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Why do I keep repeating the same relationship patterns?


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I need some advice as lately I feel like an emotional mess and really need to take a step back and figure out my life a little bit. I am 25 years old, female and I have been in quite a few relationships that repeat the exact same pattern. I meet a guy and even though I'm not that interested or attracted to him, I begin a relationship. I have been in a couple of these relationships and I am currently in one right now. I never feel properly "in love" with the guy I am with. It feels very hard to leave and end things as I don't want to hurt my partner who is already invested.

 

Recently, some events have made me realize I need to figure out why I repeat these relationships. For example, I am a lot of the time annoyed with my boyfriend and he is just being himself. I also don't feel attracted to him at all and I find myself internally nit picking at his appearance. We have been dating for 6 months almost and I have never really felt that spark of being in love or excitement. We get along pretty well when we aren't arguing and share interests and humor but I just don't at all feel that sexual attraction and connection. I am always wondering what else is out there.

 

My last relationship was also like this but had its own unique set of issues, that one lasted a year. My first relationships was very unhealthy but lasted four years, and I was crazy about this guy and would do anything to fix things. Since then, I don't think I have been in love but have settled and stayed with people I knew I wasn't meant to be with.

 

I feel like the relationship patterns happen the same way: A guy likes me and pays attention to me and treats me nice and I settle for being with them, I feel unhappy and doubt and question the relationship and then we break up.

 

Instead of blaming my partner I am trying to take a look at myself and figure out why I repeat these patterns and how to stop them. I have anxiety, depression and low self esteem so I am wondering if my poor relationship patterns have something to do with this. I also had a pretty rough childhood with parents who had an unhealthy relationship, any advice is appreciated as my mind right now is such a scrambled mess with thoughts. Thank you.

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Have you been alone for long periods or are you serially dating? (Dating all the time)

 

I ask as it doesn't sound like you've found any real joy in being on your own which can be wonderful and fulfilling in itself. If I put myself in your shoes, I'd be just as irritable, confused and feeling like things are spiraling out of control. Have you considered being on your own or is there pressure to be in a relationship? How are your relationships with your parents and family? When you hang out with your peers are you always talking about your relationships?

 

I think there's something to be said about the company we keep also - having some balance in your peers and friendships is important. They consciously and subconsciously frame our thoughts and give rise to new ideas... or worse, cause us to be stagnant in old ideas or old ways of living.

 

Take a closer look at all your relationships, not just the romantic ones. Are there influences that are pushing you towards being in a relationship for the sake of being in one?

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Just stop doing it because it serves no purpose to you or them. You see the problem, now end it with your BF and learn to love yourself, and stay single...to learn more about yourself, build up some substance, self esteem and confidence. Explore some new hobbies, activities, etc.

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Hi! I can think about a couple of things that could be going on. Do you think that maybe you are afraid of being vulnerable? When you fall in love, you are vulnerable to getting your heart broken, so maybe you prefer to start a relationship where you don't feel so much so you are safe, and comfortable enough with someone who treats you well. I think this could be the case because of that first relationship you talk about: it hurts so bad to do everything for someone and still get your heart broken, so maybe after that you'd rather play it safe, expect to feel comfortable enough but then realize it's just not what you want.

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It sounds like you are looking for comfort, ease, complacency and security. Absolutely your mental health is related to this pattern.

 

Take a chance on a better choice. Your self loathing and low energy drive a lot of it as well

 

Hopefully you are getting treatment and support from your doctor, therapist and friends and family..

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Your low self-worth is driving you to get into relationships for the wrong reasons. The inevitable consequence is that you’re unhappy and want out, because you never really wanted to be with these guys in the first place.

 

I think you need to work on sorting out you emotional health before you try dating again.

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I don’t see it as a relationship pattern but more of a conscious decision yuu are making.

 

You are fully aware when you say yes to a second , third , fourth date and eventually yes to an exclusive relationship that you are not attracted to this person who is attracted to you.

Then you claim not to leave them because you don’t want to hurt them but do anyway.

 

I doubt it has anything directly to do with your parents relationship. Their relationship may have been unhealthy but you havent suggested that was because of lack of spark / passion.

 

And likely more to do with low self esteem.

 

First thing I would advise you to do is to ditch the bf yuu don’t like anyway. But do it nicely and honestly.

 

Then take a significant time off from dating , maybe a year. Make a plan to do things for yourself in that year. Become more independent, hang out with friends , explore new hobbies and read some self help books for poor self esteem.

 

Good luck in making better choices!

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Just like on any road to recovery, the first step is to admit you have a problem, so that's a good start. You remind me of a friend I had, who was very passive about men always selecting her and she would just go with it, even though they were inappropriate for her. She has yet to be successful in that dept. after 3 failed marriages and numerous other relationships.

 

The guy you're with wouldn't want to be with you if he could crawl inside your brain to know what you thought of him. Free him to be with someone who will be crazy about him.

 

Like others have said, work on your self esteem by reading articles, books, and/or attending therapy. And then make a must-have list and a dealbreaker list for when you do decide to date again. Cut off anyone quickly who lacks must-haves and possesses dealbreakers. Dating smarter will likely result in better success in that dept. Take care.

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How are these relationships starting?

 

Does a guy ask you out and you feel obligated to say "yes?"

To be honest, do you "like" them - find the conversation reasonably interesting, have common interests, but he feels more like a brother than a boyfriend? A guy that is a perfectly decent guy that you just aren't attracted to but feel friendship?

 

Or do you find it hard to even have any common ground. you feel there isn't really anything there?

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It sounds to me like you secretly compare all these men to your ex that you would do anything to fix the relationship.

 

Until you deal with that relationship and figure out what you want in and for your life you will continue to repeat this pattern.

 

I hope you realize just how selfish and hurtful you are being to these men you get into relationships with. You are using them to make yourself feel better and fill a void. Please stop hurting others because you haven't dealt with your past breakup. These are all like perpetual rebounds...

 

Stop using people, stay single for a good while and figure out what you want out of a relationship. If there is no spark after the second date then end it. If you don't feel love growing after 3 months then end it. If you aren't attracted to them then DO NOT AGREE TO DATE THEM.

 

Relationships are built on way more than someone being nice to you...

 

Lost

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Perhaps you think this is all you deserve. I was somewhat like you long ago. However, I vowed never to repeat my mother's horrible mistake in choosing the wrong man. I wanted a man who was the complete opposite of my late father.

 

Maybe you're looking at all the wrong places. In order to find a high quality men, you need to go where they are. They are not at singles bars and generic online dating websites. You need to whittle down your search. It's a great big world out there and you need to tell yourself that you can afford to become extremely picky and choosy because it will pay off later.

 

What's alarming is that your guy treats you nice and you "settle" being with them. What are you settling for? Are they not good enough for you? Why are you unhappy, doubt and question the relationship and break up? Maybe you're not giving the guy nor the relationship a chance to thrive.

 

If the guy is a very moral man and earns a good living, he should be a good catch. While that's all well and good, take a good look at yourself. No man wants to be with an insecure woman. Work on yourself before getting involved in a relationship.

 

I too had a rough childhood. My late father was an alcoholic wife beater who punched my mother's teeth out! :eek: :upset: I was raised by a single mother who worked 3 jobs 7 days a week to put food on the table for her 3 children.

 

During my teen and young adult years, I did the "woe is me" thing for a while. Then I snapped out of it. I concentrated on ascending in my career. I lost 35 pounds, became fit, felt and looked great. I started to garner attention from other successful men. I was pushing through an open door. Eventually, I married a great man and have two amazing sons. I attained the white picket fence and a very comfortable lifestyle in the suburbs.

 

I didn't allow my horrific past to have a grip on my life. I made my own life completely separate from my miserable childhood. It's been a long road from my past. Even my best friend told me that I've lived a "Cinderella" type story. She's right. We've been childhood friends ever since we were 9 years old so she knows exactly how far I've come.

 

Make something of yourself. Success attracts success. Before you know it, you'll enter the party with your own success story just like others in the room who've arrived.

 

Pull yourself up, give yourself the power of positive thinking and DO SOMETHING. No more pity pot. MAKE A CHANGE. If I can do it, so can you.

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  • 1 month later...

I totally relate to this post.

 

I’ve been told I do it because I have low self esteem... well I don’t believe I do.

 

And in my situation I date them, feel no spark but I have several dates as people say you need to let it grow and get to know someone... so I don’t think a good many dates makes you a horrible person and that it will hurt the person.

 

I’ve only ever had that spark once maybe twice..

 

I hate the fact I may never find someone I do have the spark with again...

 

I’ve dated incredible women and for some reason I just don’t look at them and feel I want to rip their clothes off... so to me they’re just ‘friends’ I don’t want to be like this but what can I do? I can’t force myself and it wouldn’t be fair

 

 

Where as other people I know go from one marriage to the next all in love one minute, divorced the next and within a few months in love with someone else

 

Wish that was me but I don’t think I’m wired like that.

 

I think I just have to accept it’s how I am

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It sounds as if you'll just take anyone who shows you interest.

If you are insecure and have low self worth you're hungry for someone to show you otherwise.

You aren't descriminating whether this person is actually a good fit or if you even have feelings for him. You settle for someone else to reflect back to you your worth.

Recognizing your self worth is your job.

Stay single. Spend some time getting to know yourself and working this. Challenge yourself to do and try new things that bring you joy and succeed at.

Dont date unless you have love to offer. You can't do that without self esteem (self love)

Crude saying:. When you're hungry, you'll eat just about anything.

It's similar to going to grocery store when your really hungry. You are likely to not make good choices and you pick things out of desperation to satisfy the hunger. Later, you regret your choices. Much like your choices in men.

The good news is you are aware something is not right. Asking the question s is a great start

It's a personal journey and a very worthwhile one.

I wish you luck.

I went through something similar. I had the help of a therapist to guide me.

Be patient. It doesn't happen overnight

Edited by reinventmyself
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Where as other people I know go from one marriage to the next all in love one minute, divorced the next and within a few months in love with someone else

 

Wish that was me but I don’t think I’m wired like that.

 

I think I just have to accept it’s how I am

 

Sounds like you are the one ahead. I view romantic love as something special, sacred, and rare. You aren't going to find that connection with just anyone. And as much as the longing for it can hurt, I'd rather hold out for the right one than go for whoever is available at the time. People who jump from one relationship to another are trying to fill a gap in their own life without examining what that gap really is. The hope this new relationship can succeed where the others have failed. They love the idea of being in the relationship and in love, more then the actual relationship. So of course it doesn't work.

 

It's fine to give things a try for a time, see if the connection is there. But if you aren't feeling it, it's better to be honest. It's more harmful to let it drag on when you have no intent of it going anywhere. You'll find the spark eventually, and it will so magical, it won't matter how long it took.

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