1) Are you a fixer?
2) Do you crave to be the woman or man who shows your partner the meaning of ‘real’ love… the only one who has ever truly understood them?
3) Do you believe that if you pour enough love into a dysfunctional relationship you will definitely be able to heal it?
4) Have you angrily defended yourself against those who believe that your relationship is not good for you, even though there is enough solid evidence to suggest that they are probably right?
5) Have you ever reached the point at which you finally realise that you are throwing good energy and intentions after bad, and that this is as good as it is ever likely to be, despite all of your best efforts?
Why do we invest so much into those obviously problematic relationships that cause us to feel as if we are riding on a erratic roller coaster… high as a kite one moment, rapidly hurtling towards the ground the next?
Why do we continue to hang on, either in a state of huge denial or resigned, miserable acceptance?
Why do we lie to ourselves, editing the facts so that they validate our feelings and our story?
Who the hell knows! But here are a few possible reasons…
1) We don’t really understand what love is all about. We confuse it with something else, such as co-dependence, or drama, or fear of rejection. We haven’t had the opportunity to really witness and experience healthy love, a fact we may not be consciously aware of.
2) We are deflecting; rather than focusing on and healing our own issues, we unconsciously seek out someone who also requires fixing (even if that isn’t automatically obvious).
3) We are unconsciously so familiar and comfortable with struggle and opposition it has now become ‘normal’ to us. And even if things look as if they are heading in a positive direction we sabotage them before they can go wrong!
4) We are too impatient for ‘commitment’. Rather than accepting that this is not a relationship that is heading anywhere healthy and calling it quits, we decide that it just has to work, because we don’t want to have to waste more time and energy finding someone else, and going through the whole process again.
5) We don’t believe that we deserve, or are likely to attract, anything better.
6) We pride ourselves on never failing… and are determined that he or she will change, and that we will be happy (and prove all of the doubters wrong!).
7) We believe that our partner or love interest has potential that we can bring out in them, and that if they just feel loved and believed in enough they will be happier and more settled, and therefore easier to be in a relationship with.
8) We tell ourselves that we need a challenge… and anything that is too easy or too straightforward is boring!
9) We are not actually ready or prepared for a mature, mutually supportive relationship, and currently more aligned with something that is idealistic, inconsistent and intense.
So, what are some possible ways of responding to all of the above:
1) A willingness not to jump in prematurely, hoping for commitment too soon.
2) Common sense.
3) A realistic approach.
4) An awareness of how good or bad the relationship actually causes us to feel, on the most consistent basis.
5) An assessment of how much fun the relationship provides, compared to how much insecurity and misery.
6) An awareness and understanding of our partner’s past history: either they are repeating old patterns or they aren’t; if they are, then that reveals something incredibly important! If they aren’t, it may just be we aren’t good for each other, and that it is the two of us together that is causing the problem!
7) An awareness and understanding of our own past history; either we are repeating old patterns, or we aren’t… in which case see above!
Even the best relationship in the world has its ups and downs, days when we cannot stand the sight and sound of each other! However, if we are feeling insecure and uncertain, or resentful and frustrated, more than we are feeling okay and ‘normal’… and if the relationship is taking up too much of our emotional time and energy, always on our mind… we might to need to reassess whether it is enhancing our life or squashing it!