By, Nikki Martinez, Psy.D., LCPC
Have you ever wondered why you keep being drawn to the same type of person? Have you ever asked yourself why you always seem to be the one to be broken up with? Ever had the thought occur to you that you settle for less than you deserve time and time again? Wondered if you are in are ever going to be able to tackle those trust issues for good? The answers to all these can be asked, and addressed in individual therapy. Working on and through these issues can put you in a healthy place to finally find that relationship that feels right, and more importantly to feel good about yourself in it!
No matter how hard we try and fight it, we are drawn to what we know. This is true in habits and personality traits that are good or bad. If you had an alcoholic father, an abusive mother, or parents who were withholding of their emotions, you are more likely to be unconsciously drawn to similar people in our romantic lives. Why is this, we are drawn to what we know. What therapy can help you do is to identify these patterns. You can discuss what traits you grew up with, the type of person you keep being drawn too, and ways that you can break this pattern. Once you break this pattern, you can start to consciously choose people that are healthier for you, and have healthier, longer lasting relationships.
If you have ever stopped and asked yourself why you always seem to be on the receiving end of a break up, there might be a few things that you could work on in therapy. You and a therapist can talk about the feedback and reasons people have given you as relationships ended. Are there patterns and common themes? If so, you can work on changing these habits that are rubbing your significant other the wrong way. It is hard for any of us to hear, much less dissect criticism, but it can be the key to being the best version of you, and one who is successful in relationships. There are even many times when you have some insight into things you are doing that push people away. You can work on these habits and finally break the habits for good.
If you have ever thought that maybe you are better than the people you are picking for yourself, you are probably right. This might mean you have some work to do on self-esteem and confidence in individual therapy. You need to learn that you are a catch, that you are worthy of a quality partner, and that you have many shining attributes that you do not give yourself enough credit for. You need to work on learning your true worth. Many times people have dated someone, or several people in a row, that have broken down their sense of self. In therapy you can learn to see the truth about yourself, and to let go of negative messages that people have left you with.
Trust issues are one of the most common and pervasive issues that come up in individual therapy. Whether they originated from your parents infidelities, or from someone who has broken your trust in a relationship, it is an issue that is vital to address and correct. Have you ever looked through your partner's phone, questioned them about a comment someone made on their Facebook page, or just struggled to believe what they say in general? It sounds like trust is an issue for you, and until you are able to work through your issues of trust, you are never going to have a healthy relationship. If a partner feels like they can never earn your trust, they are often driven away from the relationship. If you feel the relationship is one worth having, you need to learn to be able to judge this individual uniquely, and realize the reasons that they would never want to hurt you. If you are willing to put in the time and effort to address these issues in therapy, it could just save your dating life!