So in one of my YouTube videos somebody asked, “Do you have any suggestions for questions to ask myself when I’m trying to examine my relationship patterns?”
This is a really good question.
I think that because it’s broad, it’s a little bit tougher to answer.
But I think I would ask myself like when I’m in relationships, what do the most common conflicts tend to be about?
Where do things tend to go wrong?
Where do things break down?
When I think back over my relationships from the past, what do I wish I had done differently?
What do I wish was happening?
Anyway, so questions to ask yourself to examine your relationship patterns, I think asking yourself like where do things go wrong?
Where does it break down?
When is there a problem?
Secondly, I think asking yourself like when you are selecting people, are there certain things that you have selected for in the past that have served you well and are there things you have selected for in the past that have not served you well?
I think there’s also an element of looking at what it is that we value in a connection, particularly early in the connection.
So I know for myself, for a long time what I value the most was this like rushing sense of passion.
It’s very like huge, rushing sense of passion.
And what I figured out after a while is that actually, a lot of times for me, that feeling that I was attributing to passion was this kind of like destabilization of kind of either like sacrificing my boundaries or being with someone who was going past my boundaries or offering too much too early that it was not actually a healthy feeling for me.
And so, are you looking for something that is serving you or are you selecting for options or traits that are actually creating more problems for you?
A lot of us when we date we end up kind of unconsciously seeking out characteristics or traits that are aligned with ways we have been hurt in the past.
There are ways that we can try to like re-experience things that hurt us to try to have a better ending this time where we think like, “Yes, in the past, when I dated someone who had this characteristic, it was really terrible and didn’t work. But this time, it will be different. This time it will work.”
And I think if you have noticed that you are doing that, it’s important to pay attention too and to really think about is going through those choices like is essentially kind of putting yourself back through the same traumas over and over actually serving you or is it not?
Another question you might ask yourself in looking at your relationship patterns is, what do you do really well?
Like if you were to poll your former partners, what would they say that you are really good at or that is like your best skill?
And what might your former partners say is your biggest drawback?
One of the benefits of being friends with a lot of my former partners, is we get to talk about where stuff went wrong.
We get to talk about their experience of it and my experience of it and share the different ways in which we saw the relationship and the conflicts in the relationship and the successes in the relationship.
And I’ve learned a lot about my patterns by having frank conversations with my former partners and hearing from them about their experience of things and how the way that I was experiencing and perceiving something didn’t necessarily line up with how they were.
And I think also talking to your friends.
Sometimes our friends because they may be who we go to to talk about relationship problems, they may have heard us talk about stuff that goes wrong and have a better idea of what those patterns are than we do because they’re on the outside.
So ask your friends as well like, “What do you think are my relationship patterns? What are the things that are good patterns? What are the things that are not so great patterns?”
So that you can get a better feeling for it.