Congratulations on getting to this point!

Hopefully, you’ve gained insight into your own relationships. You’ve learned about the chemical nature of relationship, Soulmates, and how your childhood family can affect your relationship.

Now, let’s look at the role of past relationships on who you’re attracted to.

 There are two kinds of relationships which impact your current and future relationships:

  1. The ones hidden in your subconscious mind
  2. The ones you haven’t let go of

The family you grew up in and past relationships can have you feeling comfortable with the familiar even when it’s painful.

More Childhood Reverberations

In Lesson 2 you learned how you absorbed family relationship patterns. You also learned that your experiences as a child can feel familiar in later relationships. 

Healthy families have much the same story, with the following characteristics:

  • Mutual support
  • Honest Communication
  • Trust
  • Dependability
  • Problem Solving

Unhealthy families have different stories. In addition to the opposite of the five characteristics above, you can add addictions, abuse, affairs, mental illness and more.

When you are attracted to someone new, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Where have I felt this before?
  • Who do these feelings remind me of?
  • Do I want to recreate that relationship?

People Like the Familiar

The familiar is comfortable. To try something unfamiliar, even when unhappy, is a risk. As the saying goes, “The devil you know is better than the devil you don’t know.”

Your childhood breeds familiarity. The family you grew up in is familiar to you and you’re attracted to that familiarity. You’re attracted to that “vibe” or “energy.” You can’t explain it, especially if you’re trapped in the strong chemicals of infatuation.

To have a different relationship than in childhood, you need to make a conscious decision to do so.

The key is to engage your mind and make rational decisions to overrule your heart and the chemicals your body produces.

If you grew up where there was addiction, abuse, abandonment, or other painful patterns, you are primed to repeat those patterns. Thankfully, not everyone does, but there is a tendency to do so.

Know what’s important to you in a relationship. (That’s the focus of the next module.) Know how valuable and wonderful you are. (That’s the next lesson.) You deserve a joyful, passionate and supportive relationship.

Your past romantic relationships, even those in adolescence, will give you valuable information about who you’re attracted to.

Romances of The Past

What type of person have you been attracted to? What qualities did your first crush have? How did they treat you? Taking the time to answer these questions will help you find a healthy life partner.

Let’s look at a few patterns:

    1. The injured one. You’ve heard about the white knight rescuing the damsel in distress. Women can also move into rescue mode. Have past relationships contained the quality of rescuing someone in need?
      • There’s nothing wrong with helping someone out, but do you want to be in a relationship with someone who may need continual rescuing?
      • Remember the “A” and “H” relationship?
      • Look at why you need to be in the role of rescuer. Was there someone in your childhood that you took care of? Are you continuing that role?
    2. The child. There’s a difference between being childlike and childish. Someone who is childlike has a joyful and delightful spirit. They’re also responsible. The childish person still acts like a teenager and won’t accept responsibility. Qualities of the childish, immature person are:
      • Cannot have a serious conversation
      • Has to have their way and pouts when they don’t get it
      • Is unaware of your needs
      • Doesn’t learn from mistakes
      • Overindulges in food, drink, activities
      • Doesn’t keep commitments
      • Expects you to keep the relationship going
    3. The abuser:
      • Physical abuse is obvious. If your partner hits you, that’s abuse. If it happens more than once, that’s a pattern. If you make excuses for them, consider why you don’t feel valuable enough to be treated with love and respect.
      • If your partner forces you to have sex, that’s rape. It’s a different type of physical abuse. Find out why you don’t recognize your value.
      • Emotional abuse is often more difficult to identify. If either of you makes demeaning comments, denies love, lies, tries to convince the other what you know is true isn’t true, you’re in the midst of emotional abuse.
      • People who grow up in abusive homes have a higher probability of becoming abusers or victims. Find someone to help you resolve these issues. You deserve the best of life.
    4. The addict. There are many kinds of addictions:
      • Alcohol
      • Drugs (street/prescription)
      • Sex
      • Shopping
      • Romance
      • Gambling
      • Food
      • Nicotine
      • Exercise
      • Gaming
      • Internet
      • Work
      • Control
      • If addiction was part of your childhood, you have a higher probability of becoming an addict or being in a relationship with an addict.

Summary

The relationships you experienced in your childhood can feel so familiar to you that you re-create them as an adult. If you examine your past love relationships, you’ll discover the qualities of the person you’re attracted to.

In the next lesson, discover why breaking up with someone is so hard to do. Before you move on, please continue learning about yourself by completing the exercise below.

Here’s What You Need To Do Today

Reflection

Take a few minutes to discover how your family influenced your current choice in partners.

      1. List the qualities of your parents or primary caretakers.
      2. List the qualities in your current and past partners.
      3. Circle the characteristics which are the same.
      4. Put a checkmark next to those you like.
      5. Put an “x” next to those you don’t like.

 

Additional Resources

I Forgive Myself for Past Relationships


Affirmation Desktop Wallpaper