“Do I have a dating pattern?!”
Whether you like it or not, you’re subconsciously following a dating pattern…
However, that’s not always a bad thing and it only becomes an issue if the pattern is negatively affecting your life. For example, it’s almost impossible to settle down if you have a habit of sabotaging relationships the second they get serious.
Despite what you might be thinking, there is still hope and this blog will show you exactly how to overcome limiting patterns for good…
What is a dating pattern?
To put it simply, a dating pattern is made up of your romantic habits and routines…
Furthermore, your pattern is something that you constantly fall back to and repeat when the going gets tough.
Although everyone’s got them, overcoming your pattern is a sure-fire way to attract the life you have always dreamed of. So where should you start?
Before you can overcome a pattern, first you must identify it and trace it back to its routes…
Rather than leaving you in the dark, I’ve put together a quick quiz to help you discover your pattern so we can systematically overcome it for good.
Once you’re aware of the pattern that’s calling the shots, you can dig a little deeper and take a trip down memory lane…
Because our relationships are often a reflection of our earliest memories. See, children are hardwired to observe, learn and copy which means if you grew up in a household of toxic relationships then that’s all you know…
Some patterns are formed out of comfort, others as a defence mechanism. However, learning how to rewrite them is the key to finding a happy and healthy relationship.
Why do people follow dating patterns?
Everything that I have previously covered is merely scratching the surface and to understand this concept fully, you must understand John Bowlby’s attachment theory.
See, for normal social development, a baby must form a connection with at least one primary caregiver. Before long, the child will begin to observe this relationship closely and use it as a baseline for relationships in general…
Which means the way we experience relationships as a child creates a blueprint for relationships later in life.
For example, there are 4 main attachment styles that can be traced back to childhood:
- Secure attachment
- Preoccupied attachment
- Dismissive attachment
- Fearful attachment
Obviously, everyone’s past experiences will create different forms of attachment however, using these as a baseline will give you a clearer idea of how your current pattern was formed.
On top of that, we unconsciously expect our partners to provide the same feelings that our parents did. Meaning everything from who you chose and how you act is nothing but a reflection of your earliest relationships…
As a result, those formative years created a strict set of instructions to guide you through the world of relationships and to this day you could still be ruled by those patterns.
Now, I’m sure you’re probably wondering: “How can I spot these patterns within my current relationships?”…
So here are the 5 most common dating patterns that have manifested into personalities.
5 common dating habits
Although this may work for particular relationships, most people don’t want an extra parent. So if you find yourself constantly nagging about household chores maybe it’s time to take a step back and evaluate your situation. After all, do you really want to parent your partner?
Worse yet, imagine leaving your childhood home just to move into another. Unfortunately, this is the case for lots of couples…
And although humans are unconsciously drawn to the familiar, that isn’t always a good thing. For example a study by Glenn Geher found that when partners mirrored a parents negative traits, relationship satisfaction was at an all time low.
This dating script is incredibly common and often leads to painful feelings of rejection. Despite its many forms, a good example is when one side of the relationship wants to get serious FAST… While the other wants to take things slow.
This hot & cold dynamic often comes from deep rooted insecurities…
And whether your low self esteem is looking for a quick win or just a sense of worth, the second it’s satisfied you will subconsciously sabotage the relationship.
Sure, there’s lots of possible explanations however, most of them stem from negative core beliefs developed in childhood.
Are you always the first one to say “I love you”? Or do you find yourself asking them to move in in every relationship? Well, you may be the leader in your relationships. This doesn’t have to be a bad thing however, it’s important to remember that you can’t control other people’s emotions or actions.
Now, some will argue that every relationship has a natural leader and that may be true. However, this leader feels the need to dictate everything which often results in domineering and controlling behaviour…
So, if you see yourself as the leader, make sure you aren’t becoming a controloholic and give your partner the freedom to express themselves!
The Love Enthusiast
This pattern can also be seen as a codependency and it often happens when one side of the relationship gives up their identity in an attempt to please the other. It can be extremely damaging as people end up isolating themselves away from their family and hobbies in order to be with their partner.
Like most of these patterns, this was probably developed through childhood trauma and it can affect your dating life in multiple ways such as:
- People pleasing
- Lack of boundaries
- Low self esteem
- Poor communication
- High sensitivity
Despite its kind hearted nature, those that assume the role of the nurse often form feelings of resentment towards their partner. At the end of the day, you can’t force someone to change so by trying to ‘fix’ them, you’re constantly fighting a losing battle…
But what’s worse is, when you’re focused on everyone else’s needs you’ll forget about your own and end up doing more harm than good.
Although the nurse is only trying to help, it usually comes from a place of pain. See, when a child doesn’t receive the basic care needed to develop, they’ll often overcompensate by becoming the carer that they never had.
Plus I have broken down 4 extra dating habits that men & women hate about each other here.
How to overcome limiting dating patterns
Firstly, figure out who your pattern is serving?
If you’re reading this blog then it’s probably not you…
Your mum, dad, brother, friend?
Regardless, you need to find out if your dating pattern is based on other people’s expectations and ditch them immediately.
Only once you’re free from expectations can you begin working towards the future YOU want.
And here’s how…
Step 1) Ask yourself: “How do I want my future relationships to form?”
Step 2) Picture your ideal relationship, how do they make you feel?
Step 3) Set yourself small goals that align with your ideal relationship. For example, if you want an equal relationship, stop giving your energy to those who aren’t returning it.
Step 4) Make small changes towards your goals. Remember, this is a gradual process so if you find yourself back in a negative pattern just brush it off and try something new.
Before you go…
Dating is hard enough as it is without a pattern working against you. Learning how to break it is one of the best things you can do for your love life and once it’s done, you’ll never look back!
If you want to take this one step further and reset your love life fully then take this quick quiz to see if you’re a good fit for my 28 day challenge!
WISHING YOU LOVE, ALWAYS,
Louanne Ward x