Fix Your Picker! – by Adam M.

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Diagnosis:

Being rigorously honest with yourself, place a check next to each statement you can relate to. There are various  symptoms and different kinds of broken pickers. You will probably not relate to all of the following statements. Only check those that apply to you.
Do you…

__ Simply “take what you can get?” (rather than pursuing someone, you take whoever shows up)
__ Aim low? (ensuring your own superiority)
__ Pursue anyone and everyone?
__ Settle for less? (date the kind of person you told yourself you wouldn’t date)
__ Ignore red flags, your instincts and warnings from friends? (or paint the red flags green!)
__ Aim for only supermodels, movie stars, rockstars, pro athletes, etc? (fantasy)
__ Compromise your own values and integrity just to be with someone?
__ Lie to yourself about how fantastic they are?
__ Give them a free pass for all manner of unacceptable behavior?
__ Create a story in your head about how they don’t really like you? (self-sabotage)
__ ”Fall in love” with the idea of them - not actually them?
__ Feel attracted to unavailable people? (mentally, emotionally, physically)
__ Remain aloof, avoidant and unavailable yourself? (mentally, emotionally, physically)
__ Go from zero to marriage in 60 seconds? (2nd date in a U-Haul)
__ Lose yourself in a relationship? (do what they want to do all the time)
__ Take on your partner’s feelings, beliefs, hobbies, etc?
__ Do things solely for approval or validation? (especially things you wouldn’t normally do)
__ Place unrealistic demands and expectations on your partner?
__ Feel like you have to earn your keep, prove your worth or “win” your partner?
__ Create intensity in your life so you don’t have time for a healthy relationship?
__ Enmesh or cling to your partner or become very needy?
__ Try to “orchestrate,” plan, “figure out” or control your relationships?
__ Lose interest in your partners after a short time? (a week to 6 months)
__ Accept sex when you want love?
__ Use sex to gain approval and acceptance?
__ Stay in harmful relationships for too long? (the turning point could be soon)
__ Jump from relationship to relationship? (hardly staying single for long)
__ Try to change your partner? (make them be something they’re not)
__ Lavish excessive gifts and favors on your partners?
__ Demand that they do things for you that you could easily do yourself?
__ Place your partner on a pedestal? (they can do no wrong - they’re always right)
__ Find fault with everyone that you date?
__ Try SO hard to make relationships work but they keep failing?
__ Avoid commitment because you don’t feel capable of being in a healthy, mature relationship?
__ Feel undeserving of a healthy, mature relationship?
__ Withhold expressing feelings and concerns to avoid arguments or confrontation?
__ Reject others before they reject you? (you can’t fire me, I quit!)
__ Believe that you missed your chance or that all the good ones are taken?
__ Blame them or blame yourself for everything? (either way is not healthy)
__ Give up easily because it’s too much work? (we’ve got a runner!)
__ Feel safer being alone?
__ Other______________________________________________________________________

If you checked more than zero of these items, your picker may require servicing. Some of these behaviors  result from the false belief that you are “less than” (making others into your Higher Power) and some result from fancying yourself as “better than” (making yourself into a Higher Power). Neither position has you in the right place (equal to all others) or God in the right place (in charge).

What Are You Afraid Of?

__ Being alone
__ Being wrong
__ Being hurt
__ Being misunderstood
__ Being controlled
__ Being forgotten/ignored
__ Not being good enough
__ Asking for my wants/needs
__ Intimacy
__ Rejection
__ Vulnerability
__ Abandonment
__ Enmeshment
__ Conflict
__ Commitment
__ Love
__ Infidelity
__ Boredom
__ Abuse
__ Manipulation
__ Disappointment
__ Abandoning myself
__ Giving up my alone time
__ Other_________________

A strong faith in our Higher Power ensures that we need not fear. We are no longer in the results business and we can rest assured that God has our best interests in mind as our journey unfolds. After each personal inventory, we can take the newly discovered truth about ourselves to God and ask that we be relieved of the bondage of our past and shown the way to becoming our highest self.

What Kind of Love Did You Learn?

Take a close look at the relationships you learned from - your parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, siblings… even teachers, employers, television, media and other influential figures in your life. What did their version of love look like?

__ Unconditional
__ Conditional
__ Warm
__ Cold
__ Controlling
__ Accepting
__ Erratic
__ Calculated
__ Private
__ Boundary-less
__ Enmeshment
__ Ownership
__ Quid pro quo
__ One-sided
__ Orchestrated
__ Abusive
__ Attentive
__ Neglectful
__ Indifferent
__ Love/Hate
__ Obligatory
__ Business-like
__ Judgmental
__ Shameful
__ Violent
__ Romanticized
__ Affectionate
__ Affirming
__ Spending time
__ Spending money
__ Acts of service
__ Like a chess game
__ Soul-sucking
__ Other______________

Good news: you don’t have to live like this or love like this ever again if you don’t want to! Every day is a new opportunity to do it right - to learn and grow into your new ideal for present and future relationships.

Creating A Sane Ideal For The Future:

If you don’t know what you’re aiming for, you’ll never hit your mark, I promise. Let’s get real clear about what you want in a partner so you can stop settling for less and wasting your time with icky people. This is your chance to place a custom order with the universe to deliver your soul mate and perfect partner. Don’t hold back. Let your imagination run wild. The more detailed the better!

DEAL BREAKERS. List non-negotiables. These are things that you find absolutely unacceptable in a partner:

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IDEAL PARTNER. List characteristics and qualities of your ideal partner:

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MY NEEDS. List things that you need your partner to do or not do in order for you to feel loved:

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TO DON’T. List unhealthy behaviors that you need to stop doing (refer to your diagnostic list):

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Now that you have decided what you want, need and deserve, you have an obligation to yourself to not settle for less than what you want, need and deserve! You also have an obligation to become the ideal partner. No one will ever be the right person if you are not the right person. This will require work on your part – adopting the 12 steps as a way of life, attending CODA/ACA meetings regularly and seeking outside professional help if necessary. You must be willing to be single. If you stay in unsatisfying relationships 1) you are reinforcing a message to yourself that it is acceptable to be treated poorly and to be in an unsatisfying relationship and 2)  you will not be available when the right person comes along. You can be alone without being lonely. You must be willing to go on a few dates and say, “It has been nice getting to know you and you are a lovely person, but I don’t think that we have long-term compatibility. Thank you and goodbye.” Keep this list where you can see it, read it and reference it often. Revisit it frequently during the beginning of a new relationship or periodically to re-evaluate your current relationship. You are good enough. God doesn’t make junk. You deserve to be in a healthy and loving relationship. You only get one life. Don’t waste your time being unhappy.