If you keep finding yourself in relationships with a slightly different version of the same person, then you, my friend, have what we call in the professional matchmaking world a “bad pattern”. You’re subconsciously repeating the same habit of choosing partners that end up in a negative, dead-end relationship. You don’t do it on purpose – you’re simply left holding the broken pieces of heartbreak and the guilt that can come afterword – Why do I do this to myself? It’s important to break the habit so that you create space for healthier relationships to show up in your life.

The following steps will enable you to break your typical bad patterns once and for all:

  • Dig Deep: Go within and take stock. This step calls for some heavy-duty truth and reflection. People seek what is familiar because it’s easy to remember the good parts… we easily forget the pain. Consider the meaningful relationships that influenced you as an adolescent. If those relationships were flawed, then as an adult, you will be drawn towards these same unfulfilling relationships.
  • You Are What You Believe: Everything begins with you. Be responsible for your own happiness. If you want a partner who is emotionally available, kind, generous, affectionate, then you must possess these same traits. The more you love and care for yourself, the more you will feel love from others. How you treat yourself sets the bar for how others will treat you.
  • Relationship inventory: There are always signs of toxic relationships. Awareness is the key to identifying the problem. It’s very common to get caught up in attraction and chemistry. We must enter into a relationship with both our hearts and our brain. Do the following red flags ring any bells? Do you feel like you are walking on egg shells? Has your self worth lowered? Do you see family and friends as often as you used to? Do you feel you are always giving more than is being given back to you? Do your family and friends disapprove? An objective perspective is important because those offering that perspective aren’t emotionally involved and genuinely have our best interests at heart.
  • Be Open: Instead of choosing a partner based off the attraction that you have been using as your gauge (which has only been leading to hurt), consciously decide to get to know someone who has the characteristics that would compliment yours. Use more filters – Use a matchmaker! Everyone has some emotional or negative baggage. The trick is how they carry it!
  • Persevere: Change takes time and it’s not easy. Humans are complex and relationships are even more complex. Step out of your comfort zones and break the pattern. Challenge yourself. It’s better to have loved and hurt then never to have loved at all. In the wise words of Maya Angelou, “Have enough courage to trust love one more time and always one more time”.

-CB, IJL Director

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