Are You Experiencing Repetitive Love Life Disappointments?

The most common love life problem for single, separated, and divorced people is what I call repetitive love life disappointments. This is when a person, hopeful that she or he will find a healthy love relationship, experiences repeated disappointments one after the other. Now here’s the thing about repetitive love life disappointments that people struggling with this problem usually don’t see until it’s pointed out to them: the persons involved in these repeated disappointing love relationships have characteristics in common. For some people, when the similarities between the “chosen” love partners are pointed out to them, they are sometimes shocked, and often confused. How could that be? Why am I looking for the same type of unhealthy hurtful person over and over again, without knowing that I’m doing it?

Remember, something important about human beings. We learn a lot of things without awareness, and we can recreate what we’ve learned without awareness as well. This is the easiest and most accurate way to understand how repetitive love life disappointments actually repeat. Some unhealthy relationship experience that took place earlier in life, sometimes real early, is being replicated over and over again. And it’s repeating also because the hurtful experience that taught us what choices to make in our love lives has not been healed.

For example, I’ve known people who grew up in an abusive home and found abusive lovers and marital partners, as if the abusive prototype for the type of person to love was imprinted in their brains. One person told me she married two abusive men and was currently dealing with an abusive boyfriend, this is after growing up with an abusive father. In her mind, this kind of love partner was basically what was “familiar” to her and what she was “taught” by experience to expect in a love relationship, and worse, who to look for.

Unfortunately, the repetition in this problem often reoccurs, without personal reflection (why is this happening to me?), for a lifetime. Or just as bad, until the person in question gets sick of the continued disappointments and decides it’s no longer worth the trouble looking for love. I call this love life resignation, the state of mind (heart) where the hope of finding a healthy love relationship is given up, and how to best live without love becomes the primary preoccupation.

The good news is, the hurtful repetition of love life disappointments and the painful state of love life resignation can be avoided. You do that by identifying what you’ve learned about love relationships in your life that have your love life on “automatic pilot,” where you’re driven to make the same love life choices over and over again. You’re basically unlearning what you’ve learned about love relationships so you can relearn or learn something healthier that will allow you to make better and more successful (less disappointing) choices in your love life. I call it the Unlearning Method in my book, Learn to Love: Guide to Healing Your Disappointing Love Life.

Comments? What do you think? Tell me about the repetitions in your love life.

Dr. Thomas Jordan

Dr. Jordan

Dr. Thomas Jordan is a clinical psychologist, certified interpersonal psychoanalyst, author, professor, and love life researcher.