How do you get the happy, healthy relationship you want if you have only had the opposite?

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So, how do you have the kind of happy, healthy relationship you want especially if you’ve only had the opposite?

You may have had a partner who was controlling, emotionally unavailable or worse. Having  a partner treat you that way doesn’t feel good and that feeling is your body’s way of telling you something’s wrong. It is a big red flag showing you that you are getting the opposite of what you want and deserve.

Or you may have had a partner that was unfaithful to you and cheated on you. As angry, hurt and devastated as you were, that experience reinforced that you wanted fidelity in your next relationship.

Those painful experiences taught you valuable lessons. You learned that you definitely don’t want those same qualities in a partner again, and you don’t want to feel that way ever again.

Yet so many of us seem to create the same experiences over and over in our relationships.  We tend to attract partners with similar qualities to the partner before them. Qualities we don’t want.

Why does this happen? We know we want something different. Why aren’t we creating it?

Why are we repeating the same mistakes over and over again in our romantic relationships?

I’m sure you’ve heard that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results? (This quote is not by Einstein by the way, there’s no proof he ever said it. It has been attributed to Rita Mae Brown, the mystery novelist. In her 1983 book “Sudden Death, from the website: https://www.businessinsider.com/misattributed-quotes-2013-10 )

So why are we creating insanity in our romantic relationships and how do we break this cycle?

One way to break this cycle is to learn from the past. Pay close attention to how we felt and what made us feel that way. Then we can make intentional choices about what we want to create going forward.

I’m sure you’ve heard that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results? So why are we creating insanity in our romantic relationships and how do we break this cycle?

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If we hold a vision in our minds and hearts of what a healthy romantic relationship looks like to us, what we would like to feel and experience in a healthy romantic relationship, we have a much better chance at creating it.

Too often we just sort of stumble our way through our relationships and then we wonder why things don’t work out.

It’s not our fault, we haven’t been taught any differently and far too few of us had healthy role models to demonstrate to us what a healthy romantic relationship could look like.

Even those of us that did have healthy examples of romantic relationships such as grandparents that met young, married quickly, and had a family, and are still together 40, 50, 60, or even 70 years later, have to recognize that times have changed, and what worked for them won’t necessarily work for us now.

Many people (myself included) have already been married and divorced more than once.

It’s not realistic or healthy to compare relationships in our modern times to those of our grandparents no matter how sweet and romantic the notion may seem. I admit it though, I still want that sort of love, to share a build a life with, and grow old with my partner.

I believe I can have that and if that’s what you want to have so can you. We must have different expectations about it than say our grandparents did forty or more years ago. We live in a much different world than they did.

In the past not only did people marry for life but many people only had one job or career for life too.  It’s estimated that those living in the United States will change careers at least five times in their lifetime. And with the divorce rate holding strong at 50% with all marriages ending in divorce we are not living in the same time our grandparents did.

But that doesn’t mean we can’t have the happy, healthy relationship we want. And it doesn’t mean we can’t learn from many of things our grandparents have learned along the way. In fact, if you are so blessed to have an example of a healthy relationship like that in your life, learn everything you can from them!  They very likely have strategies they could share with you on how they navigated conflict,  handled crises, and major life events.

Our elders have a wealth of knowledge to share and are tremendous resources for us to take advantage of in learning how to have the happy, healthy romantic relationship we desire. Can I just say how much I love this photo!! Heart eyes!!!

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Finding examples of people who have the kind of relationship you admire and would like to have is one way to begin creating the happy, healthy, romantic relationship you want.  Those examples can be friends, family (like your parents or grandparents if they have a happy, healthy romantic relationship), even celebrities (though sadly celebrities are not always very good examples.)

My personal favorite example…fictional characters! Even some I make fictional characters I make up of my own! It doesn’t matter where you find examples if they resonate with your personal values and what you feel and want in your own romantic relationship.

Another way to begin creating the happy, healthy, romantic relationship you want is by journaling. Write down your ideas of what a happy, healthy relationship looks like to you. This is where knowing what didn’t work in the past is very useful.  You may want to start by writing out everything that didn’t work and that you didn’t want in your previous relationships.

Then turn it around. For example, if you had a partner that was unfaithful to you, you could write: I have a faithful, committed partner. If you had a neglectful partner that didn’t seem to care about your feelings or needs, you could write: my partner is loving and attentive to my needs. Do you see how that works? (Side note be sure to always write what you want in the present tense as if you already have it! This is important!)

The universe conspires to give us what we want but we must ask for it, and we must ask for it in the present as if it’s already happening for us.  It’s a very powerful technique. If you’ve never tried it before, give it a try and see how it feels.

Another exercise I find useful in having the happy, healthy relationship you want is journaling.  Write down your ideas of what a happy, healthy relationship looks like to you.

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Everything we haven’t wanted in a relationship can become a guide map to show us what we do want!

Deciding what we want to have in our romantic relationship, finding examples of others who have what we want (real or fictional), having clear intentions, and holding a vision for what we’d like to see in our future relationship can help us create it.

That is how we can have the happy, healthy, romantic relationship we really want, even if we’ve only experienced the opposite.

Finding examples of people who have the kind of relationship you admire and would like to have is one way to begin creating the happy, healthy, romantic relationship you want.

Photo by Sean Odell on Unsplash

 

Wishing you love and happiness in your romantic relationship and life,

 

Now, I’d love to hear from you.

What are some experiences you’ve had in previous romantic relationships that have helped you discover what you want in your current or future romantic relationship?

 Please share in the comments below and be as detailed as possible. What you share could inspire or help someone else.

P.S. Please don’t share any links to outside websites; any links will be deleted. 

 

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