be changed. Suffering in relationships is not necessary.
And know this. Respectful relationships in which reciprocated love flourishes are truly moreish.
Mary Rizk, Transformative Coach - www.maryrizk.com
Are the “wrong” types of men popping up in your life over and over again?
You know the ones I’m referring to… those who can’t be trusted, aren’t ready for a relationship and/or don’t treat you with the care and respect you deserve. If this is more your norm than you’d like, perhaps it’s time to look at the common denominator across all these situations: YOU!
Dig into these simple exercises and start attracting the man and the loving relationship you really want.
First, know what you bring to a relationship.
In order to attract the man who truly fits into your life, you must know who you are, what you bring to a relationship, and what works and doesn’t work for you. If you’re unsure about what you need and what you want to get out of relationship, you’re too likely to fall for anyone.
Think about what you would write in an online dating profile to describe yourself.
I happen to like some of the narrative sections that OKCupid includes in their profile template: my self-summary; what I’m doing with my life; what I’m really good at; the first things people usually notice about me; six things I could never do without; on a typical Friday night I am. And then, give some thought to the statement, “You should date me if…”
Really give this some thought and write it down!
Knowing who you are, what you enjoy, and what type of guy works best for you will build your self-confidence and help you, and your relationship prospects, figure out early on whether you may be a good fit for one another or not. This will save you time, frustration and heartache and help you avoid getting involved with the “wrong” guys.
Then, define what and who you’re truly looking for.
Happy, healthy relationships start with finding someone who shares your values, at least some of your interests, and enhances your life in a positive way.
An exercise I urge my clients to do is to start with a clean sheet of paper. Across the top, write the following column headings: Must Haves, Nice to Haves, Deal Breakers. Then think about the best relationships you’ve ever had as well as what you’d want from a man in your ideal relationship and fill in these three columns. If you meet someone who doesn’t meet all of your Must Haves and possesses any of your Deal Breakers, be strong and move on!
Weed out the “wrong” men and welcome in the “right” men.
If you regularly find yourself attracting cheaters, addicts, users, and commitment-phobes, it’s not your responsibility to fix them. It’s your job to leave. Quickly. Without getting involved.
You’ll never stop attracting the wrong men. By definition, most men won’t be “right” for you. By paying attention to who you are, what you want, and whether a man will fit into your world, you will be in a much stronger position to find your proverbial needle in the dating haystack faster and easier than ever before!
Deb Daufeldt, MA, MBA, NCC - www.newchaptersolutions.com
Lasting relationships are formed on the foundation of shared goals that are built through effective communication and proven trust. Therefore, it’s important to begin a relationship by revealing your authentic and real self in order to build a genuine connection with a romantic partner.
Attract your match by approaching dating with a genuine frame of mind.
We are taught from a young age to tell the truth, yet when it comes to dating, the truth is sometimes stretched in order to match with the qualities of your ideal partner. Rather than stretching the truth, ask yourself, what would it be like for others to see the real you from the very first encounter?
Likewise, what would it be like to find out that a potential partner had been dishonest about his real self? It’s clear to see that honesty is one of the cornerstones of any relationship, and being able to communicate in a this manner can help to attract a genuine and lasting connection with someone.
Expose your authenticity from the start.
It can be tempting, or perhaps even feel necessary, to portray yourself as a certain type of person with specific interests or traits that would suit the type of romantic partner you are hoping to attract. This necessity to please a potential mate may stem from many places, including being influenced by society's view of needing to strive for the perfect relationship, or perhaps from having low self-esteem or self-worth.
A relationship built on dishonesty is flawed from the start, and rather than trying to impress others with false information, find the strength to show details about your authentic self so that the foundation of truth and honesty are cemented from the very first encounter.
Be open to sharing your strengths and vulnerabilities - stay true to yourself.
The pressure to conform to a certain standard or attract a certain type of person can cause someone to act differently on a date or alter their dating profiles with certain interests or personality traits that may not describe what they enjoy or who they really are. Instead, allow your inner strengths to shine so that your potential match can see you for who you really are.
Likewise, being able to share vulnerabilities can help show another that you are ready to reveal your authentic self to someone more intimately, in order to grow together with that person. Staying true to yourself can also be a great exercise to increase your own awareness of your inner-self by identifying the kind of partner and relationship you really want and also help increase your self-esteem and self-worth.
Let your authenticity shine!
Heather LeGuilloux, MA, RCC - www.heatherleguilloux.ca
The best way to approach dating is to focus on what you want to attract verses what you are trying to avoid.
Oftentimes, we are preoccupied with past perceived failures or negative encounters to the extent that we alter our behaviors or have negative expectations that eventually turn into self-fulfilling prophecies.
For instance, if you fear getting hurt in relationships, then you may tend to put up emotional walls that prevent you from connecting, in turn the relationship fizzles and you get hurt. This is where the inner work comes in. There has to be a level of trust and willingness to be vulnerable to connect in relationships.
Start by evaluating your beliefs.
Are you holding any negative core beliefs that are creating walls between you and healthy relationships? We absorb so much information from our environment…from the fairy tales of our childhood to the next-door neighbor we are continuously bombarded with information that may or may not be correct, yet we may accept it and act on it as if it were true.
For instance, if you believed that ‘all men are cheaters’, then you may have low expectations, expect the worse and act in a way that would possibly facilitate a negative outcome. It is important to look for patterns because you may not be aware that you are acting on these negative belief systems. If you struggle with this, ask a trusted friend or professional helper to assist in evaluating past encounters.
It is also important to clearly define what you actually want in a mate.
Get very detailed in this process, use your imagination and start making a list of only what you want.
Identify positive traits, is he family oriented, would you like him to be passionate about his career, children, lifestyle? Where would you live? What would your house look like? You get the idea.
Paint a picture of what you want your perfect relationship to look like.
How do you want to be treated? Imagine how it would feel to be in a relationship like this, really dwell on the emotion of how incredible it would be so you know what you are looking for and how it will feel. Then settle for no less.
Stacey Shumway, M.Ed., CCMHC, BCC - www.2xlcoach.com
Think before you leap.
Before allowing a new prospective love interest into your life romantically, first… take the time to run this person through a simple test. Does this guy meet your Top Five Critical Criteria? If not, make a friend, but don’t let things become romantic, as once those love chemicals start surging through your body, you simply can’t see straight.
Protect yourself from yourself – we all have blind spots.
To find yours, take a look at your past loves and make a list of the qualities and characteristics in this group of men that simply don’t work for you. Look for common threads. Avoid men who share these no-go elements.
Have you somehow landed in the arms of men who are dishonest / disloyal / untrustworthy? Make sure that HONESTY makes it to your list of Top Five Critical Criteria.
Life Plan Alignment
Have you been strung along in a go-nowhere relationship, with a man who simply couldn’t or wouldn’t commit? What if you simply don’t allow yourself to become romantic with a man until after you know for sure that he is sincerely seeking life-long love? Do your life plans match up? If one of you is on-go for marriage, babies and diapers, and the other is not, then this can’t be long term, and thus shouldn’t be even a romance.
Have you chosen men who abuse alcohol or drugs? Perhaps health conscious/disciplined might make it to your list. And here’s a big tip – discipline yourself not to have more than one (maybe two) drinks on a date. Alcohol is a one-way ticket to loosey goosey.
Keep your pants on until you know that the two of you really check out nicely for each other, that you each meet the other’s Top Five Critical Criteria – and if you don’t quite know the answers…. Keep your pants on a little while longer. No one ever called me on a Monday morning to say, “Darn – I wish I’d slept with that guy!”
Learn from your past
Identify YOUR unhealthy patterns and consciously choose to avoid falling into the same traps. Get crystal clear as to that qualities that TRULY matter to you. Broaden your interpretation of who might be an acceptable candidate for you, refocusing on those five qualities that you’ve determined are essential to you, and look for those qualities, especially in men whom you might be tempted to overlook, for something that’s not really critical at all. Who might you have been overlooking, while you’ve been sucked into dead-end tunnels?
Guard your heart
Those qualities that truly matter to you – keep them front of mind and don’t let ANYONE into your heart until you’ve seen evidence of those essential qualities. Take your time, monitor yourself, choose carefully and watch for surprises!
Julie Ferman, Matchmaker and Dating Coach – www.julieferman.com
1. Love yourself.
a. Before you can give yourself to someone else, you need to love yourself first. If you don’t have a healthy relationship with yourself, chances are you’re more likely to enter into an unhealthy relationship with someone else. Without a sense of self-worth and self-respect, we’re more likely to accept poor treatment from others. You deserve a loving, healthy relationship that makes you feel special; but you aren’t going to get one if you don’t believe this to be true!
2. Realize what you’re looking for in a partner.
a. Think back to your past relationships, as well as to relationships that you admire. What works well for you, or is a “must have” in a partner? What did not work well for you, or is a “deal breaker?” Think about values, behaviours, personality traits and more. In doing so, you’ll be better able to see the red flags, as well as avoid overlooking someone great.
3. Don’t accept poor behaviour.
a. If a potential partner is treating you in a way that does not feel good, speak up. Let them know what they’re doing wrong, how it affects you and how you’d like to be treated instead. Give them a chance to make changes.
In the end, it’s up to you to hold others accountable for treating you in ways you want to be treated. If a potential partner proves that they cannot or will not treat you in a way you deserve to be treated, STOP investing more time into the relationship.
Kasey Lafferty, MSc, RP, RMFT - www.kltherapy.com
If you are one of those people who feels they always attract the wrong men; then you need to look within yourself to see why you are doing this.
Perhaps you are not actually ready for a commitment; so it's safe to choose the " wrong" man knowing that it won't lead to anything serious.
In order to stop attracting the wrong men, you need to be assertive and confident.
You need to know what you want in a partner and see that the person you choose can meet your expectations , and that you can meet his.
It is so important to develop your own independence.
Are you happy with your career?
Do you have hobbies?
Do you have a good support system with your friends and family?
The best way to stop attracting the wrong men is to live your life the way you want.
Develop your independence. Once you realize you don't need a man; but that you would like one to share your life with, I think you will start seeking out better matches for yourself.
Think about what you want in a partner; and when you are dating think about if this person can meet those expectations.
Also remember that you get to choose as well; just because someone is interest in you you don't have to date them if you know he is not the right fit for you. Think about what your " deal breakers" are and if any of the men you date demonstrate one of those ( for example they know they don't want children and you do) then you should move on, and continue your search for the right match.
Remember you don't need a man to function or complete you.
If you would like someone to add to your life, make sure you get your needs met and that you can meet his. You don't need to keep dating the " wrong " men. Empower yourself and remember that you need to choose someone as well. You don't need to just wait for someone to choose you, especially if you think they are not the right fit for you.
If you see red flags or can tell on the first date, that this is not someone you would want to add to your life; don't be afraid to say no, or not go on a second date. If you think you keep attracting the "wrong men", then don't continue the relationship or even start it, if you know he is not a good match for you.
Good luck with your search!
Trisha Swinton, LPC, LMFT – www.trishaswintoncounseling.com
Women repeatedly attract the wrong men because they gravitate to personality traits and experiences that mimic childhood. This is why relationships are so painful.
For instance, if you grew up with an alcoholic parent chances are you will attract people that need to be taken care of in some way. Care-taking becomes a way for you to get love but in the process you learn to neglect yourself. If you grew up with emotionally unavailable types who don’t do their feelings, you will seek them out not because they are bad for you, but because these people feel like home.
The irony is that what is familiar to you is often your deepest wound.
Dysfunctional families breed dysfunctional relationships because that’s all you know. You may be determined to recreate a better life by doing the exact opposite behavior. Unfortunately, the opposite though different - is just as dysfunctional.
For example, if you grew up with a raging family member, you may decide to stuff your own anger in reaction to not wanting to be like “them”. Stuffing anger creates more problems like stress, dishonesty in relationships, depression and anxiety.
You cannot learn what you weren’t taught.
If you didn't grow up seeing healthy communication then resolving differences and mutual respect is hard to replicate. So you end up attracting the wrong men because they symbolize a past relationship pattern that needs to be healed.
What you resist, persists which means that relationship patterns repeat themselves until you learn the lesson.
Michelle Farris, LMFT – www.counselingrecovery.com
First things first, if you are finding yourself in this pattern of dating the “same” guy over and over again, you’re not alone. It takes time, awareness and getting to that aha moment of realizing, “Hey I want and deserve more, so enough is enough!”
Before finding a meaningful and fulfilling relationship there may be a period of trial and error, frustrating dates, mixed messages, and tears.
The first step in stopping the cycle of attracting the wrong men is to acknowledge your dating patterns and evaluate any self-sabotaging behaviors.
Then begin working towards creating an openness to letting someone who is worth your time and who will value you, into your life. Self-sabotage is a sign of fear of vulnerability and intimacy. There are many signs of self-sabotage you may be engaging in and may be unaware of.
Some examples of this are attracting emotionally unavailable and non-committal men, not getting your needs met but staying anyways or dating guys who are less motivated than you. Recognizing dating patterns, the type of men you attract and what’s holding you back is important to making a change.
If you don’t believe you’re worthy of love, happiness, or a fulfilling relationship you may unintentionally giving others permission to mistreat or disrespect you.
This energy infiltrates our interactions, communication and body language. Awareness is key because it allows you to recognize how you may be holding yourself back and then working to do something different. This leads to feeling empowered to ask for what you need without feeling needy.
Asking for what you want and having realistic expectations are not being needy, in fact these are crucial parts of communication especially when you’re getting to know someone.
There are different periods we go through including struggling with what we want, what we love about ourselves, and learning and understanding our flaws. It is once we truly accept and understand who we are that we will feel confident and ready to let someone in to experience the wonderful traits and flaws we all possess.
One of the most effective ways to create a healthy relationship is practicing self-love, understanding your desires and needs in a partner, figure out how to create inner happiness, and a new energy will form and radiate from you.
Learn how to go deep within yourself, exploring your flaws, sensitive spots, and how you can become vulnerable and confident in who you are. This will eventually lead to an acceptance of self, your story, and inviting love in and squashing fear and the cycle of sabotage. You are worth it and it can happen once you turn inward and work to bring you the relationship you want.
Shannon Behar, MFT – www.shannonbehar.com
In order to stop attracting unhealthy partners we have to identify why we have been attracting them to begin with…
To me it’s pretty clear why we attract unhealthy partners, on some level, some piece of us doesn’t actually believe we are worthy of real love or we can’t yet fully commit to it because some part of us isn’t fully ready for the exchange.
If you are feeling really ready for an authentic, great partnership then the place to start is by identifying your true heart’s desire, stripping back, getting naked in your soul and being really CLEAR and REAL about what you are actually looking for from your life and a partner… who are you and what do you actually desire from a mate?
It’s about believing that you are truly worthy of being loved… unconditionally, passionately, powerfully, by someone… it’s opening your heart to receive that love … it’s about being vulnerable.
To stop attracting the wrong relationship, you have to be truly open to receiving the right one.
This means no longer being attracted to the guys who are only willing to half commit to you, or aren’t fully present with you, won’t ever fully reveal how they feel etc … the ones who always leave you waiting for just a little more of their attention or time… can’t you see this is decision that you make to allow yourself to receive less than everything that you deserve… when you truly believe that you deserve to be really love and you love yourself and make dating decisions accordingly… you will attract healthy potential partners to yourself.
When you get real and are fearless enough to truly embrace love and the responsibility albeit gift that comes with holding a piece of someone else’s heart then you will welcome the right person, because for probably the first time you will really SEE them.
The loving gestures, and present heart, the open hearted communication, the vulnerability, the intensity… will no longer scare you but you will welcome it… as you will welcome the fullest and deepest expression of your soul as love through this relationship. Because that’s really what relationships are and can be… mirrors, teachers, and a reflection coming back to us of the fullness of ourselves… Until you can really see and believe in yourself… you can’t really see or believe in love.
Start there by fully and fearlessly loving yourself… let go of the ones who you know down deep are not the healthy or right choice for you and make space for someone truly great to come into your life. The biggest hurdle is simply believing in love and trusting you’re worthy of an incredibly fulfilling loving relationship. Once you get past that, wonderful things can happen… late in the game… lesson learned from “Under the Tuscan Sun”.
One last piece of advice is… choose the one who you connect with on a deeper level… the one you can be honest and real with, the one you have amazing conversations with, the one you can laugh with, sing with, dance to the beat of your own drum with… the one who knows the song that’s tied to the lyrics you quote, who knows the rhythm of your heart beat, the cadence of your soul …because life is not always perfect but these deepest loves are that way because they are grounded in real connection.
Ashley Davene, Relationship Counselor - www.ashleydavene.com
Be aware of the signals that you are sending out.
Reflect on your comfort level in relationships, parents and role models, including past relationships have set up a certain pattern that may have occurred without you realizing it.
For example, a woman who may be very independent, financially successful, professional, etc. may attract abusive or obsessive men. Perhaps, she can look at what signals she is sending out and how it is that she finds herself responding to these men if that is occurring. If she is not interested in the men that are attracted, is she finding that she is leading them on by alluding that there might be a possibility for her to consider them as a partner.
Be clear with the men if they are not of interest to you, this does not mean they will not be attracted, it helps you strengthen your values and standards.
The therapeutic process would look at childhood for example father or father figures or marriages, long term boyfriends, etc. this is important to get to the root, or gain the insight as to why these men are attracted.
Once you have the insight, then the behavior change can follow.
The goal is to demystify the attraction and create a new way, this may sound easy, but the comfort level is one that may need to be further explored and processed.
For example, a woman may be use to being put down and belittled, and then when a date treats her respectfully she becomes overly appreciative. She may even try and push him away or go back to men that belittle her, due to the discomfort of feeling as though she does not deserve to accept someone treating her respectfully.
Lisa Bahar, MA, LMFT - www.lcbahar.wix.com
Have you had a constant string of bad relationships?
Dating can seem endless, and it can be overwhelming and, at times, very limiting. Sometimes it just feels good to be noticed, and we jump at the first person that looks at us.
There are four very important ideas to consider when you are trying find the right person in your life: know who you are, know what you want/need, know your boundaries, and know your worth.
All of these ideas are important in attracting the right person to spend your time with.
Your relationships reflect who you are, and if you don’t know who you are or what you want, then how are you being reflected in your relationship?
Simply put, you are not. If you are simply trying to “make it work” with just anyone, then you are attracting the wrong type of person. When you don’t know who you are, what you want, what is and isn’t ok, or your worth, it is impossible to attract someone who is worthy of your love.
Who You Are
You can’t be happy if you don’t know what makes you happy. This is the most important part in attracting someone the right person. Many times, you walk into relationships bending and shaping out of your comfort zone to make someone like you. When you bend and shape for other people to make them happy, you eventually lose your sense of self.
Knowing who you are gives you the power to create a meaningful relationship. If you know who you are then you know the qualities you are looking for in a person. This gives you the influence to choose the type of person you want to attract. You have the power to say no to people who don’t fit…you don’t have to be the one to fit in order to make it work.
What You Want/Need
If you don’t know what you want in a relationship you are setting yourself up to attract the wrong kind of person. By knowing your values and needs from a relationship you are able to shape your mental picture of who it is that you want in our life.
When you know what you want you typically get a well-balanced relationship that reflect who you are through your wants and needs. When you express your wants and needs in a healthy way it sets you up to create successful and meaningful relationships.
Know your boundaries walking into a relationship. If you continue to find yourself in situations that are uncomfortable and uncertain you are probably not setting or holding boundaries. When we attract the wrong type of person, we often find ourselves trying too hard or being suffocated. Boundaries are something we have the power to create and enforce.
Boundaries tell you “what is ok” and “what is not ok”. This helps you create stability and security in relationships which helps you create strong relationships. People who respect your boundaries are the people who can stay. People who do not respect your boundaries are also not respecting who you are, what you want, or your worth.
When you know what you are worth you stop attracting the wrong type of person. When you know your worth, you know the things you deserve. Many times your experiences with others shape the way you view yourself and what you are worth. It is hard to separate yourself from those experiences and develop a sense of worth that is all your own.
If you want to stop going from bad relationship to bad relationship you have to start loving and respecting yourself. Sometimes you have to be more choosy about the people that do enter your life. When you start seeing yourself as worthy, you are able to find a person who respects who you are, what you want/need, and your boundaries.
You need to gain your power again. You can’t give your power to the person you are pursuing, because when you give them your power they have control to use, manipulate, and control you. When you are a person who knows who you are, what you want/need, your worth, and your boundaries then you know that the person that you meet reflect the qualities that you are put out there. They will know who they are and what they want, they will have boundaries and self-worth.
Each of these areas take time and preparation.
These areas do not come natural to most of us and we have to take time to develop a sense of identity, understand what we want, create boundaries, and find the strength to know our worth.
Rebecca Frank, MA, LPCC, NCC - www.courage2connect.com
Continuously attracting the “wrong” kind of men can be quite burdensome and exhausting. The biggest theme I see with this is hearing women say that they think the person that they are with is going to change and they see the good part of this person so they hold onto the good parts and hope the not so good parts will change over time.
First of all, I think it's important to hold onto the good part in order to be happy in a relationship because there is no perfect person, but we really need to look at these “bad” parts with a critical eye.
Woman can easily generalize and say, “no guy is perfect” which continues the habitual problem of dating the wrong men because the bad parts are overlooked, not prioritized and assume that they would change.
What are the TOP things you are looking for in a guy.
What characteristics? Is it honestly, integrity, family values, motivations and drive? Really think about what it is that you want and need in a relationship, hone in on those things and does your guy possess these characteristics? Or is this in the “hopefully will change” category?
I think by prioritizing the important aspects of a guy and overlooking the less important ones allows for being able to find a guy that exists without being too picky and getting your needs met at the same time.
Knowing your needs can be another journey, so if you don’t know what those are, maybe it’s time to explore it!
I’m not saying to hold out for the perfect guy, I’m saying to hold out for the important aspects and characteristics that you need in a partner! Because you’re right, no guy is perfect, but if your core needs and values are not being matched, then you’re dating the wrong guy and continuously arguing with well, “no ones is perfect; I see potential for change.” If you find yourself saying this over and over again, then it’s a warning sign that you’re overlooking important things you want in a relationship.
Take a critical eye at the “bad parts.” Are they essential parts? Then it’s time to move on and trust you will find someone that meets your needs.
Stacey Steinmiller, LCSW – www.ascounseling.com
It’s easy to get stuck in patterns, especially when it comes to dating. The reasons for this vary widely – from subconscious beliefs, to how you viewed your parent’s relationship or your relationship with a certain parent, and even low self-esteem.
However, the particular reason why you are repeatedly stuck in a negative pattern isn’t as important as how to get out of it.
The first step is in noticing that there is a negative pattern, such as repeatedly attracting the wrong men.
It may be difficult to notice when this type of guy doesn’t seem like the “wrong” type in the beginning. Especially if there is a strong attraction!
But if you’re dating the same type that never turns into a committed relationship, you find yourself consumed by drama, wrought with jealousy, or being emotionally shut down, then it is time to do something different.
The second step is having the desire to get out of this self-sabotaging pattern.
If you are okay with dating, having passion, but not developing anything serious, then that is okay. But if you truly want a committed, long-term relationship, then you must have enough desire to do things differently.
Try dating someone who wouldn’t normally seem like your “type”.
Give somebody a chance who is nothing like the previous men you’ve dated.
Don’t get discouraged if you don’t feel an immediate spark or connection on the first date. Connection can grow in time.
Go out on a few dates and see how it feels. Is it uncomfortable because it’s not what you’re used to? Or is it comfortable on a different level than what you’ve experienced before? Perhaps it’s lacking the usual drama, or excitement, or jealousy?
Just notice what you notice. Give it a chance and give yourself a chance to experience a new type of relationship.
Often when we least expect it true love can grow.
Alexis Meads, MA - www.alexismeads.com
When I think of the word attract, what comes to mind is a magnet (another attracting object).
That’s exactly what a magnet does; it attracts. To attract is to draw to yourself; to be admired; to gain the attention of. The thing to look at here that’s important is that when one magnet is attracted by another, the only way this happens is that the other magnet has similar ingredients, characteristics, or something in common that draws them together.
This can also be said about relationships.
People tend to attract or draw in others somewhat like them, or lessons needing to be learned by them. When you get someone’s attention, or someone gets your attention, there is something drawing the two of you together. Your job is to figure out the reason someone has shown up in your space.
Consider that either he is there to help you move forward in such a way that you could not do so on your own (or else you would not have drawn him in); or he is there to receive help from you.
You see, anytime two people come together (however they do so), an exchange is taking place.
You must decide if you are in the giving or the receiving end of the exchange. If you are there to give, teach, share, support, etc., then be fully you and help him move along in life without any attachments to the outcome of the relationship; in your own way. That’s really being vested in yourself. When you can do this, you can look for the same experience to return to you. It may or may not come from that same individual you poured into, but be assured, yours will come.
Therefore, we are in relationships for our own selfish gain.
You might not be willing to admit this, but if you look back at your past relationships, they were ALL about you. It was the same from their end as well; their experience was all about them. Don’t take this too personal. This really is healthy. Each of us are trying to get to where we ultimately long to be; what we are in search of, and sometimes without even knowing it.
Instead of seeing yourself as attracting the “wrong” person, try looking at it from a different perspective.
Because ultimately, either you have something to share with him or he has something to share with you. If either of you can grow from that space, then it would put you exactly in the “right” relationship you’re in need of. And that goes for the both of you.
If you insist on calling your attractions or relationships the “wrong” ones, then try looking back and see what you learned from each of them. I promise you, because you were there, you’ll find some golden nuggets that will help you be better prepared for the next relationship. Only this time, you’ll go into it knowing it’s the “right” relationship because you were drawn together.
To help you prepare even better for the next one, consider these insights:
· Are you clear on your requirements, needs, and wants for the relationship?
· Do you have clear-distinguishable boundaries from the outset?
· What is your why for wanting to be in a relationship?
· Are there any patterns that keep showing up for you to keep relearning?
· What is it about the lessons that seem to be challenging for you?
These are just a few questions for you to ponder over that could provide some insight into what could be going on.
If you can get in a still quiet space and reflect over what could surface for you, this could really be life changing.
When you can get to this point, there won’t be any apprehension about what’s to come, because you’ll be ready for it. That’s putting you in the power seat. You are the captain of your ship. Now get it anchored captain! That’s how you stop attracting the “wrong” men.
Barbara Ann Williams, LPC, MS – www.barbaraannwilliams.com
You know what you don’t want now that you’ve kissed a few toads and are ready for that prince, "Mr. Right". Now it’s time to think about what you do want and to do some self-reflection.
Take your time with each question, perhaps with your pen and journal.
• What do you most value in a relationship? What does Mr. Right have that others don’t have?
• In what way have past relationships affected how you'd choose the right man now?
• What three things do you want more of in your life?
• Who have been your major role models? What do you admire most about them?
• What do you value most about yourself?
Are you feeling a little clarity around what you truly treasure in yourself and others? Are you beginning to have a stronger sense of what you are looking for in a relationship with Mr. Right?
Now that you have an idea what vibe you would value in a partner, let’s look a little further. What direction would your relationship take?
• What would life with the right man look like day to day?
• What is your ideal self-image for the future?
• What would your image look like if you viewed it through the eyes of your ideal partner?
• What new possibilities exist if you allow yourself to be complete and vulnerable with your authenticity?
• What self-doubts are you ready to leave behind?
Is your vision coming into focus yet? Do you feel a sense of security, hope, joy, interest? It is said that your vibe attracts your tribe.
It is all too easy to fall into a sort of trance of low energy and self doubt.
Beliefs about ourselves will either stunt our growth and capacity for love, or feed, shed light on, and expand those good, loving vibrations. A belief is just a thought you keep thinking – right or wrong. What we focus on grows and it is very beneficial to recognize the difference between affirming and diminishing thoughts. Practice catching them and make adjustments to maintain healthy, loving, life and light-affirming inner dialog.
Accept your uniqueness.
Accept the things you aren’t thrilled with, too. They make you human. Keep to and embrace your own truth, both the things you struggle with, and your ideal well-being. Recognize your inner worth. Trust goodness in yourself, and learn to fill yourself with love.
When you truly love yourself, your attitude will attract other healthy loving people -- in all areas of your life.
• How can you better recognize, accept and honor your true inner worth?
• What boundaries are sacred to you and how can you fortify them?
A favorite saying is, “What you think about you bring about.” Another is, "What you appreciate appreciates."
• What action can you take today to bring yourself joy?
• Who can you write a note of thanks to?
• What relationship can you enrich by paying more attention to and turning in toward the other?
• How can you remind yourself that life loves you and that “Mr. Right” is worth waiting for and that he’s waiting for you, too?
Laurie Curtis, CPPC, CiPP – www.curtisease.com
One of the most common questions I get asked as a therapist, is why do I keep attracting the same man over and over?
One could argue that everyone you do not end up with is the wrong man.
But, in this case, it is more about a pattern of attracting the same type of relationship or negative qualities in a man that they do not want to repeat, yet keep ending up with.
How do these patterns begin?
Why do we create them?
And how do we move forward and make changes?
Often, early relationships we experience make lasting imprints that color our perceptions of what love means. In the future, you may find yourself only able to become attracted to men that mimic that first “type” of man you fell for.
Or, in situations where we have unresolved family issues, we may tend to attract men that have similar qualities to the family member we wish we could work through the problems with.
This type of pattern is called repetition compulsion, where we reenact certain situations or events to try and decipher the unresolved issues, hoping for a different result.
This can apply to traumatic relationships, or just very intense ones. This is so common and somewhat easy to dismiss. We may minimize the issue by telling ourselves “Oh, I only am attracted to guys over 6’2”, or I just like blonde guys”.
But, when we limit ourselves to a physical or emotional type, it’s important to question why those qualities are essential, if we can be open to other possibilities, and where these attractions stem from.
Usually, these patterns are evident in cases of addiction, abuse, and infidelity. So often, when we are unconscious about our requirements, we end passing by the quality men that may be able to bring much more to the table, and bring us genuine happiness, rather than the “wrong men” we keep on engaging with.
You might just say, “ Hey. I like what I like, and that’s the way it is.”
But when we resolve ourselves to something that is not working, and avoid growth and change, we will keep ending up with the same unwanted results. Therefore, if you are not happy with your pattern, it’s time to do some serious inner work and exploration.
To move forward, and break free of limiting beliefs, I suggest first visualizing how you want to feel in a healthy relationship what will make you happy.
Where are you?
What are you doing together?
What emotions are you feeling?
Let the images and feelings flow freely and pay attention to whatever comes to your mind. Try to picture yourself completely happy and safe in the relationship, and make notes of what that looks like for you. Then, I would suggest making a list of the top 10 qualities you are looking for in your next partner.
Finally, I recommend picking out of those, the top 3 qualities you can’t live without.
Write those qualities down, and become willing to abandon the rest as an experiment. When we truly become committed to our growth, change, and happiness, it is amazing how the universe will step up, and deliver new situations, possibilities, and outcomes. Our only job is to take a chance, listen to our hearts, and try something new. Breaking free of old patterns that no longer serve us always requires taking a risk. Once you find the courage to open up, it’s amazing what the Universe will deliver!
Dr. Alisa Ruby Bash - www.alisarubybash.com
This generally is due to the lack of personal boundaries and a need to be the “perfect woman” for “him”.
If you don’t’ know who you are and show who you are, the other person ends up falling for someone who does not exist and you feel abandoned. If you become serious then you feel as though they don’t care enough to think of you. They may feel as if they don’t know you anymore. Both would be correct since you were not you in the beginning.
If you become someone else every time you date you will (A) put off the good guys since they want a participant not a slave or (B) attract the users who want someone that allows them to do whatever they want.
No relationship will be all give or all take. If it is, you know it is wrong.
Unless you treat each other as you wish to be treated, it will not work.
That means you may not stand up for you but you would for them, so do they for you? You apologize when you hurt their feelings, do they? You think of them when making plans or shopping so you ask for their input, do they think of you? You have beliefs on friends, family, dating, futures, do they share your ideas or want you to change?
We all change some when we find someone special, but it’s minor modifications, not a complete overhaul.
If you are not sure when the overhaul is happening, ask someone (not your date or his friend) if you are changing who you are. See what they say. If they love you they will not be telling you how to live your life but allow you to make that choice, but more information means better choices so resources are awesome!
Another factor that can happen is when someone has extended trauma as a child.
This can create a baseline of drama. This means you are familiar with things being “crazy” and unstable. You are not familiar with calm, safe, shared relationships. So then if you are around a guy that cares and thinks of you, then you don’t know how to take this. Then your anxiety goes through the roof and you leave believing this bad feeling indicates no “spark”. When really you are not familiar with calm. You feel close just after arguing but worried if you are not fighting.
Neither of these are permanent situations. If you want a change, then change can happen.
Katherine Woodworth, LPC, CRC - www.fairwaycounseling.com
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