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  • Writer's pictureDr. Speshal Walker Gautier a.k.a. Dr. Spesh

Sis, It’s time for a visit from “The Ghost of Relationships Present.”

In continuing the theme of A Christmas Carol, it’s time to gear up for another ghost Sis. Now that you’ve regrouped from your first late-night visit from your ex, it’s mid-December and the second ghost has arrived. This time it's someone who represents your current love life.  This person will take you on a tour of your current romantic relationship patterns.  Pay close attention Sis and tell me what you see.

If you’re currently navigating the dating scene, notice how you’re choosing prospective partners. So often I hear women complain about the type of people they “attract.”  This is your reminder that you are not a passenger in your life, you are the driver.  Your love life is no exception.  Of course, there will be people you come across who are not willing or able to give you what you need in a relationship. When they show you their level of responsiveness, what do you do with that information?  What types of relationships are you attracted to?  Notice I ask what “types of relationships” rather than “what types of people.”  The reason is that if those relationship patterns are left unchecked, they persist even as you date different people.  How are you showing up on the dating scene? What’s your data-gathering process around whether or not your prospective partner is ready and willing for the type of relationship you want and need? Are you choosing people based on arbitrary factors (e.g., height, occupation) versus emotional safety and shared values/goals? I know that last question was loaded... another blog for another day.  

Perhaps you’re reading this and you’re currently in a relationship. If your partner shows up in ghost form in the wee hours of the night, what would they show you? As you imagine various scenes from your current relationship, pay attention to yourself amid this relationship. Are your needs being communicated in healthy ways and are they being met?  Sometimes we accuse our partners of not providing what we want and need, yet we have either ignored or failed to communicate due to our vulnerability issues and/or unhealthy relationship histories. Have you chosen a partner who is responsive and able to show up when you do communicate? Ask yourself not only about your partner but also about how you show up in love.

As you tour your current love life, consider whether you are showing up authentically in relationships. This can feel vulnerable and scary whether you are dating or partnered. But I promise you it will help you determine who is or isn't a good fit. It's also the only way to allow yourself the gift of being truly seen and loved for who you are. The purpose of this visit is to invite you to zoom out and take an observer stance on your current love life.  Maybe this ghost comes along and you feel solid and great about who and how you’re dating.  If that’s the case, I love that you are out here dating in healthy and intentional ways.  If not, consider this an invitation to pay attention and think about what you want and need to change.  Your future self will thank you.  Ghosts of Relationships Future coming soon…

Dr. Spesh is an Atlanta-based Clinical Psychologist, blogger, and consultant.

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