11 Ways To Break Your Dating Pattern

image - Flickr / The Next Web Photos
image – Flickr / The Next Web Photos

As I began reflecting upon the failed relationships in my life, I found a startling pattern. These men shared common traits; traits in which I believe are my “pattern” – the qualities I attract (or seek out) time and time again. Some of these common qualities were positive; things I would like in a future partner. Yet others, not so much. By exploring my pattern with men, I was able to see which traits worked, and which common denominators caused my relationships to fail. I went even further by assessing all the men in-between my serious relationships; the ones I inevitably “rebounded” to after each breakup. These men too, shared common qualities. Through this discovery process, I was able to pinpoint the “red flag” traits I tend to gravitate towards, as well as the positive qualities that made the relationships worth maintaining. Furthermore, I was able to visualize my ideal partner and expand my awareness when searching for a potential future relationship.

I encourage you to follow the succeeding steps to discover your past pattern with men or women and to establish and create your ideal future partner. Patterns function much like habits; they are difficult to disrupt without keen awareness and motivation. Be open to this exercise. Allow the knowledge you obtain to break your pattern and shape your relationships as you move forward.

Discovering Your Old Pattern

  1. Have a clean sheet of paper for every serious relationship you have been in. Begin listing all of the traits and qualities this person possessed (the good stuff, and the bad). Do this for each partner.
  2. Star only the positive qualities and leave the rest.
  3. Lay the sheets of paper side by side. Looking at what you have starred, place a check mark on each sheet next to any repetitive positive traits or qualities. Even if only two of your partners match on a specific trait, check it.
  4. Repeat the process of step three, this time checking off any common negative attributes.
  5. Using a new sheet of paper, divide the page in half – title the left side and the right side.
  6. Under the left column, list all of the common positive traits and qualities, and under the right all of the common negative.

Creating Your New Pattern

  1. Explore your pattern. Circle the qualities and traits you would like in a future partner. Notice which negative attributes irk you the most; these are your “non-negotiables” moving forward. They are also, most likely, the causational factors that played a part in the unraveling of your past relationships. Underline them.
  2. On a fresh sheet of paper, your old patterns aside, list all of the qualities you would like in a future partner. Then, compare this with the qualities you have starred during the past pattern exercise and star them on your new list.
  3. To begin the work of moving forward, go back to the list of negative traits and qualities from your past. Circle the ones that resonate with you; the ones you possess as well or have exhibited in past relations. By the law of attraction, what you put out comes back to you in return. These are the qualities you need to let go of in yourself, if you want to avoid encountering them in future partners.
  4. Breakups or two fold, and faults are never one-sided. Take responsibility for your part in the failure of your past relationships by noting some of the ways in which you contributed. List the negative traits and qualities you embodied during that time, and list the traits and qualities you would like to possess moving forward.
  5. With a list of traits and qualities you would like in a potential partner and a list of the traits and qualities you wish to embody – you are now prepared to embark on a new journey and create a new pattern. Remembering that what you give out is mirrored back to you in return, begin by incorporating these qualities into yourself and watch as they manifest themselves into your ideal relationship.

Now that you have gained some insight into your old pattern, be hyper-aware of “red flag” qualities (your “non-negotiables”) when dating. Using your past experiences as a means of learning, avoid anyone who exhibits these negative traits. Keep focusing on and embodying the type of partner you wish to attract, and watch in delight as your old pattern dissolves and your new pattern breathes into life. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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