6 Dead-End Dating Patterns—And How To Change Them

dead end sign

Dr. Diana Kirschner's new book "Sealing The Deal" tells us how to change negative dating patterns.

This is an adaptation from Sealing The Deal: The Love Mentor's Guide to Lasting Love by Dr. Diana Kirschner copyright Center Street, February 2011.

Have you ever wondered if you were missing something when it comes to having a relationship with a man? Do you sometimes get the sense that all men are screwed up? That love is too difficult? That you will never find that terrific guy who can rock your world? Well, you're not alone. Many women have experienced these thoughts and feelings. In this post you'll learn about the powerful force is at the root of your disappointments in love: your beliefs.

Beliefs underlie and shape our experience, our perceptions of reality, our moods and emotions and everything we say and do. We are aware of many of our beliefs but others lurk just underneath the surface. These hidden beliefs tend to shape the most important parts of our lives, without us being aware that they are doing so. Beliefs based on fear, abuse, past disappointments and loss can put up a complete roadblock on your journey to love. I call these the silent relationship killers.

How Killer Beliefs Work to Kill Off Love
Lasting, passionate love does exist—this has been proven by recent brain research! But it takes work, and a good part of that work is managing killer beliefs. When these destructive beliefs are not managed, they seize on any bump in the road as proof that your negative ideas about love are true. When you have a relationship setback, a jealous quarrel or experience heartbreak, you may start to think: Am I losing myself in this relationship? Is this too hard? Am I settling? Is he really the guy for me? If I open up my heart is he going to disappear on me? Am I going to be hurt? Your baggage from the past gets dragged into your present, killing off the vitality and joy of your relationship.

The trickiest part is that an intimate relationship tends to bring to the surface the disappointments of past relationships and even childhood wounds: the abandoning father, the judgmental mother, the first love who dumped you, the ex who took everything in a nasty divorce. Traumatic events cause our brains to rewire their connections so that they react to and are stressed by similar situations. When we break up with a long-term lover or husband or are betrayed by infidelity, our killer beliefs are reinforced, and the neural connections between love and disappointment are strengthened.

Next: Don't think this happens to you? Meet Sharon, and see if her situation sounds familiar.

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