Always Attracted To The Wrong Person? End The Pattern In 3 Steps

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Patterns are your automatic, default ways of being. They’re how you naturally react to circumstances in your life.

Patterns are everywhere. Life is full of them.

Maybe your pattern for dealing with stress is to grab your credit card and log onto Amazon. Or run to the refrigerator, or vent to your best friend.

If it’s what you “find yourself” doing when you haven’t thought about your options or made a conscious decision, it’s a pattern in action.

Maybe your pattern for dealing with a new or uncertain situation involves talking excessively to break the ice. Or clamming up or telling self-deprecating jokes.

Whatever your natural response is, that’s your uncertain situation pattern.

Not surprisingly, you have patterns in relationships too. Everything from who you love to how you love is a series of patterns you’ve developed and honed over the years.

The kind of person you’re attracted to is no exception. In fact, it’s probably one of the biggest and baddest patterns there is.

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People come to me all the time wondering, “Why am I attracted to [fill in the blank]?” Why am I attracted to people who treat me badly, emotionally unavailable men, legally unavailable men, and gold-digging women … I’ve heard it all.

And the truth is, I don’t know why you’re attracted to them. Sure, maybe you’re afraid of commitment.

Maybe the nice, stable, available partner also leaves you feeling scared and vulnerable.

But in the end, the why doesn’t matter all that much.

What really matters is not necessarily understanding your pattern, but changing it. What really matters is that you start acting in service of your broader intention to be in a happy, healthy relationship instead of running on auto-pilot and letting your pattern call the shots.

So, how do you change a pattern?

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Here are three things you can do right now to change your pattern of being attracted to the wrong person:

1. Become uber aware

The first step to ending your pattern is to catch it.

When you see the pattern starting to run, you can consciously and deliberately re-route. Remember, patterns are your automatic response — they’re what you do without thinking.

So the earlier you notice the pattern starting, the better your chances of stepping in and interrupting it.

To catch it early you have to be awake, aware, and uber-conscious. For example, let’s assume you’re aware that you tend to fall for jerks — that’s your pattern.

Get familiar with the early warning signs that your pattern is about to strike. Maybe just being attracted to a new guy is a warning sign that he’s probably a jerk.

Or maybe there are other signs like he doesn’t ask you questions about yourself or he’s inconsiderate.

Being very aware of what happens before you actually fall for the jerk can help you avoid it.

Instead of going into a date blindly doing what feels good or acting without thinking, reversing the pattern requires staying uber-aware and making deliberate choices.

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2. Remember your broader intention

Ultimately, what you really want is to be in a happy, healthy relationship. That’s why you do what you do, right?

The awkward first dates, being set up by friends, giving out your number to a virtual stranger … it’s all about ultimately finding your ideal mate and being happy.

So, remind yourself of that when you feel the urge to accept a second date with a guy you know is all wrong for you.

If he stood you up twice before and now he wants to come over at midnight, simply ask yourself: Would inviting him over be in line with my broader intention to be in a happy, healthy relationship?

If he just that night separated from his wife and you feel the urge to give him your number, it’s time to ask: Would giving him my number be in line with my broader intention?

If not, consciously choose to not do it.

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3. Stick with your gut

Know that when you go against your automatic inclination and act in line with your broader intention, it’s not going to feel normal, natural, or comfortable.

Do it anyway.

That’s kind of the point. Your pattern is what’s comfortable and natural, that’s why it’s your automatic pattern. And going against the natural response won’t always feel great.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t do it anyway and stick with it. Go back to Step 2 and remind yourself of what you really want. And make decisions with that goal in mind.

The only reason your pattern feels so normal is that it’s practiced, not because it’s good for you.

You get to decide what’s best for you, not your automatic, feel-good reaction.

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Amy Johnson, Ph.D. is a psychologist and master certified coach who helps clients rewire their patterns.