Are you at a time in your life when it seems that relationships just don’t seem to work out? Maybe you have experienced repeated rejections, or maybe you just can’t seem to find the right person to make a commitment to. Whatever the particulars of your story, you may feel “cursed” or just “unlucky”. Its easy to feel that its time to just give up on the discouraging pursuit of finding the right “person”. I have another idea. Maybe there is nothing “wrong” with you at all. Maybe there is nothing “wrong” with the people you seem to meet either. Maybe its just time to consider your “readiness” to recognize and receive your true “soul mate”. Here are some questions you might want to consider about your “readiness”. These are questions you can ask yourself. The order of the questions is important. You will find that the answer to each question helps you to answer the next one.
1. Do You Like Yourself? It seems like an easy enough question, right? This is the most important question to start with though, because the relationship you have with yourself is foundational to all your other relationships. To put it simply, how can you expect anyone to want to be around you, if you can’t stand to be around yourself? True self-esteem means the ability to take a fearless inventory of yourself and honestly face your strengths and weaknesses. In spite of all of who you are, (0r you could even say because of all you are), you love yourself unconditionally. This is not to be confused with narcissism, which appears to be “self” love but is actually an emptiness inside that can never be filled enough. If you can’t love yourself, you may be always seeking a partner who can love you enough. It will probably never be enough, and the relationship won’t last.
2. Are You Still Holding Onto “Baggage” From Previous Relationships? Maybe you have been married and there was a bitter and painful divorce. You have truly been “done wrong” and you are understandably hurt and angry. You simply are not ready to “forgive” the person who hurt you. Or maybe you simply haven’t taken time to grieve that which has been lost. You have not been able to “let go”, for whatever reason. In either of these cases, its helpful to take time to work through what went wrong, and to look at the part you may have played. This can be a painful and humbling experience, but it is well worth the time spent. It is my own bias that its important to work toward forgiveness of the person who hurt you in order to give your next relationship the best possible shot at success.
3. If You Have Been In Previous Failed Relationships, have you been able to Identify Any Patterns? Identification of relationship patterns is essential in order to have that “aha” moment regarding the part you may be playing repeatedly in the failure of your relationships to be sustaining and fulfilling. When you find a pattern…. such as, for example, “I seem to get hooked up with handsome, womanizer types who cheat”, then you can become curious about this. Curiosity is essential because it is the first step toward self-awareness. Self-awareness is the gateway to change.
4. Once you have Identified Patterns, You Can Go The Next Step And Consider Your Lifelong Attachment Patterns. This is where things get really interesting. You may feel that you are not consciously choosing the people that you end up attached and attracted to, but in fact there are unconscious forces at work that have to do with the relationships you had with your early caregivers. Couples therapists have found over and over again that attraction patterns in couples have to do with unmet childhood needs. Unconsciously you fantasize that “the right person,” will absolutely and completely fulfill and take care of you in a way that either you never have been, or never got enough of. Figuring this out can be really helpful because it can explain how the initial “attraction” you felt may have been informed by this fantasy. An attraction informed by fantasy often doesn’t last. There is an inevitable disillusionment that can feel baffling and can crush the spirit.
5..It is my belief that the “inner work” of self-awareness, along with a conscious bolstering of self-esteem, and taking time to look at childhood attachment patterns, will serve you well as you make yourself available for a truly miraculous soul connection. You will know who you are, and you will find that the qualities you seek in a relationship are the qualities of a person who is actually healthy for you. I’m going to go one step further on this and say…. this is exactly when the right relationship will show up.