|Same Types of Partners
Ever notice that people attract the same types of partners over
and over again? Isn't it perplexing when you end a bad
relationship -- vowing to never again date a person like that --
yet seem to end up with a new partner who turns out to have
those same qualities? In the beginning of each relationship,
you are convinced this time it will be different. But at the end
of each of these relationships, you wonder if you will ever stop
doing this to yourself.
Why does this happen? One primary reason has to do with our
childhood wounds. The wounds I speak of are not intentionally
inflicted, but are a normal part of growing up. Nevertheless,
they shape our relationships.
A woman, who as a child didn't get enough attention from her
father, may find herself partnering with men who don't have time
for her or who are not inclined to give her attention. She may
spend the bulk of her time in any given relationship chasing
after her partner, trying to convince him that she is worth
A man whose mother wasn't interested in the boyish things he
enjoyed during his childhood, such as winning at sports, may
involve himself with women who don't care about the things that
are important to him. His partners may not celebrate his wins
with him. He may spend the bulk of his time in relationships
feeling the same way he felt when he was a kid -- unimportant
This man and woman, and millions of others like them, keep
finding the same types of partners over and over again. Why?
Because when we have a wound, or a need that was not met in our
childhood, we will re-live it over and over again as adults. We
will retell the traumas of our childhood over and over again in
our behavior, until we are finally heard. We will find partners
who are similar to our parental figures in just those behavior
patterns that caused us pain and disappointment in the first
place. This way, if we are really good and lovable, our partners
will finally love us and care about us. They will change for us
and we will get our wounds healed. We will become whole.
The funny thing is, often whatever it is we want from our
partners is exactly the thing that they don't know how to give
us. And it is exactly the thing they need to learn how to give
in order to heal their own wounds. So, we are not wrong for
asking to be loved. We are actually giving our partners a gift
by asking for what we want.
There is only one problem. In order to meet our needs, our
partners have to heal their own childhood traumas. And they may
not be able to, or may not want to, or may not know how to. They
may be perfectly happy the way they are and perfectly satisfied
with the status of their relationships. They may not see any
need for change.
Unfortunately, many people pick partners who are not willing to
grow. In fact, they pick them just for that reason. It's not
enough to get your needs met. You must convert and change your
partner. It doesn't count as healing your childhood wounds if
your partner grows willingly. He or she must be a hard case and
you must win him or her over with your incredible lovability.
This is a no-win situation for both partners.
So, what do you do when you notice you are picking the same
kind of partner over and over again? What do you do when you
notice you are picking people you have to convince to love you?
First and foremost, understand what you are really doing in
relationships. Look at your motivations. Look at the story of
your life that you are trying to tell.
Second, start to heal those childhood wounds by giving to
yourself. Didn't get enough attention as a child? Spend an hour
a day with yourself in silence finding out how you feel and who
you are. Didn't get enough toys? Establish a separate savings
account and call it "Play Money." Spend it only on toys, and
make sure to spend it all and often. You get the idea. Get your
Thirdly, learn how to be only with people who are willing to
grow. People who are not willing to grow are not bad. But being
in an intimate relationship with them will hurt, because
relationships are always about growth.
And finally, choose people who want to be with you, past the
Be conscious and choose wisely. It's your life. Make it full of
Your Relationship Coach,
This article was originally published by Coach Rinatta Paries
in "The Relationship Coach Newsletter," a weekly e-zine for
people who want fulfilling relationships. For singles, the
newsletter will help you attract your Mr. or Ms. Right. If
you're in a relationship, you will learn to create more
closeness and intimacy with your mate. To subscribe, go to
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