putting a stop to repetitive unhealthy relationship patterns

I am no stranger to relationship drama, especially when in regards to romantic relationships. I've been the one that breaks the other ones heart. I've been the one whose heart gets broken. I've done the back and forth relationship more times than I'd like to admit. And I've made the commitment to myself to end it, to grow, to learn, and to start practicing more integrity and respect for myself.

It's easy not to see when you're stuck in the relationship pattern pendulum. First you play one role in the relationship, then you switch to the other. It often happens without us realizing it because its our pattern! Patterns are really just another word for habits, habits that have been with us for a long time. We usually don't think a whole lot about most of our habits, we just do them intuitively and are often unaware of the subtle ways that we are engaging in them. The reason why? There are some beliefs we have about ourselves, about life, and/or about relationships that are dictating our unconscious decisions.

So why is it that we don't listen to our instincts? If we know that this person isn't that right match, why do we continue seeing them? Why do we stay with a person who doesn't meet our needs and is not willing to meet them? Why do we stay with people who hurt us and cause us pain? Why do we let the relationship continue?

Well I believe it goes back to those unconscious beliefs we have that create the foundation from which we make decisions from. The most common belief being, "I'm not enough" - not worthy enough, not good enough, not pretty enough, not cool enough, not evolved enough. Everyone has a different belief, however it all relates back to the same thing - people who have complicated relationships or relationships issues all have issues with self worth. Period. I know that's blunt, and perhaps many of you are not ready to hear that, or more importantly to own that, but unfortunately it's true. 

The best way to figure out what your belief is at your core is to retrace your steps. Think back to your last relationship and recall how you felt in the beginning. Here are a few questions I want you to think about and perhaps even write out answers to in a journal. 

  • What did you think about this person? 
  • How did your body feel when you were with them?
  • Did they treat you well and the way you wanted them to?
  • Did you truly want to be in a relationship with them?
  • What feelings kept you stuck and disuaded from ending the relationship with this person?
  • Why didn't you listen to your body when it said no?
  • Why didn't you listen to your intuition when it said that this is not the person for you?
  • What kept you in the relationship longer than you should have been?
  • Why do you pick people like this?

Thinking about questions like these will truly awaken you to your habits and will bring awareness to those things you do that have been unconscious. Remembering those first intuitions, feelings, and physical reactions is truly the key to preventing yourself from repeating those same patterns.

A lot of this process comes down to understanding the feelings in your body. Your mind will play tricks and rationalize, your heart may get confused, your body will never lie. In my opinion, you should base most of if not all your decisions on how it feels in your body. Note to all my readers, I very rarely use the word should so pay attention! Your body has intelligence beyond what most of us understand. Haven't you heard the saying 'trust your gut'? Many have nicknamed the gut as our 'second brain', because of it's expansive neural network that allows us to feel butterflies when we're nervous, or fear and anxiety in the pit of our stomach. Tuning in and listening to the message of your body is essential and oh my gosh it will save you so much time in the long run. 

Here's another opportunity to bring in some more awareness.Tune in; What does a strong 'No' feel like in your body? What does a 'Yes' feel like? You might not be able to feel it right now reading this but practice it throughout your day for the next week. Ask yourself "how does my body feel?" Try this around the different people your with or the different places you go. Each date you go on practice being really present and mindful, how does it feel to sit with this person, to listen to them talk, how does it feel when you see their name on your phone. These subtleties will tell you a whole lot. 

With learning to listen to your body more, you will be building trust in yourself, in your feelings and in your emotions. You will be taking your power back too in that you will be making space for your feelings and really giving them value and consideration. This is what I believe will break the cycle. Learning to listen to yourself, how you feel and making a conscious choice.

So back to all that self worth stuff. Honestly this is a topic that I plan to write an entire separate blog post about however I wish to touch on it now as it relates to this posting. When you know that this isn't the right person for you and you know that there's no future, or when you have heard the same old line 'I'm not ready to commit' or you yourself are not ready to commit, why on earth do you keep seeing this person? Why do you continue to date someone who makes your cry every other day or hurts your heart by their actions? Why do you continue to date some one whose actions don't follow their words. Why do you date a person who gives you a strong 'no' in your body? Think about that a little more, and really sit with it. More on this topic to come...

If you have thoughts please feel free to email me, tell me your stories, share your experience. This topic is big, we all have different stories and different patterns. This may not have been yours but it sure represents a large percent of the stories I've heard in one way or another. If I can leave you with nothing else, I wish to leave you with this. Your body knows best. Learn to trust your intuition, trust your gut, and save yourself a whole lot of pain and repetitive life lessons. You don't need to suffer in order to learn. You don't deserve any more pain. You deserve to be honored.