Preventing and stopping imbalanced, abusive, violent … disrespectful dating and relationships starts with us as individuals.
The single most contributing factor to anything less than high “Respect Level” dates and relationships is our lack of awareness about how our past shapes our lives.
Some of us already know that how our parents treated each other and us lays the foundation for what we will often, subconsciously, look for in relationships. It does not matter what our parenting was like … supportive, encouraging, critical, absent, neglectful, cruel, abusive or violent or like many, a combination … what matters is without recognizing our parenting experience we will often bring the same dynamics to all our other relationships.
Some parents want their children to have more than they had, but quite often the focus becomes too narrow on either the financial or on the unfulfilled dreams of the parents.
Wanting more financially in itself is not a problem, but when finances become the primary factor influencing lives, children either do not learn what is important to them or they disconnect from unique personal paths that may not seem financially sufficient for parental goals, just as when unfulfilled parents burden their children with their unrealized dreams.
A girl with a father who does not know how to treat his daughter with the respect she needs to develop strong, healthy boundaries, along with the confidence she needs to discover and develop her unique beauty, inside and out, later on searches for someone to fill those needs in her. Unfortunately, a girl, and later, the woman will continue the search, yet of course, in her search she will attract men who cannot give what she needs either and often will attract those who will exploit her needs to the point she will often accept behavior that is contrary to what she is searching for … even abusive and violent behavior.
A boy with a mother who does not know how to treat her son with the respect he needs to develop strong, healthy boundaries, along with the confidence he needs to develop healthy, balanced relationships with the opposite sex will often become needy and angry, sometimes in subtle ways such as the need to control women, using putdowns and sarcasm, as well as financial manipulation, yet also insecurities that feed irrational jealousy, neglect, abuse, and violence.
Regardless of the different historical scenarios, circumstances, and experiences, our present reveals what shaped us … that is unless we become aware of the influences and conditioning and consciously develop beyond them for us to be become more than our historical experiences.
Even the most loving parents with the best intentions may not be able to meet the needs of a child, especially one very different from either one of them, yet parents who have done the personal work of understanding their own history and its impact, will, as a result, consciously adopt new ways of being that create better choices for themselves and for their children, empowering parents and children to navigate and support the development of the unique qualities of the child.
How we develop healthy, respectful relationships … personal and professional … starts with parents and if a healthy relationship with one’s self has not happened, which is more the norm than not, then it is up to us as youths and adults to learn about the dynamics of the relationships that shaped many of our conscious and unconscious beliefs in order to grow beyond our history … not just to be parents, but also to be healthy, contributing global citizens … because we never know how our words or actions are going to impact someone in our daily lives.
I had a lot to learn to develop the “Respect Level” that is generating healthier boundaries in my personal and professional relationships. To help me reinvent my dating expectations and habits, I recently discovered the great little book by Greg Behrendt, author of “He’s Just Not That Into You.” “It’s Just a F***ing Date” with his new personal and professional partner, Amiira Ruotola is a funny, fresh, yet wise book I needed to teach me how to make the better … best choices myself … even though one of the choices I had to make was being alone until the knowledge gained empowered me to make the changes I needed to make in me and what different qualities to look for in the others beyond my historical conditioning.
Whether you fit into the “Been there, done that” and are skittish about delving back into the world of dating and serious relationships or are just starting out, gaining the knowledge first about ourselves will serves us well in attracting the dates, mates, and work environments best suited to who we really are and relationships that are mutually supportive.
November 13, 2015
Connecting the Dots Column … High “RESPECT LEVEL” Dating and Relationships
KAITLIN ANN TREPANIER … The Respect Specialist. Humanitarian. Social Entrepreneur. Speaker. Author. Poet. Playwright. Director. Publisher … Freeing potential and generating peace through education, entertainment and inspiration. © All rights reserved 2015
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