The old phrase ‘lesson learnt’ is never truer than after the end of a relationship. With each heart break we experience we take something different from it. But do we ever truly move on if we keep repeating the mistakes of our past relationships?
Relationship expert for online match maker eHarmony.co.uk, Dr Gian Gonzaga says “sometimes people lose faith in finding love because they seem to be continually attracted to the ‘wrong’ type of people”. According to Gonzaga, at times it can seem as though no matter how hard we try we end up with the same problems but with different people, like magnets that attract the same situation over and over again. It’s time we examine where we are going wrong and eradicate the real issue, to really be able to move on and find lasting love.
So excavate the past to create a different future for yourself:
The common denominator
Look at all your past relationships, write them down if it helps, and ask yourself these questions about each one. What attracted you to the person in the first place? What caused the relationship to end? Were there signs early on in the relationship that there were problems but you ignored them?
Old relationships are never wasted, they are a rich source of information which you can go back over to discover what you could do differently in the future. Be really honest with yourself and try to look at the relationship from an outsider’s point of view. What you are looking for is the similarities between them to see if there is a pattern.
Is the thing that attracts the thing that destroys?
Are you attracted to creative, emotionally unavailable men and then the relationship ends because you don’t get enough attention? Or are you drawn to bright, bubbly women but then fail to get very far because you feel threatened when she flirts with your mates?
Look at the people who have qualities that you find attractive – not just the ones you have had relationships with but also people in the media, friends etc. What is it in them that you find attractive? Then look at yourself and develop those qualities in yourself rather than waiting for someone else to come and make you feel that way.
Don’t fall for someone’s potential
This is the most common mistake that people make in relationships. They meet someone and they fall in love with what they ‘could be’ rather than what they ‘are’ today. They believe that if they love this person enough; give them lots of encouragement, support and everything they need in order to blossom that they will have a wonderful relationship together. Although this often comes from a loving place it is starting a relationship from the basis of wanting to change the other person rather than accepting and loving them as they are. It is a great feeling to be the hero or heroine in another person’s life but it is rarely going to lead to a healthy relationship because the basis of the relationship isn’t equal.
Look in the mirror
When a relationship ends it can be comforting to think it was all the other person’s fault but that attitude is depriving you of the opportunity of finding out what you could do differently next time. Look back through the story of your time together and look at your own behaviour. At what points could you have done something differently? Are you angry with all men/women because of things that have happened in your past? If so now might be the time to get some help if you really want things to change.
Change your mind
Just like any other area of life, relationship choices can become habitual and instinctive. We often dismiss potential matches simply because they don’t conform to an image we have in our head of ‘our type’. Open your mind and heart and start saying ‘yes’ to communication or dates with matches that you would normally dismiss out of hand, you may be pleasantly surprised.
No-one’s fate is fixed in stone, we can all change and grow and even if you have never had a healthy relationship in the past it is no reason that you never will in the future.