I used to think that I attracted men who were emotionally unavailable. Until I realized that I attracted men who were unavailable. Period. Men who were in a relationship, terrified of commitment, across the states, in another country, it didn't matter. Anything that kept me from getting too close.
Like most women, I wanted a healthy, happy relationship. What I didn't realize is that the idea of a deep, emotional connection terrified the hell out of me. So anytime someone managed to get too close I found a way to self-sabotage.
I found a way for the relationship to come to an end before things got too deep – even if that meant lying and cheating in the process. Or I would choose men that I knew could not give me the love, support, attention, validation and everything else I wanted and needed in a relationship. Then I would convince myself that I didn’t really want a relationship. That I was okay just being friends with benefits. Even though I knew damn well that I wanted to be married with kids. But somehow it seemed easier to lie to myself and everyone around me than to take another risk of opening up, falling in love and getting hurt. Again.
Relationships are an important part of our lives. Many of us desire to be in a healthy, committed relationship and feel a greater sense of fulfillment when we have that special someone. Unfortunately, many of us also have not had the most positive experiences when it comes to relationships.
Maybe you've been betrayed. Hurt. Abused. Lied to. Cheated on.
Maybe you grew up in a dysfunctional household and have seen nothing but dysfunctional relationships your entire life.
Maybe you thought your relationship was going well but it ended. And even though months (maybe even years) have passed you just can't seem to get over your ex.
You try to move forward but find yourself repeating the same patterns and attracting the same men – men who are emotionally available, won't commit or just fuck around and waste your time. The natural response may be to blame them. But at some point, we also have to take a look at ourselves. We have to ask ourselves why we keep attracting those relationships.
Could there be a part of you that's afraid? Could there be a part of you that has a has a wall up, is emotionally unavailable or just doesn't feel ready for what a relationship would entail – opening up, expressing feelings, and being vulnerable? Many of us are actually conditioned to do the opposite. We're conditioned to not show emotions because that makes us appear weak. We're conditioned to play hard to get so we don't appear desperate. We're conditioned to not catch feelings in order to avoid getting hurt.
What are your beliefs when it comes to relationships? What have your parents, the media and society taught you about relationships? What has your own history taught you about relationships? Relationships are hard? Relationships = pain?
Our beliefs impact our behaviors. And what we believe becomes our reality – it's like a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you have a deeply rooted belief system that relationships are hard, more than likely you're going to attract difficult relationships into your life, thus confirming your belief system. Or, let's say you have a belief system that relationships lead to pain because that's been your experience up until this point. As humans, we are wired to avoid pain. In fact, most people are driven to avoid pain, rather than find happiness.
So even though you may want to be in a relationship and to be happy, your drive to avoid pain is greater. You may choose men who are unavailable, which means they are less likely to commit. Because they are less likely to commit you're also less likely to be in a relationship. And if you're not in a relationship, you can't get hurt. Or maybe you are already in a relationship but just can't allow yourself to be happy. You may even engage in self-sabotaging behaviors – lying, cheating, picking fights for no reason. It's almost as if a relationship is a threat to your subconscious mind. And one of the main functions of your subconscious mind is to protect you. Unfortunately, it is "protecting" you from the very thing you want – love. And there's no love without risk.
So what do you do?
Get honest with yourself about what you really want and what's been holding you back. Identify the typical patterns when it comes to your relationships. Identify your beliefs about relationships. Many of our beliefs are stored within our subconscious mind. And the key to uncovering and changing any belief is to get deep into your subconscious.
Make a decision – what would it take for you to be ready? What would it take for you to feel safe and secure enough to open up, to be vulnerable, to be yourself?
Know that you deserve to be in a beautiful, healthy, fulfilling relationship. And there is someone out there who would love to be in that relationship with you. Are you willing to choose love over fear?
And if you feel like you are ready – to identify your patterns, uncover your blocks and change your belief systems so you can attract that beautiful, healthy, fulfilling relationship I would love to show you how at the next Breaking the Cycle women's group. The next session begins on Thursday, January 30th. Click here for more details.
The Truth Hurts (But The Truth Shall Set You Free),
Confessions of a Therapist
Disclaimer: all blog posts are fictional and are not reflective of any of my clients. All information disclosed during sessions is confidential and protected by law.