Your lizard brain has a lot to answer for. The size of a bean, it exerts a powerful influence over your choice of romantic partners. The lizard brain’s main concern is ensuring survival. And it’s one strategy for keeping us safe is to keep everything familiar. Stick with what you know. Stay away from what (or who) you don’t.
If you take an honest look at your relationship history it’s probable that there’s a clear pattern to it. What’s the dominant type of man you’re attracted to? Is he troubled? Is he in need of ‘fixing’ (like a house in complete disrepair which the realtor says has ‘great potential’)? Does he self-medicate with alcohol or drugs? Does he have poverty consciousness and view the world through a lens of scarcity? Or is he a reckless spender with a lousy credit score? Is he emotionally unavailable or narcissistic? Or is he an energy vampire who’ll suck the life out of you?
Most of us have a type of man we’re drawn to again and again even though we know they don’t make us happy. They may have some qualities that remind us of our fathers and that makes us feel safe at some level. A desire for familiarity is driving our choices, not logic and sound judgement. To break free from a relationship pattern, which hasn’t brought us happiness, we need to work with our lizard brain. We need to take what’s familiar to us and make it unfamiliar. And then make the unfamiliar familiar.
What this means in practice is changing deep-seated beliefs we hold about ourselves. If our belief is that we’re unworthy of a respectful partner as we’re inherently flawed then we attract a man who reflects this back to us. He’s selfish, he lets texts go unanswered for days and it’s all on his terms. This type of man is familiar to us, we’ve been dating some version of him since we were 15. If we pull out that destructive belief and replace it with a supportive one – I’m worthy of respect – this changes our self-image. It doesn’t happen overnight but repeating our new belief allows it to take root.
“When you approve of yourself you will also attract people who approve of you. When you have a low opinion of yourself you will inevitably attract people who agree with that low opinion.” ~Terri Cole
If we don’t do this work on our subconscious beliefs, we face a future of failed relationships. We’ll continue to attract men who won’t treat us well. We’ll continue to get ‘played’ and ‘ghosted’. We’re staying inside our zone of familiarity even though it’s causing us great misery. It’s time to stop repeating the same scenario with different men. It’s time to make being respected and loved a familiar feeling.