On Patterns

A new friend recently shared how he’d been cheated on in his last FOUR romantic relationships.  A red light immediately flashed as this spoke clearly to me of some unhealthy relational pattern that keeps getting replayed with my friend’s heart as the stomping grounds.  He was on a merry-go-around of repeated disasters and he needed to get out….

It might be tough, but if life is giving you the same results over and over, it is important to stop looking at the external (blaming others) and start looking inside to find out what is going on that we are attracting the same treatment/people/situations?  Yeah maybe the girls’ name is Susan now instead of Sally and maybe she has brown hair instead of black, but isn’t it the same person you are dating?  I’m not suggesting that it is my friend’s fault that those individuals chose to betray him, but only that it is his responsibility to learn from relationships with people that have these similar traits and avoid them in the future.  Otherwise he will get the same result – someone cheating on him….AGAIN!

I have noticed the same sort of thing in my life (until recently *of course* :).  In a crowded room, across a dance floor, I managed to pick out a guy like a magnet that was eerily similar to a terrible ex-boyfriend.  Although they looked nothing alike so it couldn’t have been that that attracted me, it was absolutely creepy how similar their pasts were – even their laughs!?!  Thankfully enough prayer and reflection had occurred in between there to help me identify the pattern and step away soon enough with my heart intact.  BUT, I was still attracted (in a SEA of people)!! It is scary how powerfully our broken parts can draw us to unhealthy things/people…even after identification and subsequent denunciation of these parts….I guess healing is not a process to be rushed.

…Especially in romantic relationships, I think  reflection is SO important.  Through such reflection, we can identify patterns and reflect on our attractions and what transpired.  Particularly, if you are finding yourself in the same place over and over again, I suggest that you take a break – a mortorium in dating and ask yourself the tough questions.  What are you looking for in a partner?  Why?  What attracts you to a person? Why?  What is similar about those I have dated in the past that have left me in the same place?  What can I learn from all this?    If you are running from one relationship  to the next, without the proper relection, how are you going to learn from the past?

There was a time I thought that the brokenness in me would just not allow for me to be attracted to someone who was healthy and good for me.  I always seemed to be attracted to the ‘bad boys’ and the good guys who paid attention to me left me bored.  Was I stuck between either being bored or brokenhearted? For many years, I prayed for God’s protection from myself (first of all) and also from the wrong type of men.  I also prayed to value the things in a man that God valued (character) and to see this clearly in a man.  I also sought a lot of advice from wise men and women who had traversed these paths before me….

….I am so grateful I took the time to reflect on my unhealthy patterns….otherwise I would not be here enjoying the first truly healthy romantic relationship of my life. 🙂

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