Is there something eerily familiar about your current relationship? Do you have that funny feeling “I’ve been here before….”
“Déjà vu all over again,” as the saying goes. If you are headed down a familiar road, trapped in the well-worn ruts created by your last (several) relationships, what makes you think that this time the road won’t lead to disappointment? Has anything really changed?
There are many reasons that people relive failed relationships, with different people, over and over. If that happens to you, believe me—you are not alone. But you can escape the trap and finally get what you need and deserve out of a relationship. It will require some self-examination, identifying what/who you want and an action plan.
- Identify your core values. Your values, whether conscious or unconscious, determine the decisions you make. You have values in all aspects of your life— family, health, career, and relationships. When you live your life aligned with your core values you will feel on track and fulfill one of your highest needs: for your life to have meaning. Write your values down in order of importance. Doing so will help you understand your priorities and recognize a partner who shares those key values.
- Identify your limiting beliefs—about yourself—and decide not to accept them anymore. For instance, if you believe you have to be the caretaker, and never nurtured in return, know that about yourself so you can release that belief and find a life partner who aligns with a new belief—that you are worthy of attention and love.
- Analyze relationship patterns – this requires discipline and honesty and will help you move forward into new, solid, and resilient relationships. I strongly urge you not to “just think about” your past relationships. Writing things down has a way of clarifying things and also demanding honesty. When we “just think,” it is easy for our minds to veer away from the painful or awkward—those things we’d really rather not dwell on, thank you very much. But we have to, I’m afraid, if we are going to learn those lessons that are there for us, and move on in positive and productive ways. What positive patterns do you see repeated? What negative patterns keep cropping up? What do you understand about these positive and negative patterns? How might your understanding impact your current behaviors and choices in relationships?
- Know your deal breakers – Relationship requirements are those non-negotiable, black or white deal breakers. If they are missing in a relationship—watch out. A few examples of relationship requirements are love of children, love of pets, mutual respect, and being addiction free. It’s tough to examine a love relationship through the lens of the relationship requirement, but it’s important. Be clear with yourself, don’t apologize for your requirements and act accordingly.
- Set and keep emotional and physical boundaries— Knowing what you are comfortable with and what your interior and external boundaries are will help you feel both safe and relaxed in a relationship. Remember, it is the emotionally healthy person who can set boundaries and respect the boundaries of others. Finding true love is, as always, as much about finding your true self as it is about finding the true “other.”
- Action plan – A dating strategy will take you from where you are to where you want to be. With a solid plan you will be able to say no to someone who does not meet your criteria. Being prepared to exit those dating situations when they occur will make the process easier and provide you with more confidence.
If you feel like that catfish in the pond that’s been caught again and again on the same fish hook you are probably getting tired of it. Don’t you wonder why the darned fish doesn’t learn from his mistakes? Well, it’s not that easy. We are all drawn to what we are drawn to (shiny lures and all), but if whatever draws us again and again ends up hurting us or leaving us feeling unsatisfied, unloved, or lonely, we need to revision what we want, retrain our brains, and reinvent our stories. You can do that. If you want some help – I can do that! Click on this link to sign up for a free chat about how I can help you escape dating déjà vu!