I dated a man who enjoyed going to bars, drinking too much and playing pool till all hours of the morning. This made him unavailable to me when he was on this kind of binge, just like my absent, alcoholic father. I was not willing to play "victim" to any further childhood issues. This did not work for me, it made me anxious and I considered his behavior to be a negative trait. However, this might not be a negative trait to a woman who enjoys drinking and playing pool all night. We all have our triggers and we are here to figure out yours.
This is not an exercise to find a partner that never triggers you or has a negative trait. Even in the best of relationships there will be conflict, disappointment, and hurt. What we are doing is breaking patterns of going after the same kind of partner that you have been choosing that is not working for you.
When both lists are complete, look at them side by side. Are there similarities? What is the common theme? Chances are there is something that all these significant relationships have in common. Sit and think about all these relationships for a moment. How did you feel when this negative behavior would come up in these relationships? Not so great.
I am certain that your list of ideal qualities for a life partner (see: Stop the Dysfunctional Dating Cycle) did not have these negative traits listed. Probably just the contrary. These negative traits probably trigger you into a place of great discomfort, but yet you are drawn to this kind of person over and over again. Therapy is a great way to get through this; however if you are as stubborn as I am, you will still keep unconsciously going after the same kind of partner over and over again. In spite of all the great work I have done on myself, which helped me tremendously, I needed to rely on another way of dealing with this that is not explained often enough.
Before I embark on explaining this, there is something you should know. This is my opinion, and this is what worked for me. This piece of the puzzle was HUGE for me.
When you begin to date someone be very aware of what you are chemically drawn to. You know the kind of strong attraction, instant bond chemistry I am talking about. Here is the key. The moment, and I don't mean five dates later, but the moment you see one of your deal breaking negative traits displayed by the person, RUN!! Do not walk, but run in the other direction. Why? If you stay, you will find yourself in yet another situation with that person who has the chemical za za zu, deep attraction and all the heartbreak that goes with it. This takes a huge amount of discipline especially for those of us who are more emotionally centered. This is extremely difficult because all of your other usual instincts will be saying, "hey, let's stick around and get to know each other" or "I should give this person a chance, it seems so cold to do it this way." Yeah, right! You will get to know each other right into feeling lousy again.
Do NOT make excuses to stay and continue to see this person. They might be a nice person, but just not your nice person, as my friend Victoria often says.