Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places

We are programmed to seek love in a way that all-too-often results in disaster!!! We hold an image of our ideal mate within our subconscious mind, and when we meet someone who matches this image, we are convinced that we’ve finally met our soul mate.  We tend to ignore all those red flags that warn us of the rocky roads ahead.  You know, those red flags that others may tell us about, but we convince ourselves they are just jealous and don’t want us to be happy?

You see, the ideal image isn’t so ideal from our conscious mind’s perspective.  It’s only the subconscious mind that sees it as ideal, because the subconscious is always trying to mend the hurts from our past.  The problem with this attempt is that the subconscious is seeking someone who is very much like the one who hurt us in the first place.  For example, if we experienced abandonment as a child, we will be attracted to someone who will either abandon us physically or won’t be available to us emotionally.  It’s as if our subconscious is looking for someone who can represent Mom and Dad in an attempt to get it right this time.  It’s like we are still trying to get what we were needing from Mom and Dad.  We can be in a crowded room, and our subconscious can find that person who is deficient in the same way our parents were deficient in meeting our needs.

If this isn’t a recipe for disaster, I don’t know what is.

The subconscious mind, however, does not look at it as a disaster, because it doesn’t use logic or reasoning.  It is simply trying to overcome something that happened when we didn’t have the ability to figure out “why” it was happening.  We just felt the hurt from it.  Our subconscious mind is trying to solve this problem from the same level of thinking we were at when we experienced it.  So we created in our subconscious mind an ideal image of someone who also has traits that keep them from meeting the very needs that were unmet when we were children.  We don’t, however, recognize these traits.  We only recognize the positive ones.

Here is my heart.

Here is my heart.

It works like this:

I meet Mr. Wonderful.  The invisible projector screen comes down between us, and we both begin projecting our ideal image of the perfect mate onto each other.  I see only positive traits, and so does he.  As we are both projecting these positive traits onto each other, we are also both trying to meet each other’s projection.   “Oh!  At last!  My dream person!  Someone to love me for who I am!  Someone to fulfill my needs!  My Soul Mate!”


You're just like all the rest!

After a time, something begins to happen.  It’s as if the projector screen begins to evaporate.  We begin to move out of our projections, and the unpleasant parts of ourselves begin to emerge.  The magic of the relationship starts to disappear, and we begin to “see” those things we were so oblivious of when we met.  “What?  You want to work late instead of going out to dinner with me?  Aren’t you going to clean that up?  You want to watch THAT again on TV?”  Disillusionment starts setting in.

We then pull the projector screen down again, but this time we project our negative images onto each other.  All our fears, past disappointments and disillusionments are projected.   “You’re just like all the rest of them!  You’re never here when I need you!  I can’t believe I fell for that again!”  Now we are inflicting more wounds and scars onto each other.

Now comes the retreat.  The relationship loses its aliveness, and the excitement of being in love seems like a very distant memory.  One, or both of us, will start to withhold, withdraw, isolate, or leave the relationship.  Many of us are convinced we will never do this again!

Here we go again!

Here we go again!

And then……………   wait!  Who’s that, way over there on the other side of the room?

Here we go again!

I’ve noticed that as we continue to do our “inner work” and begin meeting our own inner needs, our subconscious doesn’t have to seek them from outside of ourselves, and those that we meet begin to reflect our healthier ideal images.

3 Responses to “Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places”

  1. Shelby Bunke says:

    I’ve often wondered why I might be instantly attracted to someone, other than the obvious of physical attraction. Seeing in someone what you think you need or whats good for you when in all actuality its not. It’s scary to think that most people fall into the same patterns of relationships. Searching in others what we lacked as a child – most people wouldn’t buy it. It’s truth. Still I wonder do we ever fall out of this pattern?? ” Who’s that way over there on the other side of the room” I laugh. So true.

  2. Ben says:

    Excellent points, all of them! It’s interesting how obvious this all seems in retrospection, afterall, we’ve been hearing phrases along the lines of: “I always fall for the wrong person” since we’ve been able to absorb information about relationships.
    It makes me wonder, however; what can be done to mitigate this? Is there any way to avoid this destructive pattern? Is it simply a matter of becoming more at ease with ourselves or is there specific work that needs to be done in regards to our interpersonal lives?

  3. Judy says:

    Ben, in response to your comment – hypnotherapy is a very effective way to break the destructive patterns one has in relationships. The goal is to build a relationship with self so that we are able to meet our own needs from within instead of seeking outside of ourselves to get our needs met. With hypnosis, our subconscious is very efficient at doing this, along with dispelling the lies that have formed our faulty core beliefs about ourselves.

    You might want to check out the website of the Hypnotherapy Institute at http://www.hypnotherapyone.com and click on the Curriculum and Electives under the ON-LINE TRAINING pull-down tab. You can get an idea from the class descriptions what can be accomplished by using these hypnosis techniques. The Codependency & Relationships class under ELECTIVES addresses what I was writing about in this blog (Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places.)

    Thank you for your comment, Ben.

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