by Gina B.
I learned at a young age that aligning with the “wrong people” would get me in trouble. My mother tried to steer me toward the good kids, but it was a dilemma because the good kids weren’t very exciting. However with the bad kids, I was always subject to guilt by association. Punishment didn’t agree with me. It took a while, but I finally settled in with a group of friends who were more like-minded, and exciting enough without gaining negative attention from the Principal . . . or the police.
When I began dating, the cycle repeated itself.
My friendship selection activity taught me a lot about the dating process. Eventually. I had to bump my head a few times before realizing that the same rules applied in relationships, and I learned that how I chose to align myself spoke volumes.
Similar to my childhood situation, the good guys weren’t very exciting, but the bad boys didn’t treat me very well and often didn’t have their lives together. I had to make better choices, and with that decision came an awakening.
Careful alignment is essential.
For example, if you claim a political party, there is a general impression that accompanies that alignment. Are you a Democrat? You must be somewhat liberal. Are you a Republican? You probably skew to the conservative side. If those descriptions match your thinking, you’ve made the right choice. If not, you might want to do some research to find a party that is more aligned with your viewpoints.
Using that same logic, if you’re a person who knowingly dates a criminal, you are giving off the impression that you’re okay with that activity, if not a participant. You might be perfectly fine with that, but you have to decide if that alignment is reflective of you.
Alignment is all about how you see yourself, and then actively choosing a partner who supplements your self-image and supports your life vision.
If you’re dating the criminal, there are byproducts of that choice. You’re effectively opting for a life of hiding, and signing up for the potential that you or your significant other could be arrested at any time. If you’re accepting of those circumstances, and you don’t mind including a mug shot in your collection of family pictures, you’re in the right place.
If you can’t stand up, raise your hand, and say “I’m proud to be with this person. I admire his/her traits. This person is a reflection of me, and s/he is the person with whom I would like to move forward in the world,” it’s time to choose a new alignment.
So . . . what happens when you’re not attracting the right people? When you’re simply not meeting those who you consider to be like-minded, and good partners? It’s time to do some internal work. It’s not a tragedy; we’re all works in progress.
After a few intensely bad relationships, a good friend decided that she wasn’t attracting the right men. Tired of being a loser-magnet, she took a hard look in the mirror and realized that she wasn’t the person that she needed to be to appeal to the right guy. She focused on polishing her rough edges and eliminating some negative factors from her life until she achieved her goal of being the person that she wanted to be.
The harder part was that she had to become really picky. She’s attractive, so there was no shortage of interest in her. However, she was aware that she opened herself up to the wrong men by going along with whoever chose her. Going forward, if a man approached her who didn’t match her vision, she wouldn’t entertain him, no matter how bored and sex-starved she became. She had aligned poorly in the past, and she had no intention of doing it again. So she waited, sometimes rather impatiently. Eventually she met someone. As it turned out, he wasn’t her forever person, but he was heads and tails above her previous selections. Although the relationship ended she can look back on it and say that he was a good choice, but ultimately he wasn’t for her. Progress.
Before you decide to align with a person, ask yourself a few questions: Is this good enough for me? Is this person a good partner for me? When I look back on this, will this be something that I can embrace, or a situation that I will have to explain?
Based on your answers, you’ll know how to proceed.