Maybe we all could do with a reality check when it comes to our personal romantic relationships. Not an easy feat to bare, I know! Who wants to go sit in some strangers therapist or coaches office and share, (more like dump) our most private, deep dark intimacies and dysfunctions? Who wants a reality check that will make them realize how messed up they are and how badly they’ve failed in their relationships with others? Who wants to admit their circumstances are their fault and no one else’s? No thanks, I’ll pass on that one! The thing is, when it comes to any form of therapy or coaching, or self recovery program, what I’ve learned is that I have to be desperate enough to want something different, and I have to have realized that my methods, up until now don’t serve me anymore. Only then can I reach out for help. Only then can I allow myself to be open enough to hear someone else’s opinion and even more, allow myself to be completely vulnerable in order to allow someone else to actually help me.
The truth I have found is actually the more I allow people in, and the more I am open to other peoples opinions, the more support I have. I realized along the way, that I am not a super hero, and I can’t do everything alone. I also learned that there is power in numbers. People need other people in order to heal and when I allowed myself to get help, my life started to take on a different shape.
What I learned about myself is that I too have a pattern of toxic behavior within my romantic relationships, and that this pattern of behavior has gone on for a long time. Also, I found out that there is way to change that and thus, change my life.
So, what are some cycles or patterns of toxic behaviors?
Toxic Patterns are repeated behaviors that re occur from one relationship to another that create unhappiness, discomfort, keep us trapped or feeling stuck, and bring out hopelessness and sadness. These patterns may also be addictive, or create an addictive cycle from one relationships to another.
Some examples of those are:
- Thinking that every date is a potential spouse
- Thinking that every person I am with has the same defects
- Rushing relationships in order to keep them going
- Acting or compromising my values for the sake of the relationship
- Always choosing unavailable partners
- Dating people who remind us of our mother or father
- Ending relationships when they become too intimate
- Objectifying people
- Thinking that without this person I don’t exist
- Always putting their needs and wants above mine
- Always putting my needs and wants above theirs
When we’re with someone we should be feeling a sense of well being and comfort most, if not all of the time. This is the essence of a healthy relationship. There are no perfect relationships, but knowing that my other half should bring me joy above all, is a comforting compass to follow. When I learned to practice these principles for myself, I realized that if I do my internal work I can then show up for another, trusting that the great things in the relationship will grow, knowing that I am solely and fully responsible for my emotions and that I don’t need anyone else to make me feel whole, confident and worthy. I am then able to see the other person for who they are, and not for who I want them to be. True love and intimacy can then grow from there.