Do you repeat the same mistakes in your relationships? Have you ever wondered why this happens?
When you look back at your past relationships, do you ever notice a pattern? Do you always make the same mistakes and fall for the emotionally unavailable ones (guilty!), the manipulators, or those that cheat?
Apparently, there is a neurological and psychological explanation for this behavior.
Humans are creatures of habit, in a professional, friendship and romantic capacity. You end up doing the same things over and over because it feels easy and comfortable to you. It’s common to avoid the unknown because you don’t know where it will lead… even though you are looking for happiness.
According to a psycho-emotional philosophical author, we, in fact, are not looking for happiness but familiarity. Attachment theory tells us what your future relationships are going to be like. How your parents treated you and acted towards you as a child will affect how you relate to people. These relationships when you were younger, will have given you a model as to how relationships should be.
According to de Botton, the author, you unconsciously look for your parents in your future romantic relationships. Your romantic partner does depend on the attachment you had as a child.
Two doctors from the University of Denver, Dr. Hazan and Dr. Shaver, found that 60% of people who underwent the study have secure attachment. The other 40% have an insecure attachment, which is further broken down between avoidant and anxious attachment.
What is an insecure attachment?
If one of your parents wasn’t around or didn’t give you much attention, you might end up with anxious or avoidant attachment. This could lead you to search for a partner who is emotionally unavailable. If you were abandoned as a child, you might look for love where you have to earn the other person’s love.
An anxious attachment person may need to be with their partner constantly. They might also need the frequent reassurance of their partner’s feelings. If you are a dismissive-avoidant person you can emotionally detach yourself from relationships. This makes you feel independent, you have learned to depend only on yourself.
How to change these attachments
When you repeat the same mistakes in your relationships, it is down to psychological and neurological issues. Your brain is trained to head towards familiar paths and this does make it difficult to change this behavior. You must first there recognize the pattern of picking the wrong people, it might take time, and it will be painful, but its down to you to recognize your pattern.
Once you have established this pattern, take small, slow steps to change it. This will also be difficult, if you are attracted to emotionally unavailable people, for example, you should cut ties with these people, your brain might try to tell you they will change, but they won’t. So you must. This new behavior will train your brain to follow a slightly different path, and in turn, you will no longer make the same mistakes, and instead pick people who will make you happy and feel secure.
By Holly W.