You can break serial relationship cycles
You finished with your last partner as they were too boring, the one before that because they weren’t motivated, and before that you can’t remember - there’ve been so many relationships!
Previously, seeing Sean Bean's smiling face as he married for the fourth time begs the question of how long he’ll feel that happy? It appears cynical but when people have multiple marriages or serial relationships it’s natural to wonder what happens every time they meet someone new. Why do they think that this time it’ll be different? When quite frankly the evidence contradicts any optimism. And they don’t seem to learn from previous mistakes.
I find there are three key themes behind serial relationship failures. Take my quick quiz to identify why you might be experiencing this. Choose the answers that best match how you usually behave.
1/ Your partner bought a nice gift for your birthday but not exactly what you wanted - do you:
A/ ask him to take you shopping for extra pressies to show how much he really cares about you
B/ assume that he doesn't love you enough to get exactly the right thing
C/ give him the silent treatment until he’s begging you to say what’s wrong
2/ Arriving back from being away, he's not tidied up much - will you:
A/ give him a detailed analysis of why his messiness reflects badly on your relationship
B/ "know" he doesn't care about you to bother
C/ unpack, and while doing so throw stuff around making an even bigger mess
3/ Both sets of your parents are due visits, in trying decide whose to see first - do you:
A/ think he should understand why your parents need prioritising
B/ always give in to what he wants - no fuss, no question
C/ make it clear if it's not yours there’ll be a massive row
4/ You've made him breakfast in bed as surprise:
A/ you expect he'll top it next weekend and do an extra-special surprise for you
B/ not drop hints but live in silent hope that he might repay the surprise
C/ throw a hissy-fit when he doesn't jump up, sweep you off your feet and make a huge fuss over you
5/ When it comes to sharing the bills - do you:
A/ expect him to make a bigger contribution so you can spend more on your “necessities”, say, clothes, make-up, etc.
B/ offer to pay more than your share just in case you used more electricity, hot water, etc.
C/ pick a row with him over something you see as his excess spending
6/ When angry over an issue - you tend to:
A/ expect him to guess what's wrong - if he really loves you he should be able to
B/ hope it blows over as you certainly don't want any confrontation
C/ shout, bully and carry on until he gives in
You live in such a cloud of romantic fluff that no relationship will match your expectations. As the daily grind sets in you begin to doubt that this is "the one".
* Fight the belief that everything he does is a demonstration of his love, or not.
* Take undo pressure off to make everything "perfect".
* Be fair when it comes to, say, your friends and families - take turns over visits and socialising. He shouldn’t have to prove his love by letting your wishes dominate.
* Stop judging yourself by his gestures.
* Stop worrying what others think of your relationship - that increases the pressure to prove how “amazing” it is.
* Speak plainly when something bothers you - he's not a mind reader!
Low self-worth means that you don’t feel you deserve a loving and long-lasting relationship so you end up sabotaging them. Your expectations are so low that you get trampled on or your partners find you dull.
* Start building self-belief today! Begin with a personal mantra that emphasises your best quality - remind yourself regularly of this.
* Let your partner know what your wishes are. They’ll respect you more if you have self-respect.
* Practise asserting yourself in everyday situations like choosing what movie to see and restaurant to go to.
* Visualise a friend/colleague who has lots of self-respect. What can you learn from their behaviour?
* Resist feeling that you can’t/shouldn’t challenge negative behaviour or mediocre treatment.
Mostly Cs - Drama Queen
You don't feel alive unless you've got a drama going on yet such dramas bring your relationships to a swift end. Men can’t really understand your rows, stony silences or tantrums.
* Explore where your need for drama comes from. Maybe you feel it shows “real” love as your parents had such a volatile relationship. Challenge such role-models and beliefs.
* Think before you speak, counting to 10 slowly so you can choose words carefully.
* When you feel like using a stony silence, turn that around and actually tell your partner (tactfully) what your thought processes are.
* Take regular stress-burning exercise to help maintain your equilibrium.
* Do challenging pursuits to satisfy your need for "drama".
* Find drama in something fun like exciting sex - not in punishing your partner for imagined wrongdoings!
Published in The Express Newspaper