Boy have I fallen hard for some men in my past. You know what that's like, right? That amazing flying-high feeling of falling in love? Your heart open and gushing?
It's a beautiful feeling and experience and can be so healing. But, love is blind, as they say.
That blindness can get us into trouble. See, so many of the dynamics in a struggling relationship started early.
But! You can avoid replicating them yourself in your next relationship, and if you're already in one, it is possible to shift them once they're already engrained. It just might take some help.
Here's a list of the 8 most common issues I see in struggling relationships that usually started early on:
1. We don't stay present because we're fantasizing.
We're off in la-la land imagining the future with this person, either loving what we see, or coming up with the obvious problems. While we're on a mini mind vacation, we're missing the real here and now and then it's hard to know what, if anything, we want to create with this person. Not being present is also a great way to miss red flags. (And you know what it's like to miss those red flags and then end up deep into it...)
2. We try to please them or "win" them.
This usually requires some degree of self-abandonment, which is extremely painful once they're "won" and now you've created a connection that doesn't even feel authentic to you. Ow.
3. We overextend and dial down our self care.
This one is perhaps the most detrimental. Participating in an intimate relationship when we're under resourced is a flat out invitation into codependence. It's shockingly easy to look to someone else to meet your needs. Instead, when we add a relationship into our life, we actually need to uplevel our self care.
4. We become who we think they want us to be.
Usually when I talk with couples who've fallen into this, they don't realize all the micro ways they've self abandoned in order to preserve the connection and make sure they don't get left, judged, disliked, etc. This is why it's super important to stay present with ourselves and dial up our self care so that we're more empowered and clear in the connection.
5. We get disconnected from our single life.
Partnership is great because we co-create all sorts of things that perhaps we couldn't do on our own. But those things that you love to do and haven't done in a long time because he doesn't like them are likely important parts of you that help you stay connected to who you are.
6. We look to them to make us happy.
Your partnership can be the icing on your already wonderful life, not the source of it. If it's the source, every time you argue, get afraid it's over, or do actually break up, you don't have much ground to stand on.
7. We move too fast.
I'm not one to judge how fast is "too fast," but the right pace is usually the one where you can stay present with yourself and are resourced enough to be able to take on deepening levels of commitment without falling into any of the things on this list.
8. We act out of fear.
This one is the biggest one and often leads to all the others above. Once we get close with someone, we can start to feel attached and motivated by the fear that they'll leave us or it won't work out. That can lead to us fantasize, try to please them, move too fast, or any of the others above. Slow down. Take a breath. Do what you know how to do to find your empowerment instead.
Please leave me a comment below and tell me what else you've been through that isn't supportive to healthy relationship. We can all learn from each other's mistakes.
Also, will you please share this on Facebook? I appreciate it!
Here's to healthy love for all of us,
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