How to Avoid Toxic Relationships That Go Nowhere
Unfortunately, more and more people find themselves in harmful and destructive relationships. Clients will tell me they repeatedly have love relationships with a person who later turns out to be abusive or addictive in some way. One woman said she frequently meets men who are initially exciting and interesting, only to find out later they are "drunks, liars or cheaters." A man said he continually dates women who are "gold-diggers," only interested in his wealth.
Some people actually have a predisposition to "subconsciously" attract unhealthy relationships into their life. They seem to have a magnetic compass that draws them to abusive or codependent relationships. For example, one person (or both), in an unhealthy way, is psychologically dependent on the other person who might be engaged in some type of self-destructive behavior (including drug addiction). Why does this happen? And, if you have this tendency, what can you do about it?
If this has been your experience, here's my answer as an astrologer: Your poor relationship choices may be based on the way the planet Neptune affects you. When it comes to love and romance, one of the dangers of Neptune's influence is that it can cause you to be attracted to unhealthy relationships where you deceive yourself about the person you're in love with or the nature of your relationship.
In analyzing the personality and birth chart of someone who has a history of these bad relationship experiences, I often see where their problem originates. They're pre-disposed to attracting unsavory characters who they're destined to have an unhealthy relationship. In some cases, they have an addictive attraction to people who will abuse them. I call this pre-disposition: the "bad-boy" or "bad-girl" syndrome.
One way this syndrome manifests is in the chart of the woman who may come from a traditional family where manners and moral upbringing are stressed. But, unfortunately, she finds most "nice" men (that her parents would approve) uninteresting, boring, and "too white bread." Instead, she's excited and fascinated by a man of questionable character especially if he appears fascinating and mysterious. Some women are even more bewitched if the man seems dangerous. There's something forbidden about his character that makes him very captivating.
The woman admires this "bad boy" for his rebellious ways and his, "to hell with everyone else, I do what I want" attitude. (And, if her parents would disapprove, so much the better.) He may be devilishly handsome with a charismatic personality that says, "I'm in control and I get what I want."
Or, he may be intriguing because he lives a carefree life, unconcerned about society's approval. Perhaps, he dropped out of school or had some trouble with the law or is unconcerned that he can't seem to hold a job. He may have an exciting sexual charisma or just appears a bit freaky. In some way he's a "bad boy."
Likewise, men with a history of being attracted to unhealthy relationships with women, suffer from a similar syndrome. They are equally captivated with women who are likely to treat them abusively. For example, I mentioned the male client who felt used by women because they were only interested in his money. His birth chart showed he was predisposed to being solely interested in women if they were physically attractive and materialistically oriented (like he was). It was no wonder they were interested in his wealth since that's what they valued most. Then, another male client, in his 50s, with a history of disappointing relationships, only wanted to date women in their 20s and early 30s. He complained that he felt taken advantaged when these young women eventually left him for a relationship with a man closer to their age, with whom they had more in common.
Another way this syndrome causes unsatisfying romances is for people who find themselves attracted to a romantic partner they can't have. It's as if their romantic interest comes alive because the other person isn't available or interested in them. One female client spent two years going out with a man whose behavior clearly showed he wasn't that "into" their relationship. Her low self-esteem made her feel she didn't deserve more. Neptune's placement in her birth chart gave her a propensity to deceive herself, so she ignored the many signs of this man's lack of serious interest in her. Her Neptunian delusion prevented her from seeing the reality that she was only having a one-sided relationship with this man. This negative Neptune influence can keep a person trapped in a self-defeating behavior pattern that results in repeatedly experiencing disappointing relationships. They never seem to connect the dots as to why this pattern repeats itself so often.
Tips for Avoiding Unhealthy Relationships
Be careful of becoming involved in dependent relationships, where either you or your partner, view each other as a savior. Avoid having a romantic relationship with someone who has an addiction to drugs, alcohol or any other addiction such as gambling, food, work, shopping, television, religion or pornography. These are all warning signs that you must not ignore. Neptune's influence on you can heighten your sense of compassion, causing you to want to "save" them. Make sure you put your energy into a healthy relationship with an equal partner. Don't make the mistake of falling in love with someone's "potential."
You can heal yourself so you can enjoy the love of a healthy romantic relationship but you have to be willing to set boundaries. This will also require you to be very conscious, grounding yourself in reality even though you'd prefer "to stay in the clouds."
Here is some helpful advice I give clients who want to stop attracting abusive and unsatisfying relationships into their lives. Recognize that when it comes to romantic relationships, you are prone to fantasy, delusion and self-deception (and the deception of others). It's just another facet of your idealistic and romantic nature; and your tendency to not be realistic. Be conscious that this makes you vulnerable to attracting unhealthy relationships.
Sit down with a pad of paper and a pencil. Be thoughtful and mentally review your previous relationships. Ask yourself, specifically what behavior occurred that you found unsatisfactory. Make a list of qualities that you will not tolerate in your next relationship.
Now think about your most successful relationships. What qualities made you happy and excited? If you haven't had any relationships that were satisfying than think of people you know who have relationships you admire. What qualities do you like about them? Then make a list of the positive qualities you want in your next relationship.
When you meet a romantic prospect who interests you, make sure to discuss with them the positive qualities you're looking for in a healthy relationship. Pay attention to their response to what you've said. Then, make sure to discuss the qualities that you consider unhealthy. Pay attention to their response as well. This exchange may give you some insights as to whether or not you're likely to enjoy a healthy, satisfying romance with this person.
Keep in mind, it's not necessary to "vomit" on the other person about your past relationship disappointments. It only makes you sound like a "loser!" To stop your negative relationship pattern: Don't play the victim. You are the one responsible for choosing the people you decide to have relationships with. Remember, when you think of all your bad relationships: the common denominator is you. Admit that you've made some bad choices. Today is a new day. You won't be making these bad choices again.
Trust your intuition; if you meet a "bad boy," or "bad girl," don't waste your time - move on because you can't change them. As a healthy person, recognize it's not your job to do so. If you're not sure whether it's a healthy relationship for you, go slow in dating and really get to know the person
If early warning signs tell you this person is wrong for you, exit the relationship, immediately. No more contact. Then after you've done this, look in your mirror so you can see what a healthy person looks like. You are that healthy person! You can break your pattern of having unsuccessful relationships if you commit yourself to these simple tips.
If you want to know where your personal transits are -- to see if they are affecting you right now, go to the FREE Transit Calculator and enter your birth date. You may find that Neptune is affecting your life right now.
Read Larry Schwimmer's latest book, What the Hell is Going On in My Life? Using the "New" Astrology for Serious Answers.
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Larry Schwimmer is president of Astrodecision.com, a San Francisco-based consulting company. The firm uses astrological analysis to counsel individual and corporate clients on picking the "best dates" to make successful decisions of all types: personal, marketing, financial, and political. The firm currently advises a diverse client base that includes politicians, presidents of major corporations and an MLB baseball team. Schwimmer, an internationally known astrologer (with a Fortune 500 M&A background) has been a practicing astrologer for 35 years. Visit his website: www.astrodecision.com