The attraction and chemistry we experience at the outset of a relationship are based on snap judgements and the resonance of where we’re each at emotionally, mentally, physically, and even spiritually. This is normal. We don’t know the other person yet (or they us), and it’s safe to say we haven’t interacted enough to have a genuine sense of compatibility—shared core values and emotional needs met.

The less self-knowledge and self-awareness we have, the more we might become embroiled in frustrating and painful relationship patterns. When we experience attraction and chemistry, we pick up on subtle cues and triggers. These let us know that somebody fits the bill and set off a cascade of physiological responses. The person matches the conscious and unconscious profile of a person that matches our perceptions and patterns of relationships.

If we have a pattern of unhealthy and unfulfilling relationships, on some level, we’re trying to right the wrongs of the past. We’re unwittingly drawn to people who represent our narrative about our worthiness, life, and love.

From there, we mimic our past with the coping and survival habits we learned earlier in life. For example, people pleasing, perfectionism, and being over-responsible. These manifest in many ways, such as abandoning ourselves by settling for crumbs or we blame ourselves for other people’s behaviour and jump through hoops to ‘earn’ love.

Experiencing attraction and chemistry with someone who caters to our relationship pattern activates something from the past for us to deal with now. The relationship and what it sets off in us invites us to see something we couldn’t before so that we heal old pain, fear, and guilt.

Breaking the cycle of our relationship pattern means getting honest about, questioning, and letting go of rigid ideas about what’s attractive and why. We have a toxic ‘type’. Our being drawn to variations of the same person or relationship again and again is the equivalent of only seeing the colour red when there are other colours. We’re unwittingly looking for evidence to support our biases and narrative, not realising how much it hurts us.

The more conscious, aware, and present we become, the better we can take care of ourselves and change our narrative. We’re no longer a match for our old ‘type’ because it doesn’t match how we view ourselves or our relationships. We’ve expanded.

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