The relationships that each one of us has are being defined by the relationship models that we have. And this can range from the more meaningful and intimate ones, to the ones that are platonic and carry very little meaning.
However, although we all have our internal models of what our relationships should be like, it doesn’t mean that we are always conscious of these models. Or that the models that we have will be empowering or functional.
These models are a combination of many different elements. What these elements will amount too are relationships that feel normal to us or to desiring a relationship that we believe will lead
to happiness and fulfilment.
At a conscious level one can have ideas and certain requirements for the type of person that their looking for. And unconsciously one can also have a model that is completely different to the one that they consciously describe.
Even though one can have ideas about what the ideal relationship should be like, or certain visions of what it will look like and the feelings that will occur as a result of this; the person or people that one is attracted to, are often completely different to the ideal that one has.
And this is due to the models being different in the unconscious mind; with these models being what are classed as safe to the ego mind. This is the part that has the biggest influence on the type of relationships that one attracts into their life.
What this then creates is internal and external conflict. If one wants a relationship that is full of love, is empowering and functional and one is constantly attracting the opposite; it is inevitably going to create pain.
On the outside this can lead to one attracting the wrong types of people, ending up in the wrong situations, and environments and compromising themselves. And internally this is bound to create: frustration, anger, hopelessness; powerless and even feeling like a victim and that one has no choice.
Are They Possible?
The relationships models that one can have could be dysfunctional, in the sense that they represent the past models that were unhealthy, abusive or disempowering. And this can then lead to the ego mind seeing relationships through two extremes.
Through the ego mind being programmed in this way, it could then go the other side. And this means that it cause one to expect and look for relationships that are perfect. This is a relationship that is always pleasurable, pain free and never has any conflict; the type that
one finds in a Disney story.
The Ideal And The Real
And if one has a dysfunctional relationship model, one may alternate between seeing relationships as completely negative and painful and between viewing them through rose coloured glasses.
These ideals will be a combination of the needs and wants that were not met as a child. The knight in shining armour (Being saved) or the princess (Being mothered) figures that are often shown in films are an example of this. Here are just two examples of what the ego mind can identify with as sources of strength and healing. They could also be described as archetypes.
And in order for these relationship models to change one has to be aware that they can be changed. Because if one has experienced relationships in this way from the very beginning, it is likely that they will be perceived as normal.
One can feel that this is simply how life is and if other people have relationships that are healthy and empowering, it is because they are different or lucky. And through looking outside and comparing oneself with others, it rarely leads to personal growth and often ends up in one feeling powerless.
The Ego Mind
And the reason it feels normal is because the ego mind has been programmed to feel safe with the relationship models that one has. This means that it is simply familiar to the ego mind, this then results in the association of it being classed as safe.
If one were to look at their relationships, they would probably notice numerous patterns. This means that their relationships make them feel a certain way, or have certain thoughts or lead to the same scenarios and situations.
Something that Dov Baron has described as - ‘Attracting the same person with a different face’. Here, one simply feels that although a different person is in their life, the experience is the same and hasn’t changed.
In The Beginning
The people that have had the biggest influence on what ones relationship models are like are ones caregivers and the people that were around during the beginning of one’s life.
These people were examples for ones young mind to soak up and indentify with. At such a young age, one didn’t have the ability to question if they were good models to internalise. They were simply the only ones available.
And as repetition is the way that something is learned, it was normal that one would end up with these models themselves; after being exposed to these models for so song.
So even though one has a conscious desire to change these models and to create relationships that mirror who they are today and what they need; the ego minds programming will make one feel uncomfortable and this will lead to fear.
At a logical level, it makes no sense for one to feel fear around letting go of the dysfunctional models and forming healthy and empowering models. But to the ego mind, change means death, and so anything that is different is interpreted as a threat to ones survival.
Firstly one has to recognise these patterns or to sense that something isn’t right and to then look for answers. Once this has happened, one can start to move on from these models and to create new models for relationships.
This can be done through many different avenues; with therapists, books and friends all being great sources of assistance.
If you feel this has been of value, please leave a comment, like or get in touch. And feel free to share this article, as many others have.
Oliver J R Cooper
Oliver JR Cooper
Author, Transformational Writer, Teacher & Consultant.
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That which is contained within these articles is based on my own empirical understanding and is true for me at the time they were written. However, as I continue to grow, what I perceive as the truth will inevitably change and as a result of this - parts of these articles may not reflect my current outlook.