Raise your hand if you’ve ever dated (or married) someone that now makes you shake your head in disbelief.
Don’t be shy. You’re not alone.
Now, take an honest look back at yourself in that relationship. Were you in a healthy place? In full working order?
When it comes to relationships, we tend to attract and be attracted to people that are operating at a similar level of awareness and functionality as we are.
Those who are overly nice and have difficulty maintaining boundaries find partners who are overly needy or demanding.
The one that seeks to control and fix finds the one who cannot manage alone.
Those that are fearful to fully engage in life meet up with others who are content to live at half speed.
People that struggle with addiction dovetail nicely with the ones who are happy to enable.
The one that feels unlovable will end up with the one that likes to abuse.
And individuals who are afraid of being alone will settle with those who don’t have the skills needed to sustain a relationship.
Like attracts like in the particular magnetism of relationships. Patterns of dysfunction fitting together just so in a way that can hide the maladaptive patterns of one by folding into the other.
And sometimes one person grows and in doing so, grows out of the person they were once fitted with. The relationship becoming a too-tight sweater that constricts instead of hugs. Without their corresponding pattern of dysfunction to hide beneath, the too-sharp edges of the slower growing partner begin to rub and your tolerance begins to wear thin.
Maybe they will be motivated by your growth, your changes prompting alterations in their own habits and patterns. Perhaps your shift is enough and you are able to learn a new way to operate that improves the overall dynamic.
Or possibly you’re in the difficult position of choosing between being limited and letting go.
Sometimes to move forward, you have to begin by dumping the dysfunction.
And then doing the work to become what you want to attract.