So he’s not your type … Have you ever wondered why?
The answer is all the way back in your childhood. Yep! We’re going there!
In 1914 Sigmund Freud coined the phrase Repetitive Compulsion, or Repetitive Relationship Syndrome. This means what you observed in your parents’ relationship impacts your participation in love and relationships. To Freud, there is no random attractiveness because everything we learned about the love we witnessed as children, starting when we were just little babies. If you’ve ever felt an instant connection with someone, they likely show up in a relationship the way your parents do.
Does that make you feel happy or anxious?
If you came from a healthy home, choosing a partner can be as simple as following a pattern. But if you are hoping to have a better relationship than your parents did, then it can be difficult to break the mold. Here’s the good and bad news: that difficulty is completely out of your control! But I can help you notice the behavior as it’s happening.
Let’s Look at a Case Study
My client Becky tends to choose unavailable partners. Becky has been on dates with men from many backgrounds and in many careers. But one by one, she finds that ultimately, they are not present in the relationship. What gives?
According to Repetitive Relationship Syndrome, Becky’s choices in partner stem from one or both parents’ unavailability. This was certainly the case for her! Turns out, Becky’s dad worked long hours and never played with her. No matter how she tried to get his attention, her dad was distracted by other things. He was focused elsewhere.
From making excuses for men to bending over backward to accommodate their life and schedules, Becky unconsciously approaches her romantic relationships the same way she understood love as a child. Becky relinquishes her independence to the men she dates, and therefore she gives these same men the power to make her feel either accepted or rejected. At first, Becky has trouble seeing red flags because these men remind her of home.
The problem comes later when Becky’s needs aren’t met. She becomes frustrated and disappointed, even resentful. She wonders, “Why am I the one doing all the work?” Becky can’t see her own repetitive cycle because it is unconscious. Does this sound familiar? Instead what Becky says, when she meets someone different, who might even be good for her, – ‘Nope, not my type!’
You Can Break the Pattern
There are just a few things you need to know:
- Your pattern is not your fault. Before you could talk, you had an example of a relationship, for good or bad.
- Awareness is key. Now that you know more about your template, you can consider relationship role models,
- It’s going to get weird. You are stepping out of your comfort zone, and dating people who are completely different from your usual “type.” Be open to that uncomfortable feeling of what just might be a drama-free, dare-I-say healthy partnership.
- Slow your roll. Your partner could trigger you to react much in the way you may have as a child. After all, patterns are hard to break! Take a breath, pause, and consider how to react in a different way than you usually do.
- Tell me what you want, what you really really want. Once you know your pattern, check your reaction and embrace what’s new, you’ll be free to ask for the kind of relationship you want and need.
Everyone has a type. What matters most is how you respond to your type. The goal is to move away from your unconscious patterns so you can be more intentional with your choices. If you find yourself in endless date deja-vu, ask yourself: how is my type working for me?
If you are ready to step into a lasting relationship, becoming conscious of your tendencies is key! You just might have to break your pattern.
You’ve got this, Lovely!
Diane, The Back to Love Doc
Ready to break the pattern? Take the Love Style Quiz now.