If the person did not have a voice that was heard, understood and valued in their family of origin, if they were required to earn love, if boundaries were wishy washy, if abuse or addiction was part of the modeling, then chances are this person will do all of the heavy emotional lifting, often overcompensating with people who are also wounded and are unwilling or unable to attach and love in a healthy way.” For example, if you developed codependent patterns in childhood, you probably learned care-taking and controlling behaviors in order to survive, and may gravitate towards a partner with addictions or mental health problems or physical impairments who you can take care of and try to “fix.” Changing your relationship habits requires work.

We all have tendencies to repeat behavior patterns once they’re entrenched, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be changed!

The principles of loving toughness are the same for those who are single as for those who have been married for decades.

A healthy partnership will add enjoyment to your life, but you don’t need someone else to make you worthy or attractive or successful.

When you feel lonely or “broken” or unfulfilled, you look for a partner who will fill your emotional voids and make you feel whole and lovable.

Learning to accept yourself and feel like a whole and worthy person will set you on the right path toward finding a partner who is also a whole and healthy person.

***** For more tips and articles about healthy relationships, join me on Facebook and my free, monthly newsletter below.

The icing adds extra sweetness and enjoyment to the cake, but cake doesn’t need icing.

Likewise, you are beautiful and delicious and wonderful on your own.

Ot maybe you're not putting yourself in the best environments to meet the right person, or that when you do, you don't feel confident enough.

Whatever the case may be, you can overcome your obstacles and find a healthy romantic relationship.

Unfortunately, you’re setting yourself up for greater pain when you expect your partner to heal the emotional wounds you bring with you to your relationships.

You can get stuck in a self-defeating pattern of dating the “wrong” people in part due to the relationships you witnessed and experienced as a child.

Let me cite 17 suggestions that will help you avoid the common pitfalls among those who are trying to win the heart of another.