A Jewish Matchmakers Guide to Learning to Trust Yourself…
As a matchmaker, I find that many of my clients are shell-shocked from past relationships. If they were cheated on, they are afraid that the next partner will cheat. If they were lied to, they look for inconsistencies in their new partner’s words and actions, and those who have suffered emotional or physical abuse often turn “off” their desire for a long-term relationship because they are wounded and broken and fearful that they will attract the same type of personality for a repeat relationship.
There is something to be said for attracting and being attracted to the same characteristics in different partners. Often, we find ourselves with intense chemical reactions and attractions for people who will ultimately drag up past hurts and issues which we have not yet resolved within ourselves. Acknowledging this type of attraction and doing some inner work on ourselves can do wonders with breaking this unhealthy relationship dynamic and allowing you to move forward into less-volatile and damaging partnerships.
But what can you do if you are so fearful of repeating past relationships scenarios that you are at the point where you feel you just cannot let yourself go and trust another person again? What if you are frantically searching for that one person who you can be assured will never let you down or betray your trust?
There is only one person with whom you can feel secure in placing your trust and personal wellbeing, and it is the one person whom you may no longer feel you CAN trust because you have been disappointed so many times…. that person, is yourself.
Learning to trust yourself again after a perceived history of making “bad choices” is not an easy thing to do, but once you regain that trust, set boundaries, and begin meeting potential partners with the confidence of truly knowing that you have “got” your own back, you will enjoy a sense of empowerment like none you have felt before. You will feel unstoppable and unshakable.
Sounds great, right? Okay, so how do we get you to that place?
The first step is acknowledging that although you may be telling yourself that past bad behavior from your partners “blindsided” you or came out of nowhere, if you look at each relationship honestly you will find the “red flags” that were waving, but that you simply didn’t want to acknowledge at the time. Very rarely does bad behavior or broken trust come completely out of the blue; usually, there are signs of it before the big ball finally drops. So it isn’t that you cannot trust yourself- your intuition was spot-on all along, it is that you need to learn to listen to yourself when your intuition prompts you that “something isn’t right here”.
Next, you need to start setting some boundaries based on YOUR comfort level and be prepared to walk away if your partner does not respect them. Don’t hesitate to be vocal about what you will and will not tolerate from your partner and the relationship. Some things are obvious no-no’s – such as physical abuse or cheating, and I urge you to walk away immediately as these are unhealthy behaviors that tend to increase over time.
Remember, boundaries are about creating a safe environment for YOURSELF, where you can thrive and feel secure. If someone knowingly crosses your boundaries, you can be assured that your well-being, happiness, and security are NOT their top concerns so don’t give them any more opportunity to disappoint you. Maybe you don’t want your partner logging onto your social media accounts, maybe there are derogatory names that you refuse to let yourself be called, or maybe you occasionally need some quiet time to yourself, undisturbed. Whatever your boundaries, set them, state them, and be prepared to walk away if they are ignored by your partner.
Listen to your intuition in all your interactions. Acknowledge your feelings and concerns, and avoid people who have a tendency to dismiss them as not important or “over-reactions”. Offer your fullest trust to yourself and create within yourself a loving, respectful, and kind environment where your inner thoughts and fears are held in acceptance and love. Don’t mentally beat yourself up- ever.
Be as respectful of yourself as you are hoping that someone else will be. Knowing that you have yourself as your biggest advocate, staunchest supporter, and most trusted ally – you can fearlessly move forward into healthier and happier relationships.