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Saturday, 1 May 2010

How to Break Unhealthy Relationship Patterns

If you're having trouble finding Mr. Right, it might be that you have too much old relationship  baggage. Because our external relationships mirror what's happening inside of us, it's smart to look *inward* to determine why you're getting the results you're getting. Let's take a look at how you can break those unhealthy relationship patterns and attract your one true love once and for all.

1. Take great care of yourself. This topic is given a lot of lip service, and it's likely that you already know it. But, what most people wind up doing is depriving themselves in the important ways and indulging themselves in the stuff that doesn't matter (like that chocolate bar that you "deserve"). Here's what I suggest: start accepting yourself exactly as you are and spoiling yourself with "the good stuff"--whether that's time to read that book you've been wanting to read, a long bath, or a heart-to-heart chat with a good friend. Taking care of yourself is actually about doing what's going to make you feel loved and cared for--not about indulging those desires that aren't always good for you.
2. Treat the people in your life better. Are you the kind of person who's on the phone with someone while you're out with someone else? Or do you give the person you're with your full attention? (You know the right answer here.) Are you the kind of person who makes eye contact with everyone in the grocery store, offers a smile, and sometimes a Hello or do you pretend you're the only person shopping the aisles? Do you say "thank you" at least several times a day? Aim to treat people really, really well, whether they're people you know or strangers. Believe it or not, how we treat other people is a big reflection on how much we value ourselves, and treating other people better is actually a really easy way to improve your self esteem which goes a long way towards breaking old relationship habits.
3. Forgive all your exes. Yes, even if he cheated on you with your best friend. Yes, even if he betrayed you horrifically and treated you badly. Forgive 'em all. This DOESN'T mean take them back, it just means let go of the relationship fully, release yourself from reliving it, and release your anger, bitterness, and disappointment about how things turn out. By truly releasing the past, and forgiving all your former flames once and for all... you'll be ready to truly break old patterns and find the love of your life.
4. Practice "open" posture. This means, shoulders back, head up, looking people in the eye with a smile, mimicking the body language of people who are warm and friendly. If you tend to hunch over and try to take up as little space as possible, practice embracing being seen and acknowledged. This open posture will come to you much more naturally now that you've followed step #3 and forgiven your exes--that's because you won't need all that armor you'd subconsciously been wearing.
5. Only accept the great guys. If you have a history of dating losers, there's really only one solution: stop dating losers. I know that sounds like an oversimplification, but you'll find that after you've been practicing the previous four steps, this will come much more easily to you. Once you've gotten in the habit of treating other people with kindness and compassion (and treating yourself the same) you'll KNOW with absolute certainty that you deserve this same level of respect and care. And that makes it much easier to hold out until you find the love of your life.

- It's easier than you might think to release old relationship baggage, but you have to do the work--you can't just plop in front of the TV with your ice cream and distract yourself.


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