More threads by Aerie


I have been in a four year relationship that tragically ended in the both of us getting hurt. After the break up i started to look for possible "rebound" individuals to get my mind off of him. Now i've noticed that I'm still going out with "rebounds" three years after the break up. The guys that i been dating never seem to satisfy what i want emotionally and physically(physical appearance). My standards has dropped tremendously and i feel like I'm always trying to make everybody else around me happier than they ever make me. Also, when i date a guy that my family and friends like i tend to lose interest. Is this common?

David Baxter PhD

Late Founder
What it suggests to me, Aerie, is that you are putting too much focus on "being in a relationship" than on finding out what it is you want, either in a relationship or just for yourself. As long as you do that, and keep going from one relationship to another trying to find one that will "make you happy", you are not going to find much success.

There is a book by Harville Hendrix, Getting the Love You Want: A Guide for Couples, that I often recommend, even for people who are not currently in a rfelationship. The book is divided into three parts: The Unconscious Marriage, The Conscious Marriage, and a series of exercises to help you find and maintain a relationship that will be more fulfilling and satisfying for you, or to reconstruct a current relationship so it can be that for you.

I don't agree with everything the author says but I do find some of the exercises helpful and I think his basic premise is correct: what many of us do is go into a relaionship without clearly identifying what it is we want and expect from the relationship - after a while, we realize this one just isn't working out, so we leave and after a bit find ourselves in another relationship, but again with no clear idea of what it is we want, need, or expect to get in the relationship - and the cycle repeats itself. That's the idea of "the unconscious marriage] - the rest of the book is about trying to remedy that.

You may not be old enough to remember that old (and somewhat goofy) song, "Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places" but when I think of that it often occurs to me that people "find love" more often when they focus on "finding themselves" - and once they have done that, love "finds" them.
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