Why You Keep Repeating The Same Toxic Relationship Patterns Even Though You Know Better

Ever looked at your partner and thought, “Damn, he’s just like my horrible ex?” It’s a scary feeling indeed. But if you keep attracting the same toxic people then you’ll repeat the same bad relationship patterns and never be happy. It’s time to change that. Here are 10 signs you’re stuck in relationship déjà vu and need to GTFO.

  1. You stick to your type. You might think that you know exactly what kind of person you like, but if you’ve had bad luck with that type in the past, it’s time to shake things up a bit or risk repeating the same drama and heartache.
  2. You’ve changed. You might not have changed your type, but maybe you’ve changed yourself without even realizing it—and not for the better. For example, maybe you’ve become more irritable and anxious than you used to be and it’s because you’re so unhappy in your relationships.
  3. You haven’t taken a break between relationships. You’ve jumped from one relationship to the next with no time in-between to take stock of where you’re at, what you want and who you want to be. That makes it really easy to fall into the same old love traps when they come around.
  4. You’re terrified of being single. One of the reasons why you’re avoiding single time is because you’re afraid to be on your own. Your idea is that it’s better to be with someone than be alone, even if that person is a carbon copy of your toxic ex. Ugh, it’s really not.
  5. You have relationship issues. You went through tough times in your previous relationships and you’re still saddled with those issues. You haven’t worked through them, so you’re dragging them into your current relationship and turning it into your previous ones.
  6. You fear the unknown. It’s easy to attract the same types of people even though they’re bad for us because we stick to what we know. It’s a weird comfort zone but it’s really not good for us. It’s similar to how we might stick to our unhealthy habit of eating junk food for dinner because we’re not really sure how to cook healthy meals or feel it’s too much effort to try.
  7. You’re a stage five people-pleaser. Sometimes our relationship patterns are issues that we bring into the relationship and they can originate from our parents or previous partners. One of these that’s particularly difficult to change is being a people pleaser. If this sounds like you, then you’ll know it can make you bend over backward to impress and keep people, and you work super-hard — much more than your partner — to keep the relationship going. It’s unhealthy and a huge sign you need to remember your self-worth.
  8. You jump in with your eyes closed. Look back at your previous relationships for a sec. Did you find that you were excited about your partners in the early stages of the relationship, only to find that things crashed and burned really fast? This could be because you don’t really give the relationship a chance to grow. You’re all about rushing in and hitting those relationship milestones hard. That can cause you to have the same old heartache.
  9. You’ve ignored the red flags. Maybe you have the bad habit of noticing red flags, like when your partner tells you he hasn’t been able to commit in the past, but turning a blind eye and deaf ear to them. If you continue doing this, you’ll always end up kicking yourself and wishing that you had backed yourself and taken a stand against the person’s shady behavior. Time to start doing that.
  10. You don’t focus on what you want to feel. You might know what you want, such as a partner who treats you with respect and shows you love, but how do you want to feel when you’re with them? If you don’t think about this, then you might think a certain type of person will make you feel happy, but maybe that’s not enough. Maybe you feel most nurtured when your partner enables you to feel like you can take over the world or that you’re enough just as you are. That’s why it’s important to focus on what feeling you want to achieve and don’t settle for less than that.
Giulia Simolo is a writer from Johannesburg, South Africa with a degree in English Language and Literature. She has been working as a journalist for more than a decade, writing for sites including AskMen, Native Interiors, and Live Eco. You can find out more about her on Facebook and LinkedIn, or follow her on Twitter @GiuliaSimolo.