How to break toxic relationship patterns for good

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Couple hugging in the kitchen

When we think of finding love, we rarely do the groundwork involved within ourselves to know a) if we are even ready to date b) what it is that we need and how to identify it, and c) are we someone who is dateable?

We assume that cultivating a lasting and healthy relationship begins with finding the right person, when in fact it begins with understanding yourself and becoming the right match.

When I was approached by the ABC to be the dating coach and relationship expert for their reality TV mini documentary The Ex Files, it made complete sense. Here was TV show that dealt with 9 real life people who had repetitive patterns of broken or toxic relationships and needed professional help from a psychologist to help them identify what their roadblocks were.

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However, they required more than just a few labels, they needed solutions to know what to actually do on a first date, what to look for and what standard to set; so that they had accountability and a plan of attack.  Hence where I was able to step in and formulate an actual practical plan for each person based off their current struggles.

This not only gave them a sense of direction, but also hope. Finding love when you struggle to love yourself becomes easier when you are able to have standards to work towards, not just diagnosis to be aware of.

The change starts with you

Because you are the common denominator of your life and therefore the decisions you make daily and in your relationships, determine the quality of it.  We scoff at the idea of someone telling you how to date or what to do, and yet we have more broken relationships and singles at this point in time than ever before in history.

We adopt the idea that someone else or the right timing is the solution, when in fact we are the source of both our issues and our healing.

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What were the solutions?

So, what were the common concerns and solutions that I gave? Without going through the entire list, there were two main reoccurring themes: lack or self-love, and holding on to the pain from the past.

For the majority of the group I told to focus on detoxing from dating and learning to date themselves first in order to find true happiness and fulfilment out of another.  I then cemented the idea of less is more and to pace themselves in order to understand if they are dating from the right mindset.

We are so caught up in instant gratification that we lose sight of who it actually is we are inviting into our lives and why we behave certain ways in that relationship.

My last tip for you …

The truth is, if you are repeating the same patterns then you are the source of the change, not another person. And sometimes a little help along the way means you can shortcut the process in order to have the love life you desire. As I always say you can work hard or smart in love, and it’s the latter that I encourage.

Do you have thoughts you’d like to share? Let us know in the comments below or join the conversation on FacebookTwitter & Instagram. And if you are ready to narrow down the world of possibilities, sign up to eharmony today- find someone made for you.
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