Your pattern is rooted in unhealed emotional wounds

originating from unresolved emotional experiences.

If the same type of people and situations keep showing up in your life whether it's with friends, co-workers or romantic partners, it’s a sign you might be recreating relationship dynamics from your past and unconsciously replaying your past programming. Usually, these dynamics revolve around themes of power, lack of trust or abandonment. 

“We acquire limiting beliefs through a family of origin (the family unit you grew up in), early romantic relationships, friendships, or the school environment, and then we play them out in the future because we have been conditioned to do so on a deep subconscious level.”

contributing factors

  • Maybe you grew up in a strict or controlling environment, and any attempts to think for yourself were squelched.

  • Perhaps you were not allowed to question authority or whenever you did you would face dire consequences.

  • Possibly you never felt like you belonged or measured up to expectations placed on you.

  • Or maybe others made you feel ashamed of who were.

  • Perhaps during your formative years, you had to abide by an unspoken rule that certain qualities or emotions were not to be expressed.


Getting constantly involved with emotionally unavailable people might be a sign of a protective mechanism. It feels safer to keep people at a distance, because deep down you believe that if they get really close, they will get to know the “real imperfect you” and then you will be abandoned.

If you tend to form friendships and relationships with people who aren't caring and supportive, most likely growing up you were deprived of love and belonging you needed, and developed a belief that you don't deserve love. It leads to repeating this dynamic in your adult life, because ironically it’s what is familiar to you.

If in your professional life, you continuously end up working for the same type boss or dissatisfying workplace. Most likely you are transferring dynamics from your family of origin onto authority figures. You keep running into it because it provides a playground for resolving prior hurts and traumas.  

Practice - Uncover your beliefs

The point of this exercise is to illustrate your hidden beliefs about love and connection and explain why sometimes unhealthy relationship dynamics feel like home to you. (I borrowed this practice from Teal Swan and loved how illuminating it was.)

  1. In a journal or on a sheet of paper draw a line dividing it vertically in half into two columns.

  2. On the left-hand side write on top of the column write “My childhood home was…..” ( you can replace with "My childhood was..."

  3. Next, on the right-hand side, depending what you want to work on, write “Love is…”

  4. In the first column titled “My childhood home was…..” list all the words and adjectives that come to your mind. You want to do a stream of consciousness writing, so your analytical mind does not get in the way. Don’t overthink it! (Word examples: loving, controlling, warm, distant, chaotic, peaceful, confining, demanding, welcoming, cold, rejecting, conditional, etc.)

  5. Now transfer all the words from the first column where you described your childhood home, into the second column and place them underneath the heading “Love is….”



You should have two columns with a list of words underneath each heading. One column titled “My childhood home was…..” and the second one called "Love is..." Now read all the words in the column titled "Love is..."  Those words indicate what you unconsciously associate with love or intimacy. Making unconscious conscious will increase your awareness and help you recognize unhelpful situations or people before you engage with them.