“I want a relationship. I’m ready to settle down with someone.”
I’m calling your bluff and I’m guilty of lying too. On a conscious level, we think we’re ready – we want a meaningful connection, we want to share adventures with someone, we want a travel partner, we want cuddles on a consistent basis, we want all the feels of a relationship.
But we don’t act according to the desire we claim we have. We act non-committal, we don’t communicate clearly, we don’t take the jump, we don’t risk being vulnerable, and are unwilling to sacrifice our habits and conditioning. The results speak for itself. We attract (and are attracted) to other unavailable people, also unwilling to commit. We are all paying lip service to the relationship gods while vastly unaware of the amount of work we need to do internally first, before the possibility of a healthy union with another is even possible.
This isn’t your fault. This article is not to shame you, rather, to shed light on the truth and to help you (and me) realize that we are lying to ourselves, and until we have awareness of that, we will continue running on the relationship hamster wheel going nowhere. Years will pass, and we will still be doing the same thing, and blaming that we “haven’t met the one” as the problem.
The common denominator is you.
Stop talking. Stop telling others and yourself that you are ready for a relationship. If you’re not getting the results you want, there is a reason for that – something is not aligned. Look at your romantic history – do you date people who are unavailable? Do they need saving? Do you give more than you receive? Do you take more than you give? Do you only feel chemistry with people who are inconsistent, have intimacy issues, or are emotionally unstable? This is all data for you. Why are you drawn to these types of people? Why do you choose them? Why do you stay in it? Why does the same ending keep repeating just with different people?
Our mind works in loops. When we have an emotion, we process and learn and move on. However, when you experience something traumatic where the emotions overwhelm you, and you are unable to process and learn from it, your mind doesn’t close the loop. This is often unconcious by the way, and you may not even remember the original trauma. As your mind’s way of survival, you unconsciously recreate experiences giving you the same emotion so that you can learn from it. If you don’t, the situation, the type of person, and/or the dysfunction continues to appear, knocking on your door, until you finally learn from it and the loop closes. This is how an unconscious pattern develops and sustains.
For instance, I felt abandoned and unsafe with the dynamic with my father. I felt anxiety, fear and resentment, and this kept being reinforced as a child. Growing up, the relationships I kept attracting would leave me feeling exactly the same way. The emotions that I felt at 5 years old, were the exact emotions I would repeatedly battle in my dynamics with men 20, 30 years later. As I’ve become aware of the patterns, I’ve been making different choices and sitting in the discomfort of those choices to intentionally rewire. Loop by loop, I’m replacing the negative patterns and doing the work to become healthier.
Recently, I found myself in a similar situation with a man who was hot and cold, which consequently evoked the same emotions of angst, uncertainty and fear. If this was me a few years ago, I would continue ‘exploring’ the potential of the relationship because it felt good at the time. What’s different now, is armed with awareness, and a determination to create a healthy partnership in my future, I made the choice to let the romance go, despite the strong chemistry and the connection. Before, me liking a guy and having chemistry was enough for me to continue, even if my needs weren’t met and I was settling for less than I deserved in how I was treated. I also take accountability of my part – I was not fully vulnerable, and unconsciously didn’t show up completely myself out of fear that I would lose the attraction or affection if I were to be just me. It takes two to dance and I am accountable for why this romance didn’t play out. Clearly, I still have work to do and I’m grateful for the opportunity to learn this lesson about myself.
Look at your choices, and there will be the cold hard truth of where you’re really at. If you have a history of unhealthy relationships or being treated poorly – there’s a wound that you have not dealt with. There is a loop in your unconscious that is repeating over and over again, with different people, all creating the exact experience that provides the emotion that was never dealt with.
Stop making excuses – for yourself and for the behavior of others.
“But we had such a magical connection.”
Truth. I believe it. I don’t doubt your connection was beautiful, something you haven’t felt for a long time. It was special. You felt great. I believe all of that. But connection alone is not enough to carry a relationship. It can be enough for good sex, even dating for a year, but the connection part is easy – the commitment part is what requires intention, discipline, and follow-through.
This doesn’t mean you act committed only when you met “the one”. Showing up as a kind, consistent, reliable, honest, intentional, loving person with EVERYONE even if they’re not “the one” is about you exhibiting behavior of someone ready for commitment. It’s integrity. Commitment isn’t about the girlfriend/boyfriend title – it’s a way of being, about how you show up, consistently to everyone. The guy who ‘ices’ or ghosts the girl he just had a romantic week with because he wasn’t feeling it anymore – that is non-committal behavior – and it will rear its head with you, sooner or later (change the sexes as it applies to either). Integrity and strong values are not turned on and off when it’s convenient and for a select group of people – it is always or it is nothing. Look at how you’re behaving. Look at how your romantic prospects are behaving. Sit back and observe through time how someone shows up. It’s the consistency, their default way of being that reveals. Don’t be a slave to chemistry, because chemistry can fuck you. Connection doesn’t’ mean anything without action. If you’re a fun, exciting human being, you can connect. Heck, I know I can connect with a rock if I had to. If you’re justifying someone’s lack of showing up because you’re attached to the magical connection, ask yourself if you’re choosing what feels good now over what serves you in the long run.
If you are serious about wanting a partnership and you’re not getting what you want – there is a truth within yourself that is waiting to be unveiled. You can examine your past experiences to discover data that will help you reveal that truth, and once you are aware of your wounds, your loops, your patterns, only then can you start to address them one by one and become more emotionally healthy. It can go both ways. You can meet someone who has similar wounds and intentionally work through them together, or, you can work on your internal stuff first, and meet someone who matches you on your emotional health level. Choose your own adventure, whatever it is, just choose the truth.