Have you ever felt like you’ve dated the same type of person with a different face?
Often times, you don’t even realize it’s happening until a well-meaning friend points it out (usually the one that is exhausted from hearing you vent because it’s the same…freakin story and they know how it ends, but you don’t listen!)
Sometimes we choose partners who remind us of our parent(s).
Or we choose their exact opposite in an attempt to rebel against a pattern.
Or sometimes it’s totally random, but there is a pattern to the randomness.
I was out the other day and this woman near me started talking about how she keeps calling in married men.
She doesn’t know why this keeps happening.
I stayed quiet because I was doing my best to just listen and take my “love coach” hat off, but she kept going and said, “Do you have any ideas?”
When I told her my line of work, she burst out laughing and said it must be the Cosmos because she usually never opens up that much to someone she barely knows.
Here’s what I shared with her:
Instead of focusing on “why,” I suggested she focus on “what.”
Specifically, I posed this question for her to ask herself: “What are you getting from dating unavailable (still married) men?”
She looked at me like I was crazy at first and said, “Nothing! They can’t give me what I want.”
But I asked her to go deeper than that.
There is always a pay-off, even if it’s small or weird…that we are receiving when we find ourselves in a pattern.
Maybe the pay-off is that it’s familiar, so you know there is an end-point.
In her case, when she really dug in, she came up with this:
“What I’m getting is that I don’t have to put myself out there fully-opening up after being hurt so many times feels scary, so when they are married, it’s like having a part time boyfriend who only knows the bit about me that’s exciting and sexy and fun, but it’s also lonely because I know it’s not going anywhere.”
The payoff was not having to put herself out there fully…
And once she owned that’s what was going on, that was the starting place to shift that pattern.
So over to you.
What’s a pattern you notice about yourself in relationship?
What could you be getting out of it?
Share with us in the comments and if you enjoy reading stories like this and want to learn some simple but powerful tools to start breaking the pattern, check out my best-selling book, The Dating Mirror: Trust Again, Love Again in the store!