If You’ve Ever Used This Line When Describing Your Partner, It’s Probably Time To Cut Ties

Familiarity isn’t always best, especially when it comes to relationships.

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“I feel like I’ve known him/her my whole life” is perhaps one of the most dangerous ways of describing the partner you are with. Truth be told, familiarity is one of our worst enemies as human beings and I suspect you are wondering why that is. Oftentimes, our minds crave what’s most familiar, but this isn’t necessarily the direction we should be following.

I use the context of relationships because companionship is one of the most inevitable desires we, as people, possess — right alongside success and acceptance. One of the earliest beliefs we adopt is within the realm of relationships and that being the one we establish (or never seem to establish) with our parent(s). We begin forming our beliefs as they relate to relationships via the lens molded by our greatest centers of influence. The relationship many of us first became exposed to was that of our parents — furthermore, the relationship we have with each parent individually.

The sense of shame and imperfection that your mother or father instilled in you became the catalyst by which you adopted that shame as your own when it was never meant to be in the first place.

I read an interview between a world-renowned psychologist and one of her clients. In the interview, she shared that when asked to describe her relationship with her father, the client said these words, “He was a very unhappy man, often came home drunk in the afternoon, and would promptly take over the house, making demands of my mother, often flying into fits of rage. He’d say disparaging things to me and routinely diminish me if I wasn’t absolutely perfect. The next morning after these drunken fits, he would merely pretend that nothing had happened and eat breakfast as if everything was okay again. I learned, over the years, to ride out his scary episodes in the hope of everything returning to normal in the morning. This cycle of emotional peaks and valleys became very familiar to me.”

Following her own acknowledgment of these alignments between her familial relationship with her father and her track record of men she has dated, she promptly noticed that it wasn’t the personality of her partners she was after, but the pattern each represented. She admitted she would oftentimes share with her friends that she ‘felt as if she had known him forever’ upon meeting another potential match. Though her friends were never keen on any of these ‘less-than-desireable’ men.

Perhaps she was constantly trying to impress him or her, avoiding confrontation by silencing her own intuition, putting her emotional well-being on the back burner to avoid conflict, walking on eggshells until the tension passed, and various other toxic habits she had mimicked as an adult that were all pointing back to what’s been familiar to her all along.

Not only does the mind want to return to what’s familiar, but it also likes us to recreate scenarios that remind us of our childhood in order to put a happy end to it.

You target the men who remind your subconscious of your emotionally abusive father because you know how to navigate the toxicity. Or perhaps you are most attracted to the woman who can never seem to commit to fidelity because you were used to seeing your dad put up with the unhealthy behaviors from your mom.

You could even use the analogy of weight loss achievement and begin by asking what the one thing a person desires after they hit a major milestone in their fitness journey. More often than not, it is something incredibly unhealthy — one many would deem as a ‘cheat meal’ all to celebrate the achievement. Why? Because it’s familiar.

The only way to overcome these familiar, yet toxic habits, is to become averse to the familiarity itself and replace the familiar thoughts with the unfamiliar until the role of each switches entirely. If your mind is used to the thought that anyone who doesn’t identify with your toxic upbringing is ‘too good for you,’ then a necessary step is to rephrase the dialogue centered around the misconception.

Rather than saying “He/She is too good for me,” You begin saying, “No one is too good for me. I will make being loved and respected familiar.” This isn’t a self-fulling prophecy or narcissistic approach, but a necessary habit to adopt if you ever wish to break the cycle of what is harmfully familiar. Though we might not see it in that moment, there is a great deal going on behind the scenes that we should draw attention to. That being said, this isn’t about you sharing with your coworkers or friends what you now think of yourself, but to implement repetition of these new truths in order to familiarize the sound of praise to yourself first. In doing so, these perspectives will no longer feel ‘too good to be true,’ but will instead become believeable and non-negotiable.

Once you have adopted a new message to yourself, commit to repetition for at least a week. Sooner or later, your mind will no longer see the previous idea as familiar and will instead seek out the most ideal candidate for you and your new belief system. Despite your previous habit of saying, “I am hurt by my previous partner’s unwillingness to give me a reason as to why they no longer wanted to be with me,” you will now find true belief in, “I am loveable and that cannot be diminished by a previous partner’s behavior.” And as your mind is instructed, your body will soon follow.

Written by

Writer. Poet. Philomath. Dog Mom. Traveler. Creator. Wanderer. Teacher. Empath. Author of “Unapologetically Human” - available on Amazon

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