• Pam Del Franco aka ASK NANNA

How do you recognize you’ve grown and won’t attract another crappy relationship?

So you’re ready for a new relationship, and you determined to switch from the type of men you dated. Your past relationships, for the most part, have well, let’s just say, sucked.

It’s baffling to you because you know you’re intelligent, attractive, and a great businesswoman and yet your past relationships left a little to be desired (putting it mildly).

So what now?

Life will bring all kinds of heartache your way. There’s no avoiding it. (I feel for the women who seem to get more than their share of life’s ups and downs, I used to be her. But this conversation is about poor relationships, it’s not about abuse. For help with that, please reach out to your local women shelter.

What I can tell you from years of experiencing what not to do, that I have a clear path on how you can step forward into a new and healthier relationship.

As corny as it might sound, you must do the work on yourself first.

You can’t attract a kind, loving and supportive partner without having at least some measure of those feelings towards yourself.

My personal example would be, I can’t expect a partner to love everything about my physical body when I do not appreciate it. Imagine negative vibes are emanating from my body. All these negative arrows shooting outward. I see a potential partner across the room (cue romance music). He moves closer and immediately gets stung by all of those arrows…ouch! It’s going to influence his ability to break through that barrier. Yes, you could say that if he’s the right person for you, he’ll bust through the wall; and he might. But why make it harder than it needs to be.

That’s just one example (dramatized for effect). It’s meant to help you get that there was something in you (probably a past hurtful event) that kept springing forward every time you were in a relationship. It caused mayhem without you recognizing it. You might remember your parents’ divorce, for example, and how you felt painfully aware that you had to make a choice who to live with or that you were ripped from one parent when you loved them both.

That feeling, unless dealt with, remains in your psyche. It doesn’t magically disappear, it gets buried.

That feeling of having to make a painful decision carries forward in all of your relationships. In a partner situation, it can show up as being too compliant. You often bow to his wishes because you remember what it was like to have to make a choice. Ultimately, your partner becomes overwhelmed without the support of feedback, and you both suffer. You end up arguing that you feel pushed, he feels unsupported, and you’re both triggered.

There’s a simple (but not easy) way to go from bad relationships to healthier ones.

It’s about getting to the bottom of your pain, working through it and making the connection to how it affected your past relationships. From there, you take steps each time you feel triggered (because once you see, you can’t in-see). You go from attracting yet another lousy relationship to attracting a more suitable and loving one.