Relationship 911: Why we choose the wrong partners
Life consists of a series of choices _ some more important than others. One of the biggest choices we each face is who we select as a mate. Obviously, the key is to choose well. However, in the arena of interpersonal relationships, we frequently choose poorly. The reasons we choose poorly are generally based on one or more of the following factors:
THE MYTH OF LOVE
From the time we are children we are conditioned to believe in the notion of "romantic love," "everlasting love" and the "one true love." Therefore, when we enter into a relationship we tend to imbue the relationship with these notions and expectations. Unfortunately, however, our compulsion to achieve these romantic notions frequently blinds us to the more practical considerations surrounding the relationship and the character and habits of our mate. Turning a blind eye to these more practical issues often results in making a poor relationship choice.
REPLAYING OLD SCRIPTS
On a deeper, level the choice you make in a mate is frequently driven by a subconscious need to re-create a dynamic which is familiar to you from your childhood. For example, if you suffered emotional wounding as a child, and you have not healed from those wounds, then you may be subconsciously compelled to revisit these wounding issues throughout your adult life. Often, something about the mate you choose helps to reconstruct this childhood dynamic. Thus, the emotional wounding which is so familiar to you from your childhood gets played out, over and over again, in your adult love relationships.
FILLING A VOID
If you are experiencing emotional turmoil such as loneliness, desperation, spiritual emptiness, or general insecurity, then you may be searching for something to fill the void. All too often, that "something" turns out to be a love relationship. The problem is that your need for pacification can blind you to the negative qualities your mate may possess, or the relative incompatibility between the two of you. Hence, you wind up making a poor relationship choice.
YIELDING TO PRESSURE
Frequently, people are compelled to pick a mate and settle into a relationship in order to satisfy the expectations of parents, friends or society at large. When the focus is on relieving external pressure or "fitting in," you can easily overlook more important considerations, such as the qualities of the mate you choose.
The effect of being hostage to one or more of these dynamics is that you lose clarity as to your true motivation for choosing the mate you choose. Without this clarity, you are prone to do the following:
_ Ignore red flags about your mate;
_ Make compromises on certain of your fundamental needs and values in order to be with your mate;
_ Mistake lust for love and compatibility;
_ Put commitment to your mate ahead of compatibility considerations; and
_ Mistake material comfort, beauty or power for love and compatibility.
The long and short of it is that if you are hostage to one or more of these dynamics, then you are either stuck in an unsatisfying relationship with the wrong mate, or you are in and out of relationships in which you repeatedly choose the wrong mate.
Why does this happen? The answer is that you are choosing your mates based on compulsion rather than free choice. Your best hope for curing this situation is to explore what drives your compulsion to make the mate choices you make.
Once you have clarity on what motivates you, you can commit to avoiding this mistake in the future, and free yourself to choose wisely. Remember, healthy relationships are borne of free choice, not compulsion.Mod note: Remember you MUST cite your article! Remember to always add a link or at least the author name!