The Pattern: If you partake in any combination of the aforementioned patterns, you might find yourself in this one as a result. Because, when operating out of these behaviors, relationships hurt. They take you out of your life, make it nearly impossible to function, and are not sustainable for any length of time. There’s only so long you can hold down a job when you’re spacing out in fantasy during meetings, compulsively refreshing your email instead of reaching your deadlines, and using up your sick days to cry in bed because the guy you thought was your soul mate cut and run, or your married boyfriend cancelled another date. There’s only so much self-neglect you can take before you have to choose between falling apart completely and getting the heck out of these destructive relationships once and for all. So you isolate to protect yourself from ever having to experience this kind of pain again. And a few weeks alone turns into months and maybe years.
How To Break It: When you start to let go of patterns one through nine, relationships will stop being so painful and that’s half the battle. If you don’t lose yourself when you’re dating someone or become completely devastated when it ends, you won’t have to go to such extreme lengths to protect yourself. Work towards releasing unhealthy patterns gently and gradually, and you will have progressively healthier relationships that take less and less time to get over. Aim to date in a balanced way, where you can take some time off between relationships to process and heal, without this turning into years of not dating. If you find yourself getting stuck in isolation mode, reach out for help from friends or a therapist. And know that regardless of any unhealthy patterns you may have and no matter how checkered your relationship past is, you deserve love from others, and most importantly, from yourself.