Expectations in relationships

I saw this meme today and at first I thought “Yes, exactly!” but after a few moments the thought expanded into “WHY?”

If we are sensible adults who have learned healthy communication, we can sit down and talk everything out and find common middle ground, right?!

Here’s the meme that spawned this blogpost:

The thing is though that only around 20% have a healthy and mature personality. They feel at home in them selves, secure in the world and they feel equal to others and will want to talk problems over.

25% have a secure attachment style. This means that they are not anxious or avoidant and they can handle difficult situations in a relationship without running away or starting a fight. These people will typically marry young and stay together for life. Which leaves the other 75% – that’s you and me – running around like headless chickens through life, looking for love. Or so it can feel some times.

We have either anxious attachment style, which means we are overachievers, overly responsible, codependent, passive aggressive, controlling, victimized or simply super needy. OR we have avoidant attachment style, which means we are too much in our head, we run from issues, we don’t speak up, we avoid conflict and difficult conversations and often remove ourselves from challenges before talking to our partner.

Yes, you can be both. Depending on the challenge, you either run – mentally or physically – or get anxious.

IF you fit into either of the 2 dysfunctional attachment styles, you have a malfunctioning relationship with yourself and this will reflect in your behavior when you get close to someone.

Different rules apply to dating and getting into relationships if you don’t have secure attachment. We – our brains – are geared to survival in the tribe we grew up in, which is super smart when we talk survival, but very not smart when we talk about love, because we will choose “well known” over “good for me”. That’s why 90% of people who grew up in abusive families will end up in abusive relationships – we choose what we know – unconsciously. We fall in love with unhealthy. Well, actually we don’t fall in love, we think it’s love but really it’s a simple addiction – the brain does the same as when we crave sugar, when we meet a person who fits the patterns we come from.

When you ask an alcoholic “Why did you take that first drink, when you know it’s bad for you?” they’ll say “I don’t know” – that is what addiction does, it makes you RE-act. So when we ask a person from an abusive relationship “Why did you stay?” the answer is the same: “I don’t know”. There will be stories and explanations, but confronted with “You KNEW that person was abusive and still you stayed. Why?” the stories will fade and it will become clear, that there is no reason.

The solution to this is to stay solo and work on our self-love. When we have created a life for ourselves that we really love, with fun, self-nurturing, self respect, healthy boundaries great friends, THEN we can start dating. And THEN, it’s a great idea to talk about all these things. It’s also a really good idea to do preventive couples counselling to have a third party who can help develop healthy communication from the beginning, support your shared growth, create a safe space for you to share love and learn how to navigate what you never had before: True love.

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