Learning What Love Looks Like

April 24th, 2011

I’ve never had any luck with relationships. Most of the time I either get restless within a couple weeks or the guy is a jerk and treats me poorly.  I’m tired of dating around and don’t get any real satisfaction from it.  But I’ve been dating my current boyfriend for about four months and he’s really great.  We do lots of fun things together, he’s supportive, kind, and actually cares about our relationship.  So why am I still unsatisfied?  I always thought that once I got a really good guy it would be easier to be in a relationship.  We haven’t had sex yet because I’ve had some less than stellar sexual experiences and haven’t felt very sexual lately.  But he’s been very patient and there’s honestly nothing I would change about him.  And I do have a tendency to become infatuated with guys I know I wouldn’t be able to have a real relationship with, so I find it hard to trust my own feelings which have lead me very awry.  So how do I know if he’s just not the right guy or if I am just bad at relationships?  How do I become more able to sustain a healthy, caring relationship?

Many people refuse being happy and satisfied in life.  In fact most people’s worst enemy is themselves and no where more so,  then in their intimate relationships.  Human beings have on average over 3000 thoughts per day and for many people a good 2500 of them are thoughts of unworthiness, doubt and self hatred. This negative thinking can come so fast and furiously that they work to make their outer world reflect the negativity inside.  It is a common and vicious cycle.

Bravo for your insight and ability to question the pattern you have witnessed playing out in your life relationships.   The most powerful tool we have for combating negative thinking patterns is the ability to bear witness. What we pay attention to multiplies so even if you can’t substitute negative thoughts with positive ones,  just the ability to witness and question old patterns can change your life.

Many people confuse the feelings of falling in love with the real work of ongoing relationships. You don’t have to feel infatuated with someone to be able to open yourself and your heart to be seen and be willing to do that for someone else.  You don’t have to be giddy to witness kindness and consideration and be able to reciprocate it. These are developmental skills that improve with attention. Growing a relationship with someone else has everything to do with how we feel about ourselves. Sometimes we can’t receive the kindness from a good guy because we don’t believe we are worth it. This is the same energy that will work to dismantle all the positive things that are working for you.

Get to the basics in listening and trusting your feelings. Don’t move towards the storyline that can easily confuse and lead you away from your real feelings. Trust the kind of questioning you are doing now and don’t make it more complicated than it is.  Healing your relationship history is intimately tied to your sexual history. Like many women you may have used sexuality to deal with issues that were emotional. Make sure that you build up a foundation of trust with who ever you are with that includes clear and positive communicating,  a sense of safety that comes from showing up for each other and having some good thoughts about the ways you are together before you bring the fire into it. Trust the basic truth that you deserve to be loved and it may look and feel different than you have let yourself imagine.

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