OK, let’s get a common idea straight from the beginning: the human mind doesn’t have a secret transmitter that alerts every unsuitable individual in the vicinity that a willing target is close by.
It doesn’t, no matter how much you want to believe it. It’s got nothing to do with pheromones, hormones, or any other type of special body chemistry.
And yet, somehow or another, you always end up getting into the same type of relationship with your mother rolling her eyes and muttering that she wonders what on earth you see in this latest disastrous liaison. So, what’s going on if it’s not some secret signal that the rest of the world knows about but you somehow never discovered?
There is a secret, but you might want to dismiss it immediately; you are attracted to them, and somehow, without knowing it, you’ve advertised that fact. Now, there can be a dozen or more reasons why that should be the case, but here are some of the most common ones.
- You might perceive your parents as stuffy and boring and want to be different from them, so you seek out those flashy, adventurous, and exciting individuals. Unfortunately, they are also often irresponsible.
- Maybe you lack confidence, so you go for the needy type of individual who makes you feel important because they can’t live without you. And they won’t challenge you too much, either. But they do tend to drain you of emotion.
- Perhaps you like the idea of being a saviour in some way, so seek out the hurt, frail, and damaged one who will revere you for changing your life. The problem is they then leave you for somebody who they can now handle confidently.
- It could even be that you know who and what you want but suffer from the ‘I’m not good enough’ syndrome. So, you unconsciously reject their advances while responding to those who seem somehow ‘less’. Unfortunately, those who are “less” are usually less at everything, including love.
- But it can be a lot darker. If you grew up with dysfunction, it can be an ingrained but invisible need to find more of the same. This is why children of those with a dependency of some sort often seek out people with a similar dependency. The familiarity makes it feel okay. Safe, even. That’s called destructive security.
It can be difficult to kick the habit, but not impossible as long as you never underestimate the power of the subconscious. It doesn’t give a fig for what you consciously want to happen – it has its agenda and is pretty much unstoppable in following it, even though you might have no idea how it does that.
So, you need to change the subconscious programme, and the first step is to recognise the truth of an oft-quoted fact: if you keep doing what you’ve always done, you’ll keep getting what you’ve always got.
We won’t worry about the reasons behind what’s going on, nor will we go into the intricacies of the subconscious; we’ll just set about changing the way that programme has been working. There’s some preparation to do first, though.
- Discard any daft idea that you must somehow deserve what you’ve been getting – the subconscious does not work like that.
- Notice how you feel when you think about past relationships and make it vivid. If it feels rubbish, that’s fine because it’s the only way to tell the subconscious that you don’t want more of the same. This is “the old”.
- Now think how you would like to feel in a relationship and make it vivid. The better it is – sexy, joyful, safe, happy or whatever – the more you’re telling your subconscious what you want. This is “the new”.
- This one’s a bit tricky. Think about a day in the future when you remember meeting “the one”, and it feels fantastic. This “remembering something that hasn’t happened yet” might seem strange, but it tells your subconscious you want something worth keeping.
Now, repeating this routine (you’ll need to learn it and remember it) using the old, the new and the one a few times – you can do it just before you go to sleep – will gradually condition your subconscious to get what you want instead of what you hate.
- Think of ‘the old’ and immediately freeze it solid – when you get it right, the uncomfortable feelings stop.
- Look at ‘the old’ frozen memory as if from the outside for a moment or two, then drag ‘the new’, all vibrant and alive, in front of it.
- Dive straight into that scene and, for a moment, be in your mind, actually feeling “the new”.
- Hold it in your mind as strongly as possible while you count to five and then immediately…
- Jump forward to that day when you remember meeting “the one” – it doesn’t matter that this hasn’t happened yet, because it’s all about conditioning your subconscious to track down the relationship you want.
- Stay there for a count of ten, then bring your mind back to wherever you are for a moment or two before going back to step 2, repeating four or five times.
You probably won’t feel very different at first (though if you do, enjoy it), but you will gradually notice that you’re looking at a different type of person. It will change how you feel and how you are so that without even thinking about it, you send those “come to me” signals to a “keeper”.
And perhaps the most surprising thing about it is that you’ll soon discover that those “new” individuals are looking back at you, and it won’t be long before you meet “the one”.
Terence Watts is the creator of Brain Working Recursive Therapy (BWRT).