#8. A History Unexamined Always Repeats Itself.

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Our sixth session marks a dramatic change in Tara. 

“You look great,” I say, welcoming her into my home with a hug.
 
“I feel a lot better,” Tara begins. “I’ve been sleeping more. And, writing in my journal. I take long walks in the Central Park. I am not going out with friends as much. Honestly, I am enjoying the process of getting to know myself.”
 
"Today, I want you to tell me about your relationship history. Start from the beginning.” 
 
For the next hour, Tara recounts her boyfriends.

Since 14, she has jumped from one relationship to the next. She never spent a year in solitude or reflection. 
 
Her suitors included:
 

  • Marcus: She dated her high school boyfriend for four years. For the last two, they barely spoke. 

  • Theo: She did everything a ‘perfect’ girlfriend does—cooking, social planning, and counseling. When Tara’s father had colon cancer, Theo told her that she “wasn’t fun anymore” and cheated with a coworker.

  • Terence: From their first date, he said didn’t want a relationship. But, Tara kept chasing (and having sex with Terence) in hopes he would change his mind. Three years later, the relationship was in the same place where it started—nowhere.

  • Jordan: Tara and Jordan had an on-again, off-again relationship. Despite clear red flags—including alcohol and money problems--she could not let go. By the end, she said her self-esteem was in “tatters.”

  • Matt: She met her former fiancé on vacation. She gave up her job and apartment to relocate closer to him. Despite numerous promises and a proposal, the relationship felt unbalanced and stuck.

Through my business, School of Love NYC (www.schooloflovenyc.com), I teach my clients the importance of self-analysis.

It’s easy to default into familiar patterns of behavior. But, once a client understands that certain behaviors prevent her from reaching her goals, she makes empowering choices.  

These behavioral changes have a ripple effect—healthier love lives, more uplifting and balanced friendships, and careers in alignment with their talents. (My clients begin to make more money, too.) 
 
As we analyzed Tara’s relationships, I noticed a few troubling patterns: 

  • She invested in a fantasy, instead of getting to know the “real” person slowly and organically.

  • She had sex early and then acted “needy” and “desperate” when her partner lost interest.

  • She over-stayed in relationships “going nowhere.”

  • She over-gave and attracted selfish partners. 

  • She ratcheted down her expectations, accepting treatment that was humiliating, degrading and demeaning.

  • She ignored her powerful intuition.

Tara is not alone. The vast bulk of my clients—doctors, lawyers, mothers, CEOs, teachers, and Superwomen—suffer from a type of blindness:
 
They don’t see their own beauty, power and divinity as feminine Goddesses. 
 
My job is to shine a light on their greatness. Small changes in their behaviors and beliefs can produce dramatic results. 
 
We all crave intimacy and closeness. But, relationship skills are not intuitive.  

Real relationships—like real food—take time. 
 
Mature relationships require becoming empathic, learning boundaries, practicing forgiveness and learning to fight fair. These are not intuitive; they are skills that require education and practice.

  1. Why is self-care integral to emotional health?

  2. What is the problem with serial monogamy?

  3. What does it mean to “lose power due to fear and insecurity”?

Monica Parikh