We Love Relationships That Confirm Our Insecurities
If you pay close attention to the romantic relationships of your friends and family, you’ll see very clear patterns. You’ll notice that security stays in love with security, and insecurity stays in love with insecurity, even though those insecurities show up differently.
Specific relationships evoke specific reactions. These reactions are then interpreted to confirm our internal beliefs about ourselves and others. Married people with bad attachment beliefs will reject their spouse who see them positively until their partners perceive them the way they see themselves. Even in dating, people with negative self-views often choose partners that offer negative evaluations to confirm their self-views.
So what makes this so hard? These interactions go far smoother in the beginning of the relationship, because their pathologies support their self-beliefs.
People with negative self-views (anxious) are most intimate with spouses who evaluate them negatively (avoidant), despite the fact that these spouses are unlikely to enable them to improve themselves.[6.Self-Verification Theory Research Paper: Swann, W. B., Jr., De La Ronde, C. & Hixon, J. G. (1994). Authenticity and positivity strivings in marriage and courtship. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 66, 857-869.] In my opinion, this is the most Toxic Relationship of All.
Attachment Strategies Are Not Permanent
Studies show that over time, 30% of the population changes[7. Research Paper: Davila, J., Burge, D., & Hammen, C. (1997). Why does attachment style change?. Journal Of Personality And Social Psychology, 73(4)] their attachment dominate strategy.
No one changes from fundamentally insecure to secure under conditions of fear, disapproval, or threat of abandonment. This is why an Anxious and Avoidant couple struggle together. Only through acceptance, respect, support, and safety will anyone gain the security to climb the emotional mountain to becoming more secure.
No article, book, workshop or religion can alter our sense of security in our relationships. We are hurt by people, therefore we can only be healed by people. This person can be a relationship coach, therapist, or a romantic partner who is secure. If you spend enough time in a secure relationship, you’ll become secure!
Either way, changing your relationships requires a change in your beliefs. A change in the way you see yourself in your relationships.
Ultimately the relationship advice I offer my clients is self-help in disguise. If you want to change the people that are attracted to you, then you need to change your beliefs.
If you want to change your current relationship, you need to change the underlying beliefs that cause the problem. And how those beliefs create the expectations and values that are not communicated, which ultimately causes couples to fight.
If you want to improve your relationship, improve yourself. If you want better dating opportunities, improve yourself. If you have marital problems, improve yourself.
When you improve yourself, you cultivate a higher level of expectations for the people in your life. This puts other person in a dilemma. They have the choice to either improve themselves and rise up to your new expectations, or they stay where they are at and let the relationship die.
Either way, it’s a win-win situation. When you improve yourself, you improve the quality of your relationships. The relationships that don’t improve along with you cease to exist.
If an artist takes such pains with the plaster that he is forming so that it may harden into a shape of beauty, what care should we take of the relationships which are to affect so permanently shaping our minds, bodies and soul?
This article was originally published on Healthy Relationships with Kyle Benson.
For three powerful tools to change your beliefs in your relationship, snag my passionate relationship toolkit here.