|Q:Why do I continually date men who attempt to control me, my thinking and myactions. I convince myself that I will never date another man like that but then I always end upwith someone who fits the same mold. Why?|
Dating Doctor:As we have grown older, many of us have been exposed to unhealthy, dysfunctionalor damaging relationships for much of our adult lives. Whether it was by observing our parents,neighbors or relatives (as divorce rates soared), by watching television, movies and the news orby reading magazines and newspapers, we have been subjected to a significant number of unhealthyrelationships (the Clinton's, O.J. and Nicole, Liz Taylor, Roseanne, . . . etc.). This continuousnegative programming has caused many of us to develop permanent characteristics in ourpersonalities that drive us to practice self-defeating behaviors. We are either sabotaging ourhealthy relationships, or maintaining abusive relationships because our internal programming knowsno differently.
No one wakes up in the morning and says , "Gee, I hope I get treated poorly today." Nobody leaveswork, goes to a social gathering and says, "Aah, I would like to find the biggest jerk in the roomas my potential mate." No one goes home and says, "Oh joy, I am only going to get one black eyetonight." This is not a conscious process. This is a learned behavior. Despite a person's bestefforts to change and to divert from their past ways, inevitably their on-board computer (theirbrain) continues to practice what is familiar because it is the only programming it has ever known.
What is control and why do we allow others to take it with us? Control comes from fear, and feardevelops from a lack of faith. Think of an aspect of your life in which you place tremendousfaith. Do you also fear it with that same intensity? Doubtful. There are two primary fears thatwe face. First, we are afraid that we will not get something that we want and secondly, we areafraid that we will lose something that we already have. When we don't trust an outcome, we areconsumed by fear. This fear drives us to control situations and others, at all costs, in order toguarantee the result that we desire.
In life, we move in the direction of our predominant thought. Thus, your thought must be to meetthe type of person that you desire in circumstances that are comfortable for you. Focus on thequalities you are seeking and refuse to deviate from your minimum standards. You may have learnedto compromise your happiness in the past, and accept what (and who) you "felt" you deserved, butit's time to change your programming, lose the fear and experience the relationships you deserve.