Many people fear getting hurt emotionally and might flee a healthy relationship or engage in some form of self-protective behavior by staying in an unhealthy one. For many people, pain is what they know. Conflict is comfortable. Dealing with an unavailable, distant, or inappropriate partner is their wheelhouse. A partner who wants nothing more than to be with them and make them a top priority is alien.
Do you find yourself falling into one or more of these codependent relationship patterns?
• People pleasing: You go above and beyond to make others happy. You might avoid confronting your partner about important issues because you fear rejection or worry more about a partner's feelings than your own.
• Define your self-worth by others: Do you care too much about what others think of you?
• Ignore red flags: Do you ignore a partner's dishonesty, possessiveness, or jealous tendencies?
• Give too much in a relationship: You might even ignore your own self-care or feel that you're being selfish if you take care of yourself.
• Have poor boundaries: This can mean you have trouble saying "no" to the requests of others or allow others to take advantage of you.
• Stay in a relationship with someone who is distant, unavailable, or abusive -
even though you know deep down inside that they may never meet your emotional needs.
Steps to Reclaiming Healthy Love in Your Life:
• Visualize yourself in a loving relationship that meets your needs. If your current relationship is destructive, look at ways you self-sabotage and examine your own behaviors.
• Challenge your beliefs and self-defeating thoughts about your self-worth. You don't need to prove anything to another person about your worth.
• Notice your negative self-judgments. Be kind and compassionate toward yourself.
• Remind yourself daily that it's healthy to accept help from others and a sign of strength rather than weakness. Counseling, friendships, and online resources can be tremendously helpful to supporting you in your journey of finding a happy relationship.
• Don't let your fear of rejection stop you from achieving loving, intimate relationships. Surrender your shield and let others in.
Author Karen McMahon writes, "By focusing on your healing and personal growth you will energetically transform your life and begin to attract others (friends, bosses, companions) who are your emotional equals.