We tend to seek what is familiar in relationships, from those in our immediate environment (parents, family, friends), rather that what we truely desire. Most of what we look for in a partner or lover is unconscious patterning hard-wired in us from our childhood, and so it can be hard to see these patterns without conscious awareness or guidance.
In order to start creating a relationship that is neither insecure (think desperate, grabbing type lovers) or avoidant (withdrawing emotion and intimacy, usually as a result of being on the other end of desperate, grabby lovers), we must start bringing awareness to these patterns. Having fallen into all of these at one point in time, if you want more insight into which role you may fall into, grab a copy of my Relationship Quiz.
1. Becoming the relationship caretaker
I have definitely been the caretaker in past relationships.
Caretakers focus on the other persons needs so much, they avoid ever having to deal with their own baggage and emotions.Do any of these scenario sound familiar?
"Babe, we should totally do a yin yoga class together, its so good for stretching out your body. You'll feel amazing afterwards'
'hey, how about we meditate together?'
'hey, I made this vegan gluten free paleo dish for tonight, how good is it? Don't you think it would be awesome to be vegan? Lets do it together!'
You might think you are encouraging then, but all your partner sees is you trying to change them.
If you find yourself saying these things, that’s ok. Forgive yourself, and let go of the expectation that 'its good for them'. And instead, be an inspiration. If you love yin yoga, go with a friend or by yourself. Your partner will naturally sense your shift in energy, and if they are interested, they might ask to go with you. The subtle shifts in your energy will have a much bigger impact on them than nagging. And when a person is open to receive your advice or guidance (i.e. when they ask for it) they are much more likely to follow it.
2. Falling in love with potential
Boy meets girl. Its sparkly and juicy and fiery and connected and soft all at once. You’re gooey eyed and fluffy for each other.
And then, you start to notice the little things that irk you. At first you rationalise these in your mind.
'It doesn't matter that he doesn't text back right away, he's probably busy. I love that he has his own friends and we can have independent lives.'
'He's in an ok job. Like you though, he is looking for something else to do' (but unlike you, he doesn't know what that is.)
'He's kind of an asshole when he is stressed at work. Ah, I'm sure its just this week, I won’t say anything'
THIS ISN'T REALITY.
What I see people do (in particular, women) is stay with someone out of HOPE that they will FINALLY start meditating, doing yoga, loving themselves, looking after their health, what ever it is.
You wait for them to have that moment of realisation, the day they wake up and decide that actually 'Yes, wise and beautiful girlfriend who I adore, I will start to do [insert activity] because I can see how good it is for me and how it will positively effect our relationship'.
But whatever is annoying you about your partner is a MIRROR showing YOU that you where you need to change. Often we point the finger at other people and blame them for our deficiencies or the deficiencies of a relationship when in fact if YOU did the things you told your partner nearly as often as you nagged them then it would have an equally positive effect on the relationship.
Focussing on them is just distracting you from yourself, and your stuff.
Women tend to go into a relationship thinking their man will change, while men go into relationship hoping their woman will never change. Both are unrealistic expectations based on a concept of a future that hasn't been determined yet. So Accept the person for exactly who they are, in every moment. And if you cannot, then it is in your power to leave.
3. Treating them like the sun
We meet someone beautiful, kind, who we really connect with, and we start to paint a perfect life with them in our mind - perhaps he lives interstate or overseas? No problem, I could move there I'm always up for an adventure!
Their friends and family take priority over yours;
They decide every holiday you go on;
They have the final say on everything;
You are constantly apologising, for something, but afterwards you are not sure what for
In this pattern, the other persons' needs and desires become more important than your own and you start to revolve your life around the question 'what would they do' or 'I'll have to check with them first"
While this is common in the beginning to want to please your partner, if patterns like this sustain throughout a relationship, you can feel like you are always wrong, and can never do anything right.
I have created a quiz to help you understand whether you tend to repeat a particular relationship pattern, including the process I use to set boundaries and ask for what I want in my relationships. Scroll down to sign up to my mailing list and receive your free copy!