Yes, you read that right. It sounds insane, I already know. The thing is, it's not uncommon. At all. Take a journey with me, using your imagination. If you find yourself triggered, that speaks volumes...
Imagine a little girl that was never shown love from her father. Perhaps he wasn't present for whatever reason. That's starting off badly because little girls need love from their fathers at a very young age. It will shape the romantic relationships they engage in, or pursue. Now, think of this same girl who never saw her mom in a healthy relationship, either. Throughout life, she may have seen things on TV and possibly heard talks about what love and relationships should look like. All along, these things were all being added, bit by bit, to her unconscious mind. In the coaching world, I talk about our storage units. Think of your unconscious mind as your unit. Each time you learn something new, you store it in a box. There are plenty boxes of association where grouped information goes. You've unknowingly been putting what you saw, heard, etc from mommy and daddy in the dating, love, marriage, and relationship boxes. And yes, for many women, those are all different boxes for reasons it would take me too long to explain in a general blog. Social media posts, love stories, movies, real life relationships around you, etc have been adding to these boxes. These boxes don't define you. They're not who you are, but simply what you've been told. Along the way, you started to believe "this is love."
That little girl has all those things in the storage unit of her unconscious mind. She has no idea what real love is supposed to look like due to this. Now, imagine her becoming a woman. She has formulated in her mind what love looks like. Her hurting heart and boxes have created scenarios and a belief system that she lives by. Let's be clear that unconscious is different from subconscious. Your unconscious mind is the the part of the mind which is inaccessible to the conscious mind but it affects your behavior and emotions. So that little girl who grew up without a father has already told herself she's been abandoned by the first man that was supposed to love her. There's now a fear that permeates her life and decisions. And it's fear of abandonment. Women that deal with this often display signs and symptoms in their romantic dealings. This may include, but is not limited to,
Quick to attach, even to unavailable partners or relationships
Reluctant to fully commit, having had very few long-term relationships
Quick to move on just to ensure that you don't get too attached
Aiming to please
An increase in the willingness to have unwanted sex
Once in a relationship, staying, no matter how unhealthy the relationship is
Often hard to please and nitpicky
Emotional intimacy is difficult for you
Feeling insecure and unworthy of love
Tendency to overthink things and work hard to figure out the hidden meaning in everything
The list truly goes on. Aside from the obvious, this is troublesome because you get a clear picture of what happens when toxic becomes reality. Unhealthy habits are now hard to break. They just feel right. An absent father isn't always the case in order for a woman to fit this description. There can be heartbreak, rejection, a divorce, etc that can cause this problem to exist. Either way, one must go back to the storage unit and begin unpacking. Replacing the boxes with something foreign is upsetting and doesn't sit well, sadly. Yet over time, that girl becomes a woman who avoids Mr. Right because Mr. Wrong is what's familiar.
It’s why women have a type that serves them no good and doesn’t mean them well.
It’s why women can find themselves in abusive relationships repeatedly.
It’s why women connect to emotionally unavailable men.
Because rejection sensitivity and fear of abandonment says, “If I can just get one to stay, or to change, that gives me value and proves I'm worth it."
It's hard to accept real love when you're not accustomed to it. You'll question men that are sincere. You'll find it hard to trust someone who's actually telling the truth. You'll ruin every beautiful thing because ugly messes are the norm for you.
Now, what happens when you want to destroy the boxes? Along the way that woman may begin to learn information that doesn't fit the box. And it brings anxiety and imbalance. It pays to know that all boxes are replaceable. They must be replaced, not removed (or everything falls apart). Know that all change will initially feel unnatural. Just remind yourself that change is good because the old ways weren't working. Your job is to define the areas that need change. Don't be vague; define it. What's the issue? What does it mean?
When there's something in your storage unit that you don't recognize and then it's exposed to something that challenges it, you fight it. Unconsciously, and maybe even subconsciously, you sabotage it. For a strange reason, we want to hold on to our boxes whether it serves us or not. After my mom died a few years ago, we found different storage units that had a lot of old stuff she wasn't even using. These things were taking up space and even costing her. But she needed to hold on to those things for whatever reasons. When it was time to unpack and unload, guess where all those things went? To my house. I held on to those things because... why not? You just never know. Thankfully over time, I began unpacking, donating, selling, trashing, etc. I realized the reason I was holding on to those things, though. I put names to them and worked through. This is why it's important for you to define it. You must call a thing a thing and set goals.
Once you do something enough, it'll become natural. And over time, you'll find more boxes shifting and being unpacked. Only then can you bring your best self to a new relationship. Begin unpacking the boxes, sis. Sift through them one by one. Take out what you need and replace it with something else. It's time to rewrite your love story. Enroll in the New Love Language program if you're bold enough. Because I want to destroy and demolish all you THOUGHT you knew about love, men, and marriage. It'd be a shame to meet a real one but you bypass him because the counterfeit is more familiar...