Our relationship choices can be influenced by our past, and it’s not unusual for us to constantly choose the wrong love partner. These influences can often go back as far as our childhood, and without us being aware, patterns have been formed in our subconscious.

In this blog I’d like to talk about why these patterns occur and how we can break the cycle. This is so very important to do, especially if you’ve been finding yourself in relationships with a narcissist.

I’m going to start with a message I received.

A message from a gorgeous woman with a beautiful soul:

“I experienced a lot of trauma in relationships. This is not from a victim standpoint it’s just to explain. My father was emotionally unavailable and possibly a narcissist. My ex-husband was abusive in all ways. And since then, I’ve only chosen men that use me or are emotionally unavailable. I managed to get out, but I want to identify the feelings or underlying tones that pull me to those that hurt or are unsupportive to me. I know this is intense, but I believe a lot of women experience similar things and eventually give up on Love. I almost don’t want to desire a partner because I somehow feel that I will attract the past.”

Sadly, this lovely lady’s experience and feelings are very common. 

Perhaps you had a parent or carer who was emotionally unavailable, and this had led you to being in a love relationship where your partner was also emotionally unavailable, dismissive or even abusive.

Let’s look at where these patterns come from.

When there is trauma in your early life. Albeit mental, emotional, physical or sexual you will likely have a trauma response.

Most of us have experienced some emotional distress in our lives – perhaps trauma and neglect in childhood. It could be emotional, mental, financial, or even bereavement. These are all things that would have had an effect.

Previous generations just didn’t have the emotional education we have now, and passed on whatever they experienced in their parenting.

How you first experienced the connections with your parents or caregivers is likely to be how you think connection/love is. If you experienced your father or mother as unavailable, distant, critical, self-centred then you will likely believe that it is your role in a relationship to placate, please, avoid upsetting or just plain be quiet and hidden so as not to intrude upon them.

You’ll be diminishing your own feelings and needs because they created danger of upset, or you feel rejected and unsafe. You will probably have become quite empathic and careful, watching and vigilant, trying to predict behaviours and keep the peace. You’ll possibly be self-sacrificial and compulsively put the needs of others first, self-abandoning. What you want and need may not even make your list of priorities.

What does this mean in terms of relationships?

Well, until we resolve the old patterns, we are likely to repeat them, so in dating, you’re likely to choose people to take care of. They may not always look like they need taking care of in the first instance, so you need to be very careful about getting involved quickly. You need to take your time and really see who the person is, see if they can ask about, understand, care about and prioritise your needs. 

Can this cycle be broken and if so, how?

Your first task, before anything else, is to really tune into you, and know what your feelings, needs and desires are, both moment by moment and longer-term.

Balance your reflective self with an active self. Allow yourself to be more driven for your good, holding your intentions and goals.

By this I mean you need to learn to truly care for yourself, nurture yourself in the moment, and plan for the future you most desire.

Once this becomes an ingrained way of being, you will be able to see who is likely to be a suitable mate and who isn’t. You will feel calm in yourself and notice any ripples in your calmness when you are around the wrong people.

You will pick up on their imbalance, their emotional charge, their stress level, their fear., their aggression level or sense of victimhood. You will notice when they prioritise themselves and dismiss you and your feelings and needs. You will see if they are driven, controlling and grabbing.

As time goes on, you will spontaneously be able to turn away and know that person is insufficiently evolved for you.

My name is Heather Garbutt and I send you my love and wish you every success in the search for your true love. If you would like guidance on attracting, true, committed and healthy romantic love,  contact now me on Heather@heathergarbutt.com.