We have all probably had the dating experience where we are wildly drawn to some people and not so much to others. Why is this? Why do we find ourselves having this chemical pull and crazy chemistry? And after we spend some time with the crazy chemistry person — that we swear to have a long lost soul mate connection to — things fall apart. What happened to all the chemistry and connection?
After reading Harville Hendrix's book, Keeping the Love You Find, I came to realize that his ideas were the best explanation of this phenomenon. I kept getting involved with the same man over and over again, but he had a different face. What was the deal? Paraphrasing Hendrix's concept, we are attracted to those people who have the negative traits of our major caretakers in order to heal those wounds from childhood.
Let me explain this another way. Do your relationships and dates all have similar negative behavior? Do they have similar qualities but with a different face? If the answer is yes, there is hope to break this pattern.
My solution was different than Hendrix's. As I began working this process I discovered there are a pattern of unconscious choices we make, and bringing the choices into our conscious awareness is the goal.
First, on a piece of paper write down all the negative traits of your major caretakers while you were growing up. If your parents were absent or deceased put that down as well. I understand that being deceased is not a negative trait, however the fact is, they were not there for whatever reason. They were physically and emotionally unavailable. Even if your parents were physically present they may have been emotionally unavailable. Whatever the issues were, write it down. This exercise is not designed to put blame on your parents or caretakers, it is simply an observation for you to better understand the choices you make in your love life. For this purpose, we are not going to delve into a deep therapeutic process, we just want to gain information.
After you have written down this part of the exercise, on another piece of paper do the same thing with all the major relationships you have had in your life. Even if the relationship was only a week, or only one date, but had a tremendous impact on you, write it down. Write all the negative traits of that person. Understand when I say "negative" traits, it is those things that did not work for you. It might work for someone else, but it did not resonate for you. It triggered you or hurt you.
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