Barriers to Love: Part 3 Unconscious Patterns in Love

It is human nature to want to be loved just as much as it is to have unconscious patterns. The great thing about taking a look at the unconscious patterns you bring to relationships is once you can identify them you have the power to choose to change them.   One major pattern I identified in doing this work was how I had been allowing myself to be chosen by people I wasn’t really that into, in friendships and romantic relationships, because the other person was so enthusiastic about me and it made me feel valuable that they wanted my attention so much. And a parallel pattern was then rushing into a sexual relationship and commitment before I even knew the guy. In naming and acknowledging these patterns I experienced a profound realization of just how much I was giving my power away and how much I didn’t want to continue doing so, and I was able to see how these patterns were happening through me, rather than to me. I was nobody’s victim, no one tricked me, I chose to allow myself to get swept up into other people’s lives. This awareness woke me to the fact that these patterns were my responsibility to evolve if I wanted to have a different experience in relationships.

What role/s do you play in your relationships? Are you the caregiver, cheerleader, parent or are you the one who needs to be cared for, inspired or parented?  Our patterns are born from our life experiences. They can be as vastly different and complex as we are. Here are a few common patterns:

  • Not being able to communicate about your wants and needs.

  • Unhealthy self-imposed sense of obligation to always solve the problem or make things right for our partner.

  • Lack of vulnerability. Vulnerability is not weakness but instead the ability to allow others to care for us and to open ourselves to emotional honesty about our wants, needs, fears and hurts.

  • The need to control everything, which makes for a one-sided relationship and leaves us exhausted and often resentful.

  • Carrying your family patterns and the roles you played with your parents and siblings into your love relationship.

  • Being too dependent or independent.

  • Being unwilling to make sacrifices.

Do you recognize yourself in any of these patterns? Identifying patterns is the easier part. Breaking them requires discipline and most likely moving out of your comfort zone.  The quickest way to identify your relationship patterns is to get a piece of paper and take a stroll down memory lane. Write the name of each person with whom you have had a romantic relationship and why it didn’t work.  If you can be honest with yourself about your part in the relationship, a pattern will emerge. Because we learn so much from our parents it is also important to ask, in what ways, if any, was this pattern played out by one of my parents?

Now that you have had an aha moment and pin-pointed your personal blind spot, you can begin to heal your hungry heart!