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I have been noticing a trend among many of my divorced middle-aged clients ~ they don’t have a lot of quality friends. Their social life is stagnant. These are people whose marriages ended because their spouse was narcissistic and emotionally unavailable, often abusive. These clients have come to me to help them change whom they are attracting into their lives. What begins as date coaching becomes much larger when exploring the other relationships in that person’s life. Because what shows up in one area of your life often shows up in other arenas. If you have allowed your ex-spouse to step on important values and treat you poorly, you probably have friends who have done the same, and possibly even business relationships that reflect the same dynamic. What should you do?
Now that your marriage is over, you become aware of toxic relationship patterns and you want to break them. You want to attract healthy, emotionally stable, giving people into your life. Here are some tips as to how to do just that.
Five Tips on Attracting Healthy Relationships
1. Determine what doesn’t work. In order to figure out what you want, first determine what you DON’T want. Make a list of five character traits that no longer work for you. Some examples: someone showing up very late to meet you and not calling. How late is too late? That’s for you to decide. Or someone who doesn’t reciprocate. You find yourself giving and not receiving, over and over again. This can be either physical or emotional. If you are doing all of the heavy lifting, decide out what you want to do about it.
2. Figure out what does work. What do you want to attract into your life? Someone who is kind? Fun? Not a victim? Make a list of qualities that you are attracted to and seek those out in a new relationship.
3. Learn to speak up. If something doesn’t work for you, tell the other person. You can say, “that doesn’t work for me.” Simple. Clean. No lecture. This is not about trying to force someone to be something that they are not. This is about being clear with what works for you and being willing to do something about it. If the person hears you and apologizes and makes amends, great! He/she is probably a good person to keep in your life.
4. Find new ways to meet good people. Expand your social circles. Go to your community events and/or church or synagogue functions. Meetups are a great way to find like-minded people. Go to meetup.com and search for an area of interest. You can find these groups in most cities, and they can be great for broadening your social circles.
5. Be a giver. If you want to attract giving people, be a giver yourself. Host a dinner party. Offer a concert ticket to a new friend. Like attracts like.
Remember that you spent a lifetime building these old toxic relationships that didn’t work for you. Be kind to yourself and realize that it takes time to build healthy relationships. The rewards are incredible, though. All of your relationships will change, work, friends, and potential mates. I believe they are all intertwined.
This article originally appeared on Last First Date
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