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Dating Struggles: They’re Not Your Fault & Here’s How To Fix Them

By Phoebe Rogers, Clinical Psychologist, Couples Therapist, and Dating Coach

A frustrated dater
I was a frustrated dater

I know all too well the heartache, pain and frustration of dating disasters and losing hope of ever finding a healthy relationship. So, what if I told you your struggles in dating weren’t your fault? Let me explain.


There’s a reason why you tend to attract the same type of unhealthy partner whether in dating or longer term commitment. There’s a reason why you repeat the same unhealthy relationship dynamic with partners despite trying to avoid it. You may have even told yourself you’re going to swear off dating men with red flags, or overcome your attraction to charismatic yet emotionally unavailable types.


Sometimes awareness alone isn’t enough. Often we tell ourselves this new person or relationship is different because we want it to be. Sometimes we believe this relationship is healthy, because we long to believe it.


Dating struggles are not your fault. Your longing for love is human. And falling for the same type is a common problem for many of my clients. In fact, you need to know you were doing your best. Here's why:


The reality of love is that we can’t help but be drawn to what feels familiar. Maybe you have a pattern of being drawn to emotionally unavailable or avoidant partners because this maps on to your early life experiences. We can’t help but be drawn to what’s familiar and unconsciously re-create the emotional experience of childhood. There will be certain partners who evoke those feelings in us. The notion that we are drawn to partners with whom we enact feelings and patterns from childhood is a key idea of Schema Therapy (I use this a lot in my work, and you can read more about Schema Therapy here).


For many years I was drawn to partners who were emotionally erratic and revved up my nervous system, likely linked to growing up in a family where there was conflict. I was able to overcome my attraction to emotionally unavailable partners when I understood the dynamic clearly and chose to deliberately act against it. Thankfully, I found a partner who makes me feel safe and secure. I was able to do that because I was intentional in dating, and vulnerable and open in my communication, allowing us to create security and connection.


So now that you know where the relationship dynamics you have created, and the partners you have been drawn to come from, you can do something about it. After awareness of your patterns, comes action. Whilst it is definitely true that dating struggles are not your fault, they're yours to fix. Here's how:

I suggest starting with these actions to bring a healthy relationship into your life:

  • Write down common themes and dynamics within your relationships, noting what patterns you wish to change

  • Understand your core relationship wounds from early in life and how they play out in your present

  • Shift beliefs and behaviours that hold you back

  • Start with creating a loving and nurturing self-relationship

  • Know what a healthy relationship is and how you create a sense of security with a partner

  • Choose partners in dating that make you feel safe, seen and secure



If you’re a woman who is dating and seeking a partner who makes you feel seen and secure, and are ready to open your heart to love, then my new free training, The Seen and Secure Dater, is for you.


I’ll take you through:

  • Why dating to find love is so hard (it’s not your fault)

  • Common fears, struggles, and blocks in dating

  • Simple shifts you can make to overcome these struggles

  • Accessing the power of your imagination to guide you towards a healthy love

  • How to find matches and choose a partner who makes you feel seen, secure, and valued.


Subscribe to my email list here to access the free training, which will be delivered straight to your inbox. Coming in June 2024.

With love greeting
With love x










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