New Relationships And Old Relationship Dynamics

In a previous newsletter (which you can read here), Wise Heart looked at what’s behind old relationship patterns repeating in present relationships. This week Wise Heart uncovers a little more about this phenomenon through the lens and consciousness of Mindful Compassionate Dialogue so you may more consciously choose and move toward healing and wholeness.
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At some point on your journey to create fulfilling relationships you likely have found yourself in both a new relationship and an all-too-familiar unsatisfying relationship dynamic. It’s disappointing and heartbreaking because you want to create fulfilling and supportive relationships.

How does this happen? You are not “a hopeless case” or destined to have difficult relationships. You do, however, have an undeniable drive toward wholeness and healing.

At times, this drive directs you to enter into personal relationships in which you play out old patterns, unconsciously hoping that this time you will find healing and resolution. Here are some common things you might hear yourself say about your experience of a new relationship if you are choosing someone to work out unhealed parts of yourself:

  • I feel so at home with them.
  • There was an immediate attraction.
  • We have a certain chemistry.
  • It’s like we’ve known each other all of our lives.

These sorts of experiences are often an indication that you unconsciously recognise the other person as playing their part in a familiar relationship dynamic. If you are lucky, they have a bit more resource around that dynamic than those (usually your parents) in the original relationship in which the unhealthy patterns occurred. In this sort of relationship, the intensity sparked by the drive toward wholeness gets misinterpreted as a sign that this person is a good fit for you.  

Adult attachment research shows that when you meet someone who is basically secure and not playing into an unhealthy relationship dynamic, you may not feel an immediate attraction or a sense of chemistry. Unfortunately, you may mistake the absence of intensity for a sense of boredom and not pursue a relationship with someone who might be a great partner for you.

Choosing to invest in a personal relationship involves a discernment process based on values and the experience of needs being consistently met in your interactions, not on an index of intense feelings. This means noticing things like mutual respect, shared interests, shared lifestyle choices, consistent kindness and consideration, integrity, honesty, an ability to collaborate and negotiate for the benefit of all, skills to meet challenging situations, skills to remain open and present as intimacy deepens, and more.  

Truly knowing these things about yourself and someone else requires a variety of experiences over time. This means trust isn’t given based on a positive feeling (or influx of oxytocin); it means that trust is earned based on experience. You entrust your heart to someone because they have shown their ability to hold it with honour.


Take a moment now to reflect on a relationship in which you do trust someone to hold your heart with honour. What has been present in the relationship that has built trust? Name at least three key things that have built trust in this relationship.

I hope you enjoyed this week’s blog.

Thank you for reading, for being here, and for being you.

With love.

If you would like to learn and cultivate the relational competencies, communication skills and emotional capacity needed to move beyond past painful and unhelpful relationship dynamics and instead create compassionate, skilful and thriving relationships with yourself and others, have a look at our upcoming Mindful Compassionate Dialogue course.

You are also invited to join our free biweekly Empathy Circle, where you can learn and discover what empathy is, and more importantly, practice giving and receiving empathy, allowing you to be deeply seen and heard in whatever challenge or celebration you’re navigating.

If you’d like to experience a powerful coaching conversation, book a complimentary 1:1 Coaching Call with me.

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