1. Examine old patterns. Do your past relationships follow a certain pattern? Review them closely and look for common threads. Most people's past relationships follow a certain cadence—you meet, fall in love, and fall out of love. However, the details of where and how you met, what made you fall in love and subsequently out of love can give you important insight.
Take a look at your past relationships and look for recurring themes. You might even create a table with “Met,” “Fell in Love,” and “Out of Love” and describe what happened during each phase.
For instance, if you fell in love with a past partner because they "rescued" you from depression, it makes sense that you might not have felt the same level of attachment with the person once the depression lifted. Perhaps after your mood improved, you began to notice not-so-great traits about your ex.
2. Own your destructive habits. The hard part about revisiting old relationships is having to take responsibility for the role you played in them ending. Reflect on your most recent romantic relationships and think about how they came to an end.
What caused your past relationships to end? What could you have done better?
You might find that each time your partner wants to commit, you cheat on them because you are secretly afraid of commitment. Take ownership for whatever role you played in the relationship's end.
3. Set concrete relationship goals. Once you have identified the common patterns that occur in your relationships and the roles you play, set action-oriented goals to change these patterns.
Let's say, you realized that you have a tendency to run from conflict, you might set a goal to learn better conflict resolution skills to face your problems. If you have commitment issues, you might communicate this to a new partner so they can help you take measures to resist sabotaging the relationship when things get serious.
4. See a therapist. Changing faulty relationship patterns is challenging to do on your own. It can help to see a professional therapist who can work with you to spot and overcome negative relationship habits so that you can have the healthy, mature relationship you desire.
If you are already in a romantic relationship, you might choose to bring your partner along to some of the therapy sessions, so you can learn techniques for addressing both your bad relationship habits.
If your partner is not willing to seek help or work on serious communication issues, be cautious about staying in the relationship. Improvement can't come from just one person.
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