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Have you struggled in your efforts to snag a decent, quality guy for a dating relationship? Do you tend to be drawn to the same types of men over and over and become frustrated when they disappoint or when it doesn’t materialize into a satisfying long-term arrangement?
This is a very common phenomenon in dating difficulties, and it can become very easy to place the focus on the “other guy” for the reason behind a relationship’s failure to get off the ground.
Since we don’t have control over changing another person and we only have power over our own thoughts, feelings and behaviors, it’s important to consider that we ourselves are the common denominator in our disappointments in the mating game.
It’s important to pull back and channel our energies into identifying any possible role we may be playing in our struggles to increase our odds of success in the future.
One theory that exists about the reasons why we keep choosing the same “types” of partners repeatedly is proposed by Harville Hendrix, who states we pick lovers who reflect the positive and negative traits of our caregivers and disowned parts of ourselves that get projected on to our partners.
We unconsciously create emotional and relationship situations that mirror our “unfinished business” from the past in the hopes our partner can help heal our wounds through more positive outcomes.
Our partner is also “doing” the same thing and likely lacks the insight or skills, without intervention, and ends up unwittingly “re-injuring” us.
Whether you buy into this theory or not, if you’ve had repeated unsuccessful pairings, it may serve you to dissect your dating past and analyze your attractions to better assist you with your decision making with partner choices, as well as pinpointing areas of personal growth in need of your attention.
“Really get clear on what was
unhealthy about the relationship.”
Take out a piece of paper and make a list of all of your past partners. Underneath each name, list all of the positive and negative qualities and characteristics each had.
Paying attention to the negative traits, do you see any commonalities that pop up across the different men? If so, what does this mean? What is it about this “type” of man that pulls you?
Really get clear on what it was about these men that attracted you and what was unhealthy about the relationship.
It can also be interesting to examine any patterns related to interaction dynamics in each relationship, conflict styles and reasons behind each breakup to offer further insights into this process.
Read the book reference below if you’re interested further about this partner selection theory and how to navigate it.
Reference: Hendrix, Harville (1992) Keeping the Love You Find: A Personal Guide. New York, NY: Pocket Books
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