I was about 46 years old and I found myself in yet another horrible relationship. Each and every time I had to emancipate myself from a toxic situation it threw me into a whirlwind of deep emotional pain and withdrawals. I was an addict, but not to drugs or alcohol.
I was an addict and the other person was my “fix.”
This is embarrassing and hard not to feel shame sharing the most intimate pain in my life, but if I can help even one person to understand what they might be experiencing, that allays my own shame.
I was facing a defining moment and had a choice. I could continue this dysfunctional pattern OR break free.
I chose to break free. I had the knowledge and now all I needed to do was to put it into practice, make the processes my own and take action.
The biggest piece I discovered was how to walk away from those people that have similar negative traits of one or both of my major caretakers. While I understood that many of my partners triggered me into a deep place of pain, I could not figure out why I stayed.
After some hard work, I found the answer. On some unconscious level, I thought if I could get this person to love me, then I was a loveable and okay. Then all my childhood woundings would simply melt away.
I suppose we could call this “transference” where this person was only a representative of one of my parents and I desperately needed for them to love me in order to feel whole.
Aaaaahhhh……..THIS was the key.
I went to work on myself, hard work, connecting with that wounded inner-child, loving her, getting her to trust me, letting her know that she is safe and I can now run the show and she can just be a little girl….I’ll be making important life decisions, not her, because how can we expect a child to be in charge of an adult life. Right??
And now the fun started. I was determined to find love, healthy love, a committed monogamous partnership.
I created the “Liz Dating Game Plan” and put myself out there. I went to singles events and put my profile on FIVE different dating sites.
This time, I had rules when dating. This time, I learned to immediately walk away from those people who had those similar red flags. I learned to pay attention to my body and the signals it gave me when someone was not right for me.
After 10 months of dating and practicing this over and over again, this lovely man walked into one of my 20 minute coffee dates. He was lovely, kind and spiritual….BUT I did not have that huge pull like I did when I fell in love in the past.
I kept seeing him. He was a healthy one. I kept dating him and without any trauma drama, without any massive fireworks, I gently and easily fell in love with him.
I best describe it like sitting on a porch overlooking a beautiful meadow. It was sweet and filled with kindness.
Two years later, I married him. My amazing husband Dr. Jeff Donahue.
Now, I teach people what I learned. How to stop dating all the wrong people and start dating people who are all the right people for you. How to attract the love you truly want and desire.
To give you a taste of what I share, I’m offering a FREE class on Valentine’s Day to anyone who is frustrated with dating and is ready to find love.