Today I help you unlock lasting love by teaching you how you can transform your negative attraction patterns by learning to understand and navigate these patterns. Unmasking your negative attraction patterns is one of the most valuable steps you can take on the path to true love. If you have come across people again and again who do not meet your needs, this episode is for you. 

Listen to this episode to learn a technique for identifying and transforming your negative attraction patterns.

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Show Notes:


  • How to identify and transform your negative attraction patterns
  • What are examples of deprivational behavior in a romantic partner
  • How to spot common themes in your failed relationships


Important Links:


6 month coaching and mentorship intensive with Ken Page


Unlocking Love: How to Transform Your Negative Attraction Patterns


One of the absolute greatest things you can do to increase your chances of finding healthy love is to identify your negative attraction patterns so that you can then transform them. In this episode, you’ll learn exactly how to identify your negative attraction patterns and begin to change them. So stay tuned to this episode of The Deeper Dating® Podcast.

Hello everybody and welcome to The Deeper Dating Podcast. I’m Ken Page and I’m your host. I’m a psychotherapist, I’m the author of the bestselling book, Deeper Dating and the creator of The Deeper Dating® Intensive. And I’m so glad to be with you today when we’re going to be speaking about unlocking love.

How to discover your negative attraction patterns and then transform them. So in this episode and every episode, I’m going to share with you the greatest tools that I know to help you find healthy, lasting, beautiful love, and keep it flourishing.

And heal your life in the process. Because the skills of dating are truly nothing more than the skills of intimacy, the greatest and most important skills of all for a happy and meaningful life.

If you’d like to learn more about the Deeper Dating approach to finding and keeping love, just go to and there you’ll find transcripts of every episode. You will be able to get some free gifts, be on my mailing list and I’ll get to connect with you in lots of different ways, which I would love to be able to do. Okay. So let’s jump in.


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So much time is spent on focusing around this issue of attraction, on how to make yourself more attractive. As if that was the single greatest, most important thing to be able to speed and empower your search for love. But really, the deep work is understanding your patterns of attraction so that you can change them, refine them, shift your focus and shift your aim to help you find what you’re really looking for instead of unconsciously enacting the same and similar patterns again and again.

In my online course, in my book, in my intensives, everywhere I teach, I lead people in a process to be able to clearly identify their patterns of attraction. Because we need to become students of our patterns of attraction because then we can change those patterns.

And there are almost no bigger bangs for your buck if you want to really find healthy love than to understand your attraction patterns and to navigate them with more wisdom and mastery. We’re going to work on that today. So what I’m going to do is I’m going to offer you a technique which you can use.

And if you’re at home or you have a device that you could open up and take some real notes, that will be the more extensive version of this. But if you’re driving, if you’re walking, if you’re just listening to the podcast, I’m going to give you a taster version of the same exercise so that you’ll be able to get at least a large amount of the benefits out of that.


The deep work is understanding your patterns of attraction so that you can change them, refine them, and shift your aim to help you find what you're really looking for. Click To Tweet


So what we’re going to talk about is unmasking your negative attraction patterns. One of the key concepts I teach is that all of us have two basic circuitries of attraction. One is “Attractions of Deprivation”. Which are when we get that horrible, unbearable itch to get somebody to finally love us right, to finally commit, to finally treat us well, to finally see us as precious, to finally listen.

But it doesn’t happen. And then we start thinking, what can I do differently? What do I have to fix about myself? What do I have to change about myself? And it becomes a loop where we are trying to transform the other person to get them to love us right.



Unmask your negative attraction patterns


This becomes a loop where we are continually trying to get our partner to finally love us right. And it clicks into our childhood, the ways we feel that we have not been seen or loved appropriately. And then it locks into that in this very intense way where the feeling becomes that this person is our potential savior. Because if they can love us right, A, we have love. And B, we realize and feel that we are lovable.

This pattern is white-hot, sexy, desirable, and it’s the path to Hell. And many of us have spent a long time on that path. And as we grow, this is the amazing thing that I talk about all the time, is that when we become more aligned with our own self-love, we become more and more allergic to these types. They bother us more and we gradually refine our choices. Which is a wonderful process, but this is like an addiction. It gets really locked in. So we need some help usually in being able to transform these patterns.

So if you’re someone who again and again has been with people who were not able to love you right, were not able to commit, all of these things that we talked about, that means that there’s a deep circuitry embedded in you that needs to be unmasked and identified and then changed. So the very first step is to bring awareness to exactly what that pattern is.

And for anybody who wants to bring consciousness and mindfulness and wisdom to their search for love, this is just one of the greatest things that you can do is this exercise of looking at your past relationships, finding the deprivational patterns that emerge again and again and then identifying those and then making the changes that need to happen. Which we’ll talk about next. But first, I want to guide you in this process.


If you're someone who again and again has been with people who were not able to love you right...there's a deep circuitry embedded in you that needs to be unmasked and then changed. Click To Tweet


Okay. So what I’m going to do is I’m first going to give the taster’s menu so that people can do this in short form. And then with each instruction, I’m then going to tell you the longer way to do it. Okay. So here’s the process and you could do it while you’re listening to this episode and I really encourage you to do that because it’s gold.

Okay. So the first thing I would like you to do is to think about your last few significant romantic relationships that didn’t work. And what I’d like you to do for this process is to externalize responsibility. In other words, there were qualities that you didn’t like about your partner, things that didn’t work, things that didn’t mesh.

And of course part of that was you. And it might be easy to say, “Well, I’m not going to include that negative attribute because I triggered it in this person.” No. For this exercise, to be able to simply identify these patterns, it’s really important to externalize responsibility.

Say the negative thing about this person, the quality that bothered you. So if you’re doing the taster’s menu of this, what I’d like you to do is think of those, let’s say three or four romantic relationships or as many as there were.

For those of you who’ve never had a romantic relationship or maybe you only had one. You can look at really important relationships that have felt deprivational to you. And I would like you to think about were there any negative qualities, even if in different variations, that happened in each of these cases?

And I’m going to give you some examples of deprivational type behaviors right out of the book, Deeper Dating; Lying and cheating, Chronic selfish behavior, Unavailability, Active addictive behavior, Hurtful and unkind behavior, Serious and unstabilized psychiatric disorders, And blaming and manipulative behaviors. These are just some of the major key points. Arrogance, Judgmentalness, Inability to commit. I guess that goes with unavailability.

Take a few moments. You could pause the recording and think, what have been the negative attributes? Even if they appeared, with one person, you might call it cockiness. And then with another person, you might say that they acted superior or that they were judgmental. But those are all the same qualities. A diminishing of you and a lifting themselves up in a chronic, ongoing way.


Unlocking Love: How to Transform Your Negative Attraction Patterns

If there was a way that you have been stepped on in your relationships in a patterned way, and the minute you have a pattern, it is gold: it offers you so much insight, it helps you know what to do differently in the future.


So for those who are doing the more extensive one, what I’d like you to do is get some paper and then write down all the names of these people that were deprivational relationships. It could be romantic relationships, but also seminal relationships of any sort. Leave about four lines between each name and write in those lines as many as you want, you can fill up each of those lines, all of the negative qualities that each of those people had.

And again, you’re externalizing responsibility. It’s not that parts of this were not you, for sure. But we are looking for something very particular here and this will help you spot it and point it out. Okay. So now whether you’ve done this tasting menu exercise where you see “what are the common themes”? If you’re doing the more extensive one, what I would like you to do now after you’ve listed all of these attributes, is I’d like you to count them and I’d like you to see the attribute that appears the most often.

These are all negative attributes. The attribute that appears the most often. Even if in various names, like I just mentioned. And circle every time it applies. Then you can count again and notice what’s the second most constant pattern of deprivational behavior. Put a triangle around that. And the third one is, what were the behaviors that hurt you the most deeply?

Maybe they have a triangle, maybe they have a circle around them, maybe they don’t. But put rays coming out of them, like little sun ray lines coming out of each of those qualities. And look at what you’ve written or think about what you’ve realized. And let’s just start with this one most common quality.


Find your most deprivational quality


It is so important that you know what it is. So now I’d like you to write a description of that number one, most deprivational quality. If you’re doing the longer process. If you’re doing the shorter process, I just want you to think about it in your head, just articulate it more fully. What are its elements? What are the things you notice about it?

And this is like working with a forensic artist to draw a sketch of the perpetrator. And the clearer your instructions, meaning the more you can articulate any aspects of this characteristic, the more accurate that sketch will be. And you need that sketch because this is what you are going to be looking out for and noticing it.

And we’ll talk about that in a minute. But first, if you’re doing the writing exercise, you can pause and do that. If you do it in the thinking way, just think, what are the aspects of this particular deprivational characteristic? Good. It’s really important to know these things. And they stand out usually pretty strongly and pretty clearly, like, “Wow, this is the one. This is really this attribute.”

Now, this attribute, it’s like a Rosetta Stone. It holds the key to understand you, your relationship to yourself, your intimacy patterns, and it holds the key to change your future in profound ways. The next step, and this is the hardest one, this is not fun, but as Vito Russo said, “The truth will set you free, but first it’ll make you miserable.” So this is not such a happy thing, but it’s a really important one.

When somebody acts out that attribute on you, how does it make you feel? If you’re writing, write a paragraph. If you’re thinking, just think about it. When somebody treats you this way and it gets to you, where do you go to inside? How does it color your sense of self-worth? How does it color your sense of self? What does it do to your energy? What do you feel in your body? What’s the quality of emotional suffering that this triggers in you? Again, take a little bit of time to think about this hardest question of this exercise.


We need to learn the part of us that we haven't honored enough. When you do that, you become reorganized around your own inner dignity...and your attractions begin to change. Click To Tweet


Okay. Good. So now what I want to say is that if there was a way that you have been stepped on in your relationships in a patterned way, and the minute you have a pattern, it is gold. Because well, it offers you so much insight, it helps you know what to do differently in the future. And I’ll talk about that in a minute.

But what I want to say now is to identify your main deprivational type characteristic is a huge deal. And then to really feel how it tastes in your being when this is inflicted on you. Which is so important because usually when that happens, we tell ourself, “I should have acted more confident. I should have handled this better. I should have not been this affected by it.”

And that’s the way we don’t get better. I believe the way we get better is by saying, “Oh my God, that hurt me in my being. I didn’t have the tools to get past it and it felt terrible.” And to admit that and to taste that particular brand of terribleness.

Because when you really know the taste, the next time you taste it again, you’re going to be so much more likely to say, “I don’t like this taste. I’ve got to do something to change things.” Versus if you’re telling yourself you should just be stronger or more resilient, you’re bypassing this step. You won’t notice that taste.

So yeah, take a minute and just really let yourself think about that. So that negative place you go into in a weird way is what drew you to this person. Because on some unconscious level, you were looking for them to rescue you from a place where you are not yet treasuring yourself. And we know that you have not treasured yourself enough around this because in a patterned way, you’ve been drawn to people who don’t give this part of you enough oxygen, enough honor, enough treasuring, enough listening, enough seeing.

So now you’re identifying a part of yourself that needs to be held up by you and honored and treasured. And in my book, in my course, in my intensive, we then spend a lot of time identifying the Core Gift that lies at the bottom of this, that you have never been able to love into fullness.


Unlocking Love: How to Transform Your Negative Attraction Patterns

That negative place you go into in a weird way is what drew you to this person: on some unconscious level, you were looking for them to rescue you from a place where you are not yet treasuring yourself.


For everybody who’s listening now, because this is a much shorter form, what I would say is often that Core Gift is the exact opposite of the negative quality that you’ve been drawn to again and again, and you have not been able to treasure it enough in yourself. It might be a deep generosity that gets stepped on, but that you haven’t fully dignified by only being with other people who also have that generosity. It might be a deep hunger and need for close, intimate communication. Which if someone can’t offer that and they tell you you’re asking for too much, it’s very easy to shame yourself.

But at the heart of this is a gift. At the heart of every pattern where you’ve been attracted to an Attraction of Deprivation lies a gift that has not been loved and dignified into fullness. So you might want to think, what is that gift? What is that part of me that got stepped on? Might there be a gift there?

If you’d like to go into this more deeply, because it’s pretty counterintuitive, all of my deeper work; the book, the course, the intensive, all help with that. But for now, I just ask you to think about that piece.

So next, now that you know this, what happens? Well, one thing is if somebody’s got these red flags, you stay away or you proceed with deep caution. And you ask your friends, the ones who really know you and love you, to help you and support you because you probably are going to be kind of blind about this.

And you’re going to be kind of blinded by a deep circuitry where this is what has attracted you. That’s a hard thing to realize and face like, “Wow, I have actually been on some strange level attracted to this.” Maybe unconsciously, maybe consciously, but somehow you have been. So we need the help of friends, we need the help of coaches, of therapists, if this is a really embedded pattern. But once you know the red flags, you’ve got a huge tool.


Transform your negative attraction patterns


Now, let’s say you’re in relationship to somebody and it’s a pretty good relationship, but you’re starting to feel these same things again. Well, that happens. But now, the minute you recognize the taste of this, you don’t go into the old patterns of shutting down and becoming silent and blaming yourself or lashing out and attacking the other person. You find the words to say, “This is what doesn’t feel right. And this is what I need.”

And that’s how we heal our current relationships. But we need to know the deprivational quality that puts us down again and again. And we need to learn the part of us that we haven’t honored enough that we need to honor. And here’s what happens when you do that, you become reorganized around your own inner dignity. And when that happens, your attractions actually begin to change.

And that is how we unlock the possibility of healthy love. So hard stuff, but gold. Because once you have that forensic portrait, you can act differently. Thank you for listening.

And in the next episode, I’m going to talk about your Attractions of Inspiration and how you can recognize and pursue those. Please feel free to send me your comments, your thoughts, your reflections, to share this, to subscribe. And thanks so much for being a part of my community.


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