I’ll admit it: when my Talkspace editors suggested that I write about how to overcome harmful relationship patterns, my first thought was “Hey man, I wish I knew.”
I, like most of us, have had my fair share of bad relationships, from “it’s complicated,” to “it’s really complicated,” to abuse (and there’s no Facebook status for that). I, like most of us, have gone into each new relationship hoping it will be different this time, but worrying that old patterns will come back to bite me in the derrière. And I, like many women and queer people, have swiped through a dating wasteland of those too eager to show me their genitals, wondering why it has to be so difficult to find someone who will treat me with respect. And of course, I’ve had my fair share of wonderful moments, sweet partners, and fulfilling relationships, too.
But in a world where many of our experiences of intimacy are marked by trauma or negative patterns of behavior, how can we work through the bad stuff to find enduring, healthy love?