I know it’s been awhile since my last post (Valentine’s Day to be exact), but I wanted to get back into my blogging groove. What better way than with an informative guest blog post. The lovely Denise Hawk has loaned us her writing talents for a spell, so check out her post below, and make sure to comment. This is a topic that hits close to home for me.
If you’re over twenty, chances are, you’ve been in a few relationships. Often trends begin to develop in your dating life. Do you keep dating jealous people or “crazy psychos”? Or are you always with people who end up using you financially? Is cheating a trend that keeps coming up in your dating life? Whatever the thing is that keeps happening is beside the point, the real question is…why does this keep happening?
Sadly, the common denominator…is you.
When drama follows you from one relationship to another, it’s not a coincidence. It’s you. That may be hard to hear, but it’s true. Here’s how to change things so you can finally be rid of the negative trends in your dating life.
First off, make a list of why your past relationships ended. Was it jealousy? Cheating or money? Was it a communication breakdown? I had a friend who found that every relationship ended with small talk, as in, that’s all her and her boyfriend could have.
To help with problems like that, take a look at your list. Find the trend, or trends that keep popping up and then think back to your parents relationship. We learn by example and often times if our dad was a cheater, we’ll either end up dating cheaters or become ones ourselves (same goes for jealousy, physical abuse, etc.). To stop this, it’s usually helpful to write out your parents’ relationship, how it effected you and how that style of relationship may have made them happy.
Often our romantic relationships end up reflecting the relationships we have with our own parents. Such as with my friend who had the “small talk” problem. It turns out a big trend with her and her parents was not talking about important issues. Seems her mom would overreact to anything topic of a sensitive nature and her father would berate her for “rocking the boat”. So she learned to keep her feelings and problems to herself.
Unfortunately in dating, this isn’t a very good strategy. Her relationships would start off good, but once the dating hit a rocky patch (as happens in most relationships) she would end up not communicating and shutting down emotionally.
How did she stop doing this? First, she took a little time off from dating and started working out her issues with a therapist. Much of what she learned in therapy was how to express her needs and voice her concerns in relationships. She also sought out parental role models that she could have meaningful conversations with. For her it was her grandmother, but for someone else it could be a professor, an older work colleague or even the parent of a friend.
If you’ve taken a look at your parents relationship and your own relationship with your parents and don’t find any similarities with them there is another approach you can take.
Be honest…what are you getting out of the drama? If you’re always dating people who are jealous, do you get a small charge out of knowing someone is obsessing over you? If you always end up with people who you have to financially support, do you enjoy having the upper hand and slightly higher status in the relationship?
We all get things out of our relationships but sometimes it’s a double edged sword. Sometimes just being aware about what you get out of a certain pattern can be enough to avoid people who might perpetuate it. Other times you have to do more, like asking your friends to give you a heads up if you’re falling for your usual “crazy psycho” again. The key to stopping any sort of pattern is awareness. Going into a relationship with your eyes open is always a good idea. Good luck with dating!
Denise Hawk is a regular contributor to firstkissconnections.com