When it is You - Why Relationships Repeatedly Fail

By Elizabeth Cobb, LCSW

Have you ever heard the cliché phrase “it’s not you, it’s me”? Have you heard this phrase a lot? Well if you find that your relationships don’t last long and end badly, it may actually be you. I know this may sound harsh, but it’s not as bad as it sounds. What I mean is, you may be stuck in an unhealthy cycle of being attracted to the wrong people and ending up in dead-end relationships. 

Let me explain. Do you find yourself dating the same guy over and over again? Not literally the same guy but the same type? For example, do you repeatedly date the emotionally unavailable guy, the abusive guy or the needy guy? As human beings we don’t like change. Even if change is good, it can be scary and feel strange. feel uncomfortable and be scary. Often we stay remain in unproductive patterns or relationships because of that a fear of change. We are attracted to familiarity. So If you are dating the same guy over and over again and if you don’t make a change, you will likely continue to get the same disappointing results. 

So how do you get out of the cycle of picking the wrong guy? Breaking the pattern requires insight and discipline. Because we crave familiarity, we are likely to have intense chemistry with someone who fits into our typical negative pattern. So when you have that intense connection on the first date, pause and ask yourself why. Are you attracted to him because he’s really your soulmate, or because he fits into your usual pattern? The reality is that someone who doesn’t fit the pattern may be a better match, even though you may not be attracted to him initially. You may feel ambivalent about that nice, emotionally available guy, but there actually may be many rational reasons to be with him. Even though the initial passion isn’t there, try to give this guy a chance! Often chemistry grows once you get to know someone. Go on three dates with any guy you like, even if you don’t feel the spark immediately. See if the passion builds as you get to know him better. 

Apart from the tendency to be attracted to the wrong people, there are many other reasons relationships repeatedly fail. Sometimes People may have trust issues, a history of abuse,in the past, have a fear of intimacy or issues with communicating. If you fall into one of these categories, you could benefit from therapy to learn more about yourself and how to be in a healthy, loving relationship. 

Elizabeth Cobb, LCSW is in private practice in New York City. Please contact Elizabeth if you or a friend need counseling for relationship issues. To find out more visit cobbpsychotherapy.com.