Breaking The Cycle Of Bad RelationshipsPosted: February 24, 2013
Do you find yourself frequently in and out of relationships, only to get to a certain point before they terminate? Perhaps you are dating the same partner over and over again, only they happen to have a different name and address? If you are like most people, you very likely are running the same relational scripts over and over again expecting new results. Albert Einstein once described such behavior as insanity. The fact is there are specific skills needed to make any relationship work, and so often they are only learned through hard and painful experiences, if learned at all. In western society we are not formally taught relationship skills and often our parents, siblings, friends or other role models are still trying to figure it all out themselves. Unless we seek out qualified help we are left to fend for ourselves when it comes to each relational minefield. This is where I come in. Like any other skill, the secret to relationship mastery is to learn and adapt accordingly to each individual situation. That said, I give you the following five key principles to prevent your next relationship from following down the same path as your previous ones.
1. Don’t judge your new partner based upon the character of the old ones.
With six billion people in this world the sheer diversity of all their personalities, experiences and beliefs is practically endless. Given that fact it makes little sense to allow our previous partners’ character to shape our judgments about an entire gender, yet most of us still naturally default to this behavior. This kind of presumptiveness is a huge mistake that can quickly stifle the magic in your new relationship and lead it down familiar, unwanted territory. A new relationship is your chance for a totally clean slate, so don’t drag the trash that stunk up your past relationships into your new one. If certain elements tend to rear their ugly heads time and time again, guess what? It’s you, and it’s time to let go of those prejudices and take out that trash before they poison your next relationship. Just because your last girlfriend was insanely jealous every time you hit the town without her doesn’t mean your new gal will feel the same, so there is no need to tiptoe around that or any other presumed issue. Instead be your authentic self while allowing your new partner to reveal to you her genuine character. Sincerely enjoy and appreciate her unique personality traits rather than getting attached to your idea of who she is and how she should act. The best way to do that is to…
2. Live in the moment.
When you live anywhere other than in the present you are not living where you need to be. That sounds simple and obvious enough, but it is perhaps the biggest cause of discontent in relationships across the board. When you live anywhere other than the present you do not have the perspective to see things as they are and accept the truth of the moment. Far too many people remain in unhealthy relationships because they are either a) living in the past clinging to how things used to be (and hoping they will go back to being that way), or b) living in the future of how they think the relationship could be, rather than how things actually are in the now. The reality is no amount of hoping will effectively change things, only action taken once the truth is accepted. It is in resistance to that truth and the attachment to your expectations where all the pain of any relationship exists. (You may want to read that again and again until it sticks.) This is not to say you shouldn’t have expectations, but rather they should be built into your personal boundaries of the relationship. For that reason it is vital that you know exactly what those boundaries are, and if they are ever crossed that you see the situation for what it is in that moment and take appropriate action without your judgment being clouded by your attachments. Once you get out of the fantasy of expectations you have built in your mind and live in the present where the experiences are real you will find all of your relationships to be much more rewarding and far less painful when they do not go the direction you want them to.
3. Stay on your own path.
In an intimate relationship it is easy to get caught up in someone else’s world, especially if they are already leading a vivacious life. When this happens many of us tend to lose our own identity and adopt a new one based on the time and activities we share with our partner. This is very common among those who tend to be serial monogamists, jumping into relationships quickly and intensely. We all know this type of guy. They are your best friend when they are single, and as soon as they get a girlfriend they fall of the map completely only to be seen again after the girl breaks up with them. If this is you, you very likely are altering your identity with each and every relationship you enter, thus slowly suffocating her attraction for you. By getting caught up in her world you leave yours behind, along with many of the things you did to attract her in the first place…most significantly you leading your interactions. Feminine women are naturally attracted to masculine leadership, but by following her into her world you are handing over the reins of the relationship. Most women will eventually bore of this and leave you as a result, as it goes against the nature of the feminine. She may not realize exactly why, but she will know you aren’t the same guy she originally fell for. To avoid this fate stay on your own path and remain true to who you are regardless of your relational status. Give yourself and your partner the space to do all the things you both normally would if you were single. She will appreciate having time for herself and you will preserve an element of mystery in your relationship, which is essential to maintaining her attraction. Similarly, do not attempt or feel obligated to be there for her at every moment while forsaking your own life pursuits. People rarely appreciate the things that are readily available to them, and being overly available looks needy, tells her your life is not as important as hers, and makes it all the more painful when the relationship does eventually end because your identity is tied to it.
4. Break up like a man (even if you are the one getting dumped.)
Terminating a close intimate relationship is never easy, especially if you are not the one initiating the breakup, but there are better ways to do so than others. The key thing to remember is that you will have to live with the way you leave matters and she will remember you for it. This is your final impression, so make it one of confidence, poise, and most importantly one that maintains your dignity. Sure, it will be an emotional roller coaster, and I am not saying that you should close off those emotions entirely, but rather look at them honestly. This is where living in the present makes things easier because you will not be dwelling on how the relationship was but rather focused on how it is now. When having this conversation do not drag things out, debate, fight or negotiate to keep your relational status, and by all means do not beg her to stay. Instead simply tell her you regret how things turned out and wish her the best. Do not tell her you’ll miss her (she knows that already) or that you want to keep in touch and hope to remain friends (if she wants to do so, she’ll initiate it herself.) Maintain your composure as much as possible and let her go. Most importantly, realize this is not solely an end, but also the new beginning filled with fresh possibilities waiting there for you to act upon. I realize this may sound clichéd, but in so many of my own experiences, despite my resistance at that moment, I eventually realized that terminating the relationship was exactly what I needed in order to evolve and get to the next place in my life. Real change and growth are never easy or without pain, but as author Richard Bach once wrote, “what a caterpillar calls the end of the world, the master calls a butterfly.”
5. Take the lesson away with you.
In every relationship there are lessons to be learned. Some may be old and recurring while others may be entirely new to you, but they all are there to help you navigate your future relationships provided you heed their wisdom. As the saying goes, those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. By not taking advantage of this hard-earned insight you’ll inevitably find yourself reliving past mistakes along with all the pain that went with them. On the other hand if you have the discipline, courage and open-mindedness to look back at your mistakes and admit where you may have been wrong you can break your cycle and grow from the experience. No one wants to be the proverbial hamster running on its wheel getting nowhere. If you simply take what you have learned and commit it to your reservoir of wisdom you will be on your path to relational growth and success, and you just never know whom you’ll meet along the way to share the journey with!
If you are looking for experienced qualified help in mastering your relationships with women and the world, please inquire about my personal coaching program at firstname.lastname@example.org. With very reasonable rates and proven results I constantly strive to deliver you massive value and the tools to make the difference in your life!
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