relationship deja vu

Relationship Deja Vu

There is a Dan Fogelberg song lyric that runs through my head occasionally, “Once in love, you’ll always be a lover” This intoxicating explosion of physical and emotional experience is instinctual and is part of our human “wiring.” When we fall in love, we are utterly overwhelmed. Indeed, it is like being possessed. And when we feel that we have found the “magical other” in that person, we cannot imagine that those feelings will ever change.

However, at some time, be it weeks, months, or years later, when the realities of life, love, and relationship converge, we find that our projections of the other fail us. Conflicts happen, as they must, and the many ways that we handle our side of the conflict might resemble the unhealthy patterns that we have grown up with, parlayed into the present and hijacking the relationship that started out with so many promises.

Sure, conflict is not easy, and how many of these hurtful patterns or “dances” between partners can a relationship take before it’s over. And if it ends, is it not inevitable that, sooner or later, we look for another, hoping to find “truer love,” searching hopefully for a more perfect partner, only to discover that we unconsciously bring our unseen and undeveloped selves into replaying the same unchecked patterns with a new person in our lives. Of course, when conflicts again arise, as they will, we can again blame the next partner, but at some point we need to realize that it might be something within ourselves that is playing itself out – having a life of its own. When will this pattern ever stop?

I believe that when we stop searching for the “magical other” we feel will make us whole and instead turn within ourselves to find that we are the common denominator of our failed relationships we can begin to recognize our shadow side and stop projecting our problems onto our partner. When we can become conscious and, indeed, “know thyself,” we can offer a better version of ourself to another and discover the real growth that conscious relationships offer.