If you are reading this article, chances are you have noticed a trend in either your romantic or platonic relationships that leads you to ask the question “Why do I keep attracting the same type of people?”
When you ask that question, you are wondering if there is something specific about you that attracts the same people. You are open to experiencing relationships with different people but you can’t seem to find them.
It’s your thinking and behavioral patterns as well as who you are willing to accept into your life that leads you into the same kind of relationship cycle. This article will explore how our earliest relationships influence relationship dynamics in our adult life, and why we accept certain people into our lives.
We are creatures of habit and almost all of our day-to-day activities are based on patterned routines, this also includes the way we think. “As the environment turns on different circuits in your brain, you begin to think equal to your environment… and as long as you think equal to everything that’s familiar and known to you, you keep creating more of the same life.” – Dr. Joe Dispenza
As you see the same people and go to the same places, and do the same things at the same time, these habits become your thoughts. Our thinking influences our actions and behaviors and our actions and behaviors influence the people who gravitate toward us and the people we accept into our lives. Only when we break out of these habits can we see changes.
In your early stages of life, if you had dysfunctional or hurtful relationships with people in your life (i.e. parents or close relatives), your chances of repeating the negative relationship cycle in your adult life are high. Even though you are likely to repeat the cycle, oftentimes you are looking for the validation you never received in your early relationships.
The problem is, we internalize negative messages that came from these early relationships. “An example of this is feeling ‘not good enough' because no matter what you did, you could never get your parent's approval” – Dr. Tracy Marks. These internalized feelings or thoughts lie deep in your subconscious so how they play out in your relationships is not always apparent.
Initially, when you start a new relationship you feel validated because you are admired and accepted. As the relationship grows, as time goes on, and the “emotional high” dies out you may start to interpret small cues and behaviors that reinforce the negative messages that came from your earliest relationships. If you feel “not good enough”, then you can be very sensitive to criticism from your partner. If these early negative messages are never addressed the cycle is repeated in another relationship.
Another reason you may tend to get into the same type of relationship is that you have not established a strong sense of boundaries and don’t understand your values. Having strong boundaries enables you to address red flags at the beginning of the relationship and advocate for yourself when the way you are treated does not align with your self-worth and values.
Instinctually we form relationships for survival and we look for meaningful relationships that are going to contribute to our well-being; mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Many times, when we are not in tune with what we need to enhance us mentally and emotionally or we don’t understand our values, we choose people who are wrong for us. If you don’t have high self-esteem and a clear sense of worth you are in danger of getting into abusive or toxic relationships.
Building a healthy relationship with yourself is the first step in improving self-worth. Learning how to properly love yourself will make way for healthy individuals to come into your life, if you love yourself and understand your worth you will have less tolerance for people who treat you less than.
This can be accomplished through self-exploration, making changes that improve your physical, spiritual, and mental health, and being open to new experiences. Spending some time alone, and setting boundaries with the people in your life are also necessary changes.