Narcissistic people are everywhere. But does it seem like you keep finding them all and getting caught in one toxic relationship after another? If you want to know the rules of attraction that will help you meet someone without narcissistic behavior or toxic traits, there are some patterns in your love life you need to pay attention to.
Attraction works simply in love and relationships, and the rules of attraction are these: What you put out into the world you’re going to receive back into your life. Narcissists will show you signs of attraction very early on so that you may not realize it’s a toxic relationship until it’s too late.
But what if there’s a reason you keep falling for these guys?
Does it seem you’re attracting the same type of person — narcissistic or non-committal? Or does it seem that your relationships have a similar vibe in that you only know how to attract men that are bad for you?
It’s not uncommon for people to notice they always attract addicts, narcissists, or emotionally abusive men. It becomes hard for them to imagine meeting someone different — an appropriate and healthy partner they can thrive with in a long and prosperous relationship.
A significant part of figuring out how to change negative patterns is to explore why they keep happening. The next step is to develop a plan to do things differently. Looking at the “why” is to help you gain the self-awareness and insight necessary to identify the reasons you may attract and accept emotionally unavailable and inappropriate partners. Many of these reasons lie within your subconscious mind beneath awareness.
Here are three ways to discover why you repeat unhealthy relationship and love patterns and attract narcissistic or not-good-for-you guys:
1. Explore your early family history.
What was your parents’ marriage like? Do your romantic partners have negative traits of either of your parents? Was there someone consistent and reliable in your life? Did you experience chaos or abuse? As a child, were you given adult responsibilities?
Reflect upon how these early relationships and your family’s communication styles as they may have influenced your partner choices. There is often a comfort level or a familiarity about it that feels normal in a romantic relationship, even if you know on some conscious level that it is unhealthy or making you unhappy.
2. Discover the themes in your dating and love life.
Write down each significant romantic relationship you’ve had. Also, make sure to include the short but perhaps intense ones or the ones where you were infatuated, but the feelings were not reciprocated. Include anything you think is important. Then, write down the general traits of each partner.
Also, think about how each relationship ended. Are there similarities and themes you notice about the relationship or the individual? What does this information tell you?
3. Acknowledge your contribution to the relationship dynamics.
Do you tend to be overly anxious or insecure? Do you create drama or chaos in your life? Or maybe do you play the victim role? Might you be sabotaging potential healthy relationships?
You may have traits and behaviors that perpetuate these patterns as well. You should also look at your expectations in relationships, understanding that believing in a perfect union or a “soulmate” will lead to disappointment. If you only blame your partners, you may not fully understand how you get stuck in the first place. Insight without behavioral changes is useless. Therefore, figuring out how you will act differently once armed with this new information about yourself is a crucial piece.
With that in mind, here are 3 ways you can change unhealthy relationship patterns and attract quality men into your life:
1. Take a positive and cautious approach to dating.
Look at dating as “meeting another human” and nothing else. If there is a spark, that’s great. But you still don’t want to crank up your hopes about this person you just met.
Slow down and think about what’s essential: Similar values, life goals that align, no obvious red flags, and so on. Likewise, don’t ever rush a romantic relationship. If it’s meant to be, you won’t be ghosted or treated poorly just because you took it slow.
2. Believe you deserve a loving relationship where you are treated well (even if you don’t feel it yet).
People tend to have what’s called a “confirmation bias.” It’s the tendency for you to interpret new evidence or information as confirmation of your existing beliefs. For example, if you believe you are unworthy of love, you will filter out information that tells you that you are worthy of love. Instead, you will accept the evidence that supports this pessimistic view.
This bias is dangerous and will keep you stuck in the same patterns. But if you begin recognizing the positive information you’re ignoring, you may start to change how you view yourself.
3. Focus on what you can effectively change, control, and fix.
Another person doesn’t fall into this category! You can’t change the past either. But you can learn and grow from it. You can make better decisions in your future. You can rewrite your life narrative and include consistent, reliable, emotionally engaged, and trustworthy partners in it. What’s more, you can have a fulfilling and purposeful life with or without a romantic partner.
Science tells us that we are wired to repeat problematic behavior. It’s actually a psychological and physiological drive to resolve the problem once and for all. The apparent concern is when you apply the same solution repeatedly after seeing it didn’t work the first time.
Figuring out new solutions and patterns takes a conscious effort, or your brain keeps firing down the familiar neural pathway it always has. It’s true for many things you do, and that’s why habits are hard to change. Your love life is not exempt from this fact. It’s also why you repeat patterns even when they cause you pain and don’t help.
When you try a new relationship strategy, it may feel strange and uncomfortable, but that should provide some assurance that you are moving in the right direction.
Originally written by Marni Feuerman on YourTango
Photo by Mark Pecar on Unsplash