By Lisa Marie Rankin
Have you ever wondered why you keep dating the same type of people over and over again? Even when you’ve convinced yourself that “this one is really different,” you find yourself in an all too similar predicament only six months to a year later. An eerie feeling of deja vu creeps in as you wonder, “how did this happen again?”
Your romantic life is like a cow path. A cow path is a trail created by cows that allows them to get their basic needs like water, food, and shelter met. Often these paths are not the most direct route. There might be a more efficient way to get there, but they’ve never walked it before. The cows trudge along those same well-worn paths because it’s what they’ve always done in the past. Like cows, we can also walk along with our heads down, attracting the same types of people and moving from one unfulfilling relationship to the next.
Fortunately, if you’re reading this, you’re not a cow. You have the consciousness to create a new path. It’s not always easy to modify conditioned behaviors, our cow paths, but we can make changes through awareness and intention.
First, you need to understand how The Law of Attraction works. The Law of Attraction is a book and a concept created by spiritual teachers Esther and Jerry Hicks (aka Abraham-Hicks). Their work explains that the energy we release into the universe is the same energy we receive back. This interchange is especially true in dating.
Think about a time when you’ve had multiple dates lined up over several weeks straight. You likely met these candidates with an air of confidence and friendliness. You had so many dates on the horizon that you didn’t really care whether one was a match or not. You knew you had options. Operating from this place of abundance allowed you to be your confident, authentic self on a date. They likely went pretty well – even if it wasn’t a match made in heaven.
In contrast, if you’re going on your first date in the midst of a dry spell, you might be nervous and uncertain. If you’re desperate to find a significant other and feel that the options are thin, you would be operating from a place of scarcity. This date probably won’t go as well.
Self-help guru and author Wayne Dyer summed up this dynamic when he stated, “We do not attract what we want; we attract what we are.” Thus, if you’re trying to attract a healthy, fulfilling relationship, it makes sense to start making sure that you feel healthy and fulfilled. Similarly, if you’re looking for someone who is confident and stable you need to cultivate those attributes within you before you can attract them your way.
Your energy will always be a work in progress. Like cleaning the house or going to the gym, it’s something you need to monitor and care for consistently. Fortunately, you don’t need to have your emotional life entirely in order before you begin to date or embark on a new relationship. Still, you do need to be aware of your patterns and have a desire and intention to change them.
Here are six ways to help you improve your energy and attract the relationship you really want.
1Go to therapy
It’s important to understand why we are initially attracted to some people. Often, we’re trying to resolve childhood issues. We keep repeating similar patterns, hoping to get a different result or closure. It is called “repetition compulsion.” Once you’re aware of that, you probably won’t want to continue the cycle any longer. Therapy can help you identify the past you’re trying to replay. Many of us have some mommy or daddy issues. It’s best to identify them and move on.
A regular meditation practice helps us to create the space between triggers and responses. It gives us time to consider the most skillful path forward. So rather than send a snarky, “Why have you gone MIA?” text, you learn to wait. You can choose to do something interesting with your life and not worry about a text, or simply send a “Hi, how’s your day going?” message instead. If you do the same things over and over, you will get the same results – and the same partners. Meditation helps us become more aware of our conditioned behaviors, our cow paths, that are no longer serving us, so we can choose alternative ones.
3Become conscious of your energy
According to The Law of Attraction, if you want to be loved, you need to be lovable. If you want passion in your life, be passionate. You don’t need to focus this energy on one person. You can create this energy through interactions with all the people and situations in your life. Passion isn’t contained to sexual energy. Get passionate about a creative project or the dinner you plan to make tonight. Don’t just flirt with your love interest, flirt with everyone. Flirt with life.
What are the qualities you want in a partner? List them out and prioritize them. Consider if you have those qualities in yourself. If not, how can you begin to cultivate them? Be careful with your list. If you want someone with lots of money or someone who would make great arm candy, you’ll likely get it. But that’s all you get. The universe does its best to deliver, so be conscious of your desires.
5Be a little uncomfortable
Date people who make you a little uncomfortable. Of course, not the creepy type of uncomfortable — don’t date those people at all! But, it’s healthy to be open to people you haven’t considered before. The reason we find some people so easy to date is because we’ve done it so many times before. (Repetition compulsion!)
If someone makes you feel really comfortable, or there is a strong initial chemistry, that may be a sign that you’ve done this rodeo. If you want to change patterns, date someone who feels a little awkward at first. That could be a sign that you’re charting a new path.
Try not to take everything so seriously. Give people the benefit of the doubt and assume goodwill. If things don’t work out, don’t take it personally. People act based on their genetics, conditioning, and past experiences. Most of the time, their behavior has nothing to do with you.
Let dating and relationships be part of your spiritual practice. Intimate relationships are the perfect lens through which to observe unhealed wounds, as well as our conditioned behaviors. They also offer an excellent opportunity to practice non-attachment and self-acceptance. Rather than viewing dating as a necessary evil that needs to be endured, think of it as a guide on your journey to self-actualization. The most important relationship is the one you have with yourself. And once you’ve cultivated the qualities you seek, you’ll begin to notice them in others. Or as the Sufi poet Rumi has written, ‘What you seek is seeking you.”
Lisa Marie Rankin Bio
Several years ago, Lisa Marie Rankin decided to follow the path of the goddess. She left her job in the corporate world to pursue her passion for writing and teaching yoga, meditation, and spiritual concepts. Lisa Marie is also an Ayurveda wellness coach and helps women optimize their health by holistically caring for their bodies, minds, and spirits. She teaches women to reconnect with their bodies, prioritize, pleasure, and rely on their inner wisdom so they can become a goddess.
Lisa Marie Rankin holds an MBA and MS from Bentley University. You can find her essays in Human Parts, a Medium publication. She lives right outside of Boston with her children, dog, and a flock of chickens. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, snorkeling, and spending time with mother nature. She is the author of The Goddess Solution: Practical Wisdom for Everyday Life.