Most everyone looking for love has a check off list. You may be aware of yours, you may have even written it down. It looks something like… good looking, active, intelligent, confident, smart, good sense of humor, successful, likes the outdoors, likes to travel, and so on and so forth. And for those of you that think you don’t have a check off list, think again. You do. If it’s not in the forefront of your mind, it is most definitely back in your subconscious. We all have a vision about our perfect match, the fantasy of who we want to love and who we want to love us back.
When you first meet someone, you have run him or her through your check off list in about 30 seconds. I mean it, 30 seconds. And in the next five minutes you have confirmed that your initial assessment was correct. You think that you’re intuitive, perceptive, and experienced enough to determine what you need to know about this person in one meeting. And you’re dead wrong.
Yes, your conscious and subconscious mind are working hard on your behalf but they could care less about your “list.” You have embraced or dismissed this potential new love interest on things of which you are unaware. There is something running you and until you become aware of what that is, you will continue to make the same choices (that may or may not have work before) again and again.
Here is what you need to know.
1. Your past is running the show. All the unresolved hurts, disappointments, and beliefs are making decisions about your date. Is he just like your ex-husband? Is she just like your mother? Is she NOT like your mother? Is he unavailable? These are the kinds of questions your unconscious mind is asking.
2. Your unconscious mind only knows what it knows. It finds information that it can categorize and file away in its archives. In other words, it wants to pick something out that will match your past as quickly as possible. This is information it knows how to handle. It is familiar.
3. Your unconscious mind will then move into one of two strategies. It will either draw you to what is familiar or remove you from what is not.
4. You are then off and running with “Take 5” of the same scene you have lived in dating and forming relationships. The very qualities that you want to avoid in someone may be the very things that attract you to that person. And vice versa.
5. Lastly, but most importantly, you have the power to transform your past. Your unconscious mind can learn something new. You can make conscious choices.
Here’s what I suggest you do to reclaim your power and true freedom of choice.
1. Understand that what you think you know about someone may or may not be true. Your subconscious mind may be tricking you into thinking this person is right for you when instead he or she is simply familiar to you.
2. Take your time. It takes time and shared experiences to get to know someone.
3. Be careful not to equate sexual attraction with relationship attraction. Sometimes the people with whom we have the most chemistry end up being a relationship nightmare.
4. Attraction (of any kind) can grow with time. Ultimately, you want a relationship that has both sexual attraction and relationship attraction.
5. Remember, relationships provide mirrors for what we need to see and understand about ourselves. It is within the context of relationships that we can grow, heal, and thrive.
So next time you go on that first blind date, throw away your check off list. Be open to learning about who this person is over time. Give yourself the opportunity to have a new experience that is not run by your past. Allow yourself to be surprised. Being open can bring unexpected and wonderful people into your life.
Julie Orlov, psychotherapist, speaker, and author of The Pathway to Love: Create Intimacy and Transform Your Relationships through Self-Discovery
Create Relationships in Your Life That Work — learn more at www.julieorlov.com