Why Do I Keep Choosing the Wrong Partner?
Tired of choosing the bad boy or frat boy relationship?
Tired of the relationships where you feel used or taken for granted?
My invitation to you is learn the cues, heal the old wounds and envision something greater for yourself.
The first thing I want to say is 'great chemistry does not equal a great relationship', this is a common myth.
Just because you have a strong attraction to someone does not mean at all that you will have a good relationship with them. This is important. Many people use attraction and chemistry as their guide for determining if the person will be a good fit as a partner.
When I ask my clients when they first noticed their relationship was in trouble, they almost always say they sensed this in the very early stages of the relationship.
The big question is why would anyone by-pass such a feeling and keep investing in a relationship they suspected would not last?
There is a common storyline. The beginning stages of the relationship is amazing, flooded with intoxicating love energy (endorphins) and the outcome is they miss important cues that signaled trouble all along.
The blinders send them into the lion's den and all too often that person is picking up the pieces asking these questions.
Why does this always happen to me?
Will I always be alone?
How can I make sure I never go through that again?
The answer to these questions are often very complex and layered in our deeper belief systems.
Sometimes we find a partner that treats us how we feel inside or sometimes we find someone that triggers all of those unhealed wounds we have not yet resolved.
I think I may have just said the same thing twice.
Now I know a lot of people don't resonate with the language of 'unhealed wounds', but I cannot tell you how many times I have worked with a couple that fits perfectly into each others system of triggering each others old buttons.
Whether it is unhealed wounds, familiarity or simply a broken 'picker' for choosing the right partner, one thing is for sure, the odds of being hurt in the end are high.
There is that old phrase "The Devil you know" and if what you know is pain, well then that is a bad combination.
True north starts with you having a GREAT relationship with yourself. Those that get this, work hard to undo their past emotional pain, limiting thinking patterns and begin to seek out what calls out to their heart.
Some people live by the mantra "If only" and they become repeat offenders in their relationships. I call these folks "project hunters" and all too often they find themselves being let down by their partners.
Too many people end up in emotionally deprived in their relationships, sometimes that comes in the form of being with an addict or an abuser, the bad boy/girl or the emotionally walled off partner. Now we might not overtly choose that immaturity, we need to address any patterns that exist if we keep ending up with the short end of the stick in relationships.
Every combination above has one thing in common, emotional immaturity.
If you find yourself in one of these relationships already the biggest piece of advice I can give is have really strong and clear boundaries.
Here are four red flags that you might be with the wrong partner.
Four Red Flags
1. The Narcissist
The narcissist does find themselves in long term relationships, but it is always bad deal for the partner who has to deal with the their partners narcissism.
If your partner loses energy or their attention looks like they are disinterested as soon as you start speaking you may have a narcissist on your hands. There might be other reasons like ADD/ADHD, but often you will sense the difference.
They are awful listeners and will often be waiting to interrupt you to speak.
Those charming and exciting conversations that attracted you in the beginning will end up being a turn off later on when you find yourself listening to the long take after long take of your partner's story.
The bad deal here is you will feel really lonely when you are around them and you will never feel nourished in the relationship.
2. The Fence Sitter
The 'fence sitter' is phobic about talking about the future and making a commitment in their relationship.
Anything that might signal commitment is painful for them to discuss.
They are experts at loving at a distance and will often avoid conversations that involve talking about your future together.
There are some married folks out there who have been married for years and are still unsure about their partners.
Think about that.
Fence sitters can stay in relationships for a long time, the hard part is for the other person who will always feel like their partner can give more and is holding back.
The bad deal here is you will ultimately feel that you love/like them more than they love/like you. That combination always leads to resentment and sadness.
3. The One Person Show
Sorry there is only room for one on this boat.
The biggest difference here between a narcissist and someone who is the one person show is they might be very giving, thoughtful and able to invest in a relationship. But for whatever reason they don't have time for a relationship.
If you are competing for your partner's time you are in trouble.
I have had partners married for many years who are living as if they are single. Putting friends, hobbies and work above their relationship .I always ask 'do know where you are on the priority list'? If you are not near the top you will be setting yourself up for a painful dynamic.
If your partner has the perfect life and you feel like an interruption, you might be at the back of that line for a long time. This is almost always turns into a power struggle and you will feel a sense of not being enough.
The bad deal here is you will feel less than and an inconvenience because they will never make you a priority.
4. The Stonewaller
Stubborn, walled off and often avoiding these folks are not capable of hearing or receiving critical feedback.
In fact if you bring up any feedback related to self-responsibility, you will often see them squirm, get uncomfortable and often avoid the conversation.
If you do bring something up, they will often escalate with frustration or pull a Houdini anytime you try to bring up something really important to you.
The message from your partner is simple, keep quiet and we will be fine.
I can tell you that this dynamic has a shelve life and you will feel the burden of not being able to express yourself in the long run.
The good news is that this is something that is very reversible. I have worked with many folks who are 'stonewallers'' and have been able to help them re-engage with their partners with relational skills.
The bad deal here is you will feel helpless and resentful with a stonewaller.