What is a toxic dating pattern, you ask?
It's a pattern that you do over and over again and get the same frustrating and painful result. Here are the most common toxic dating patterns I see in my practice:
#1 Dating someone who is unavailable
#2 Giving up at online dating or dating in general too quickly and then feeling like dating doesn't work for you
#3 Attracting someone who doesn't give you what you need in a relationship and working hard to earn their love
#4 Getting attached and invested too quickly, and then the relationship ending and feeling disappointed
#5 Choosing someone that is really into you but that you are not into and so you end up feeling unhappy in the relationship
Maybe you see yourself in one or two of the patterns above, or a combination of them. What is important is identifying the pattern that keeps showing up in your dating life and taking a stand to shift it. Usually these patterns are operating on an unconscious level of awareness. The more you bring the pattern to consciousness, the more there is a possibility of creating something new instead. So what do you do once you identify the pattern?
1. Work with a Dating Coach, therapist, or mentor. By having this person as your guide you will co-create a healthy, loving, and supportive relationship in your life, much like you do in a romantic relationship. This will create a new paradigm of healthy love in your life. In addition, you will have an expert help you unwind the pattern and choose something different.
2. Take a stand. Have a commitment ceremony with yourself or others where you commit to breaking these patterns once and for all! Tell your friends and family that you have this pattern and that you ask for their help and support in shifting it.
3. Notice the people in your life who have healthy relationships. Ask them, what are your beliefs about the opposite sex, dating, and relationships? Also, ask them for specific advice about how to shift your toxic pattern.
4. Identify where the pattern originated and what you would have to believe about yourself to attract something different. For example, a belief might be "I always attract unavailable men" and you could instead choose to believe "I attract loving healthy men who are available for committed partnership."
5. Use affirmations to anchor in the new belief. Post the affirmations in your house, on your mirror, in your car. Some affirmations I use with my clients are: I deserve healthy and fulfilling love. I am worthy of love. I am great, he's great, I allow myself to let the relationship to unfold. Time will tell. I allow myself to receive more than I have ever experienced before in a love relationship.
Also, remember, you are not alone in having toxic dating patterns, it is very common, and the more you bring compassion and love to yourself, you will heal whatever is getting in the way of breaking your pattern.
With the help of a coach, therapist, and/or mentor, positive thoughts and beliefs, support from your community - You can call in the happiest and most fulfilling romantic relationship of your life!