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The search is exciting, but the catch is disappointing. Recognize that experience? When you interact with a potential partner your internal monitor searches for features that match items on your conscious checklist like appearance, status, and humor. But your unconscious is making a different search. It is looking for someone that resembles key figures in your life with whom you have unresolved issues. Guess which part of you makes the final choice. Yes, it is the unconscious. Your internal radar instantly matches some characteristics of a potential partner with a template you have inside. That pattern may have features that belonged to a parent, grandparent, sibling, teacher or anyone that has some special significance for you. That includes relationships with absent, deceased, unavailable or abusive relatives.
Andrew is an intelligent and sensitive man was the butt of his father's frustration and yelling. It would literally kill off his spirit. He felt he could never please his parents. He was attracted to a girl who was lively, had similar interests and seemed open. Within a short while he found that she yelled and judged him as being in the wrong, just like his father. Her couldn't please her and was scared of losing her.
Stephanie is terrified that she cannot make a man interested in her. She is constantly let down, disappointed and heartbroken when relationships break off after short times, when the men flirt with others, or move on with their lives, leaving her behind. Her deepest wish is to be the only person in the world for her partner, and acted in ways to demand that. When a boyfriend wanted to do something without her she experienced it as a deep wound and unforgivable betrayal.
Both Andrew and Stephanie are viewing their partners through the lens of their personal needs and compulsion to get those needs acknowledged and attended to. Their relationships are therefore made on a corrupt basis, and are not likely to succeed. The same pattern of agony and ecstasy repeats in an unfulfilling cycle with future relationships.
What Do You Seek In A Partner That You Can't Find?
Accept your own values, passions, fears and weak points. The mix is what makes you interesting and unique. No one wants to date a perfect automaton who never messes up.
Value what is unique about yourself and project that image.
*Give yourself permission to 'live' and enjoy yourself. Waiting for another person to complete you is putting undue responsibility on a potential partner, and isn't their job.
When your buttons get pushed, ask yourself what prior experience it is triggering. Address the original event, not the trigger.
Keep a good reservoir of energy, respect and love for yourself. If you give it all away in the hope that you will be taken care of in return, you are going to feel empty, angry and unlovable.
*Keep a reality check dialogue going with a partner about whether both of you feel seen and heard for what and who you really are.
Copyright Jeanette Raymond, Ph.D.
Dr. Jeanette Raymond has a doctorate in clinical psychology and a masters degree in child, adolescent and educational psychology. She has 20 years experience working with adults, couples, adolescents, children and families. She is the author of 2 books for teachers in the UK.
Dr. Raymond believes that the most important relationship you have is with yourself. She sets the stage for you to begin taking care of your most precious gift and ally – yourself. When you can do that, all else falls into place.
Her specialties include distress that shows itself in the body, feeling unsatisfied and unfulfilled, fear of intimacy and loss, anxiety, eating disorders, and self-sabotage. If you mask your unhappiness with food, alcohol, drugs, or sex you abandon yourself. If you try to control it by working all hours, with excessive exercise, being busy, cleaning, and over-achieving you are ignoring yourself. Dr. Raymond helps you speak the turmoil that makes you want to go numb, and helps you find the fertile soil to plant your true seeds and flourish.
Dr. Raymond helps parents and children understand one another, and provides adult couples with a platform for having their conversations out loud rather than silently in their individual heads.
Dr. Raymond runs groups and conducts workshops on dream interpretation. She enables individuals to find their voice so that their bodies don't have to speak with back pain, gastric complaints, hair loss, skin breakouts, panic attacks and sleep disturbances. While emotional wounds can debilitate and prevent you from living a full life, Dr. Raymond collaborates with couples, family members and individuals to gain strength from it. She offers the opportunity to rewrite the internal dialogue that may be self-sabotaging and putting obstacles in the way of having meaningful relationships. She honors you and teaches you to honor yourself in a non-threatening environment, allowing you to unfold.
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