To feel seen is a powerful motivator to be in relationship with someone. Who doesn’t want companionship, validation, a partner in crime? However, the challenge comes into play when we find ourselves too deep in too fast; we lose sight of who we are. We can leave our partner feeling overwhelmed and suffocated with the intensity. Good news! With self-reflection we can come to understand more about our pattern of behavior and move into relationships with more balance and clarity.
Understanding Attachment and the Inner Child
In order to understand this over-investment, it is important to understand more about attachment. We all have an attachment style, which is characterized by different ways of interacting and behaving in relationships. These attachment styles were formed during early childhood in part by how children and parents interact. Now in adulthood, attachment styles are used to describe patterns of attachment in romantic relationships.
We are not locked in; however, changing an attachment pattern can take self-reflection, time, and often work with a professional therapist. To begin, I recommended spending some time journal about your inner child.
Here is a simple process for interviewing the inner child:
Did you feel abandonment in childhood?
Were there inconsistencies in your living environment?
Did you witness or experience trauma first hand?
After asking those questions, find a picture of yourself at the most challenging time of your childhood and ask that version of you, “What did I need that I did not have at this time?” Then spend time making sure that you are able to nurture that part of yourself in your daily life.
Sometimes we can play out patterns from early on in our life; exploring these relational dynamics can set us free from the behaviors that are disrupting our current relationships.
When we have vulnerabilities sometimes we can get swept away with the flashy qualities a partner presents to us. Does he have a great smile? Does he love to travel the world?
When we are flying on emotion and not so much on logic we can be sold on the lure of creating a fantasy life with someone, in part to escape our own.
If you have insecurities, it is not uncommon to try and attach on to someone that makes you feel better about yourself. However, remember that your happiness is YOUR responsibility. When our right now is unfulfilling in some way this may lead us to push too much into the future of “what could be” and get us caught up in a projected reality.
Don’t worry about the “I should be here by now” or other outside forces pushing you to move into territory you are not yet ready to navigate. We don’t want to miss out on getting to know our potential partner or our self; therefore, we must focus on healing anything we need to from our past so we can be the best version of our self in the here-and-now.
They say that relationships are a powerful key to self-reflection; take your opportunity.