Added: Helen Dame - Date: 14.12.2021 01:35 - Views: 41669 - Clicks: 3002
No matter how many methods we try, we may still hit the same walls that leave us to believe that finding love has more to do with luck than fortitude.
However, psychologist and researcher Dr. Lisa Firestone makes a strong argument that there are tangible things we can actively work on in ourselves that, not only orient us toward finding love, but help us build a solid foundation for long-lasting and satisfying relationships. Firestone, co-author of Sex and Love in Intimate Relationshipshas worked with couples for more than 30 years and written extensively about romantic relationships. Here, we hear from her about the elements that get in our way of finding love and the best advice for overcoming internal obstacles and finding the love we say we want.
One of the primary ways we get in our own way when it comes to finding love is by maintaining certain psychological defenses. As Dr. Firestone wrote. These adaptations can cause us to become increasingly self-protective and closed off. Dynamics that hurt us in our early lives may have taught us to keep our guard up, not to trust too easily, or to expect people to behave a certain way in relationships. We may assume potential partners will be dishonest, unreliable, or uninterested, because our earliest caretakers were dishonest, dismissive, or rejecting.
Or, we may expect people to be demanding, intrusive, or to want too much from us, because we had a parent who was controlling, inconsiderate, or emotionally hungry. As a result, we build barriers around ourselves in which we feel self-protective i. Our deepest defenses, which stream from old experiences, can lead us to act aloof, insecure, or simply not ourselves when making romantic connections.
When people act on their defenses, they often choose less than ideal romantic partners. It sounds counterintuitive, but many of us are unconsciously driven to repeat and recreate negative patterns and dynamics from our past. As a result, we may be attracted to people who have qualities that are similar to people from our history.
We may retreat more Searching for love is it you more into our shell, while our partner controls more and more of the life we share. We may ultimately wind up feeling lost or resentful in the relationship. Robert Firestonepsychologist and author of Fear of Intimacy also father to Dr. Lisa Firestonehas presented a case for why most people are, to varying degrees, afraid of closeness.
Or, we may experience this fear on a more unconscious level, suddenly feeling more irritable or drawn to punish or push the other person away. These fears tend to deepen, the more a person starts to mean to us, which helps explain our ambivalence toward and resistance to finding love.
Learn more about the fear of intimacy. The language of our defense system and our fear of intimacy is what both Drs. From the minute we start dating or even thinking about dating, our minds tend to be flooded with not only negative, undermining thoughts toward ourselves, but critical and suspicious thoughts toward others. No one here even notices you. People just let you down. Even when it sounds self-protective, it keeps us from having the self-assurance to really go after what we want. Learn more about the critical inner voice. Our defenses can leave us feeling more selective, not in a positive, self-possessed way, but in a more cynical and limiting way that can lead us to hone in on and magnify the flaws in the people we meet.
For some people, these voices start in from the get go. Sometimes finding love means having to be vulnerable and put ourselves out there. We may be afraid of looking like a fool or of not being chosen. If we avoid competing i.
We build walls deed to keep us feeling safe. For some people, this may mean seeking isolation. Whatever this bubble may be for each of us, understanding what it is and how it operates can help us start to break out a little and challenge the defended posture that shuts other out. Another thing that can act as a barrier to finding love is the tendency to favor fantasy over reality. When it comes to dating and relationships, many of us still believe in the notion of a soulmate, one individual who can complement and complete us in every way.
While searching for someone with whom we feel a real connection and attraction and who ultimately feels like our soulmate is a worthy pursuit, sometimes we create unrealistic expectations and take a more passive role in our romantic destiny, because we hold a fantasy of what finding love will look Searching for love is it you.
Basically, we narrow our search in ways that can shut out opportunities. If we formed an insecure attachment as children, we may be more likely to feel insecure, anxious, or avoidant in our interpersonal relationships throughout our lives. This awareness orients us to make better choices, stick out challenges, and form more secure attachments.
Learn more about how your attachment style affects your relationships. We may also unconsciously look for partners who reinforce existing negative views we have about ourselves. If we think of ourselves as stupid, we may feel attracted to someone who acts superior. If we feel insecure, we may look for someone who builds us up unrealistically.
Think about the qualities you typically look for in a partner. What do you really hope to find? Are there certain qualities that you would avoid in the future?
Get to know the patterns behind the people you choose, so you can find ways to break out the cycle and find someone new to whom you can really connect. For example, we may not only seek out people who feel familiar based on our past, but once we start dating someone, are there ways that we distort them? Do we suddenly start to feel hypercritical? Do we start to feel suffocated, like we just need space? We can even start to provoke our partner to act in certain ways. If we see ourselves as irresponsible, for example, we may act in ways that are more flaky or absentminded.
We then feel furious when our partner starts to sound parental or instructive. We may hate when our partner calls too many times or wants our attention too often, but we may act distant and unavailable, which causes him or her to be the one who reaches out most of the time.
If we can get to know our side of the dynamic, the patterns and behaviors that undermine our goal of achieving intimacy, then we can start to challenge these inclinations before they start to rule our relationships. When it comes to dating, we rely pretty heavily on instinct. It simply means having a more adventurous attitude and seeing where things go.
It can help you step back from the situation and start to sort out, not just whether the situation is worth pursuing, but to make sense of your own reactions and understand your own patterns even better. Think of your inner coach as an old dialogue that was scripted in your past and plays out in your current life.
The goal of this voice is to make us maintain a comfortable and familiar, yet highly negative view of ourselves and your partner or potential partners. Get to know this inner critic, so you can challenge it, ignore its comments and reject its advice. Learn steps to conquer your critical inner voice. Finding love is an adventure filled with highs and lows. The road to get there can be filled with awkward encounters, epic disappointments, hysterical mishaps, and entangled paths that led nowhere.
It can be hard not to grow cynical or want to harden ourselves against the world, but the only way to find love is to stay vulnerable. Breaking free of the chains of our past can force us to face the pain of our past. The closer we come to finding love, the more we can expect our fear and sadness to arise. Staying vulnerable and open will likely prove our biggest challenge, not just in finding love, but in helping it last over time.
But it is worth it. The barriers may not come down easily or without injury, but they open us up to a new world of possibility. This is so hard. By May, I was terrified to be close to him. I broke it off. He treats me very well and is very respectful.
I do want to work on it but feel so stuck in my mind, thinking I should just forget about trying.
LoveRelationships By Carolyn Joyce. About the Author. Her interest in psychology led her to pursue writing in the field of mental health education and awareness. Carolyn's training in multimedia reporting has helped support and expand PsychAlive's efforts to provide free articles, videos, podcasts, and Webinars to the public.
She now works as an editor for PsychAlive and a communications specialist at The Glendon Associationthe non-profit mental health research organization that produced PsychAlive. Related Articles. Narcissistic relationships are formed when one or both partners struggle with a narcissistic personality. When the topic of infidelity spills into our daily dose of media, we may say we saw it coming, or…. Typical relationship scenario: You start out feeling like the very best version of yourself that you have ever been and….Searching for love is it you
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