Yes, YOU. The only common thing in each and every single one of your relationships is YOU.
There are a lot of theories attempting to understand the dynamics of love, and many offer compelling ideas about why we choose one person over another. But they’re all based on the fundamental belief that each of us has a unique personality that was crafted by our own experiences and biology.
So when you walk into a room of potential lovers, your values, and your cultural preferences can spoil or spark romantic passion. These same things can soak the fire of love, or keep the flames burning.
The awesome thing about intimate relationships is that we always influence the quality of them. So if the same issue keeps popping up in our relationships, it means that the best place to begin is with ourselves.
The Two Drivers of Love
Driver One: Beliefs you have about yourself.
Beliefs are molded from what we see, hear, experience, read and think bout. From these subtle experiences we develop a conviction about ourselves and the world that we hold to be true and unmovable.
In fact, dating may be a big self-fulfilling prophecy.
Let me explain.
I want you to count out loud with me: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 43.
Wait… 43? Shouldn’t it be eight?
Your belief about what was going to come next closed your mind to all other possibilities. This is exactly how our beliefs work. Once you adopt a belief about what you deserve in your relationships, your relationships become determined by your beliefs.
“Of particular concern is the consistent finding that although those with low self-esteem want affirmations from partners…their self-doubts translate into relationship insecurities.” (S Philips, PsyD.)
So if you believe your partner is cheating and is untrustworthy, no matter what honest evidence she offers, you will still hold the same conviction. You’ll be breaking one of the key pillars that should NEVER be compromised to have a happy and successful romance.
Driver Two: Your Values
From our beliefs, we derive the second driver of the quality of our intimate relationships.
If you value physical attractiveness above all else, then you are willing to sacrifice all other traits for beauty. If you value dependability and security in a relationship, then you will be willing to overlook other traits in favor of dependability and relationship security.
And your values will run even further…
What You Value, You Invest In
What you choose to value not only limits you to the type of people you will date; it also determines the qualities you will invest in yourself.
If you value honesty and living with integrity, then you will consciously make the effort to live a life where there are no discrepancies between your words and actions. In turn, you will attract partners who value the same.
If you value wealth above all else, then you will spend your time and effort into making money and attracting partners who value money as well.
Change the beliefs about yourself or the world, determine your values, prioritize them, and then invest in them.
Then, like alchemy, witness the quality of your relationships completely transform.