Most of us are not as self-aware as we would like to believe. This is why we repeatedly end up in similar relationships. So, how to stop making the same mistakes in a relationship? Well, let’s dive in and learn together.
We go from one breakup to the next without realizing that we are making the same choices; therefore, the same mistakes. And once we do realize that our breakups and relationships woes are due to the same thing, it is often too late to fix.
Well, realizing that it is happening and admitting is the first step. Once you know you’re doing than you can take steps to break your patterns.
[Read: Don’t stay stuck: 16 strategies to get your shit together]
Why we make the same mistakes
In order to work through a deep-seated issue like repetitive behavior, you need to find the source. Working on anything without knowing the root cause only silences the symptoms, it doesn’t cure the problem.
You may have already tried to stop making the same relationship mistakes by dating outside of your type or making different choices, but, at the end, it’s the same. That is because you are trying to find a solution without knowing what the problem is.
If we know we keep making the same mistakes in a relationship, shouldn’t we just be able to stop? It isn’t so easy. We often go bad to the same mistakes oddly, because they’re comfortable. I hate to say this, but, most of this is due to our childhoods. The way you watch your parents deal with problems tends to be how we deal with problems. We adapted to how our parents or adult relatives raised us.
[Read: How to be mature, grow up, and face life like an adult]
Then as adults, we look for someone who shares those happy aspects of our childhoods. But along with those feel-good emotions, many of those characteristics have a flip-side. This means we often choose a partner who reminds of us someone from our earlier years for the good things, but they share the bad things too.
The same goes for earlier relationships. As you continue on in your dating journey, you tend to go for people that remind you of those from your past. Maybe your first partner was outgoing and charming but things went south. Eventually, you meet someone who triggers those same feelings you had when you met your ex. Without thinking of the pain of the breakup, you are interested because of the comfort you get from those initial feelings.
Being aware of these links can help you think more thoroughly about the partners you choose moving forward.
[Read: Do you keep finding yourself in the same push and pull relationship type?]
How to stop making the same mistakes in a relationship
After you realize that you keep making the same mistakes in a relationship and find the root of the problem, you can work toward a solution. But, it won’t be immediate. Just like any emotional or mental healing, this is a pattern you’re used to, and breaking out of it isn’t as simple as a realization.
Breaking such deeply ingrained patterns like making the same mistakes in a relationship require patience and practice until those changes come naturally. Making these changes is like breaking a habit. Cold turkey isn’t the best method.
So, how do you stop making the same mistakes in a relationship?
#1 Think about it. First, just labeling those patterns will help. Pointing out this mistake is the best thing you can do to really gain deeper insight. Do you rush into relationships quickly? Do you ditch your friends when you’re in a relationship? Are you prone to being codependent?
When you are able to answer this, you can take further steps.
#2 Answer questions. Not all of us have a therapist, but if we did, this is when they would ask you why you think that is. Therapists don’t offer advice but usually ask you questions to develop a different perspective.
Ask yourself why you continue on with this pattern? Is it protecting you from being hurt? How is it hurting you? When you can qualify your relationship habit as negatively affecting you, you will be more motivated to change it. [Read: Am I ready for a relationship? The questions you should be asking yourself]
#3 Take accountability. Most of the time when we make the same mistakes in a relationship, we don’t notice it until it’s already happened. We don’t notice that we are falling for the same type of person until it’s too late. But, that doesn’t mean you’re too late.
You can say sorry to yourself and learn from that. You might find yourself complaining to a friend about your significant other when they say that’s the same thing your ex used to do. Instead of denying or ignoring it, sit with that.
Just because you are dating someone doesn’t mean you have to keep dating them if you know it isn’t the right choice for you. You should be able to admit what you were doing was wrong for you in order to find what’s right.
#4 Practice. It can be hard to practice unlearning a behavior when it comes to dating. You don’t want to date people to just work on yourself. And a lot of mistakes made in a relationship happen when things get serious.
But there are ways to practice the habits you want to break and the ones you want to pick up. If you want to meet a different type of person, go to different places. You don’t need to date anyone but just making conversation and experiencing different people can get you comfortable around other types.
[Read: How to meet new people: Exciting ways to build a new crowd]
Instead of a bar, go to a gym or a game or concert. Sign up for cooking or dance classes. Even talk to people outside of your circle at parties or work. None of this must end up with you dating someone. It’ll just open your horizons.
If you struggle to be honest or vulnerable with new people, start by opening up to your family and friends. See how it feels. Let them in. It will remind you that being vulnerable makes you strong and enhances relationships.
My issue was always expecting too much. I would expect every first date to be a relationship and for every connection to last. I would constantly be let down and disappointed. That made me bitter and negative about dating in general. I had to practice balancing my hope and my expectations. I had to let go of any expectations from a connection or date and just keep my hope there so I was excited but not too anxious.
Once I was able to find that balance, I met my boyfriend. I was able to take things slow and just enjoy our time together without being so eager about being in a relationship. I didn’t change what I wanted but changed how I thought about it.
[Read: How to remain hopeful while dating and not let heartbreak get you down]
It sounds easier than it is, but it is so worth it to have a new outlook. Whether you’re single or not, learning how to stop making the same mistakes in a relationship will help you in so many ways.
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