Can bad relationships be beneficial?

Dr. Stan Tatkin, MFT, PsyD
Marriage & Family Therapy
Good relationships are either easy or hard won through lots of experience with bad relationships. I wouldn’t bet on easy in the beginning because that’s likely luck and luck teaches you nothing.
Wired for Dating: How Understanding Neurobiology and Attachment Style Can Help You Find Your Ideal Mate

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Wired for Dating: How Understanding Neurobiology and Attachment Style Can Help You Find Your Ideal Mate

In the age of online dating, finding a real connection can seem more daunting than ever! So, why not stack the odds of finding the right person in your favor? This book offers simple, proven-effective principles drawn from neuroscience and attachment theory to help you find the perfect mate.Everybody wants someone to love and spend time with, and searching for your ideal partner is a natural and healthy human tendency. Just about everyone dates at some point in their lives, yet few really understand what they're doing or how to get the best results. In Wired for Dating, psychologist and relationship expert Stan Tatkin—author of Wired for Love—offers powerful tips based in neuroscience and attachment theory to help you find a compatible mate and go on to create a fabulous relationship.Using real-life scenarios, you’ll learn key concepts about how people become attracted to potential partners, move toward or away from commitment, and the important role the brain and nervous system play in this process. Each chapter explores the scientific concepts of attachment theory, arousal regulation, and neuroscience. And with a little practice, you’ll learn to apply these exercises and practical techniques to your dating life.If you’re ready to get serious (or not!) about dating, meet your match, and have more fun, this book will be your guide.
I believe that all relationships in our lives are beneficial.  Whether good or bad, relationships teach us what we want and don't want in situations, circumstances and in future relationships.  When you continue to find yourself in bad relationships, I advise that you don't ask yourself "why are the wrong people always attracted to me," but rather "why do I continually attract the wrong people."  In pondering this, it may be that your higher power, the universe, fate, etc. keeps placing these types of relationships in your path as a lesson--a lesson that you're having difficulty learning.  Once you recognize what you're supposed to do in these situations, you'll find it easier to avoid these bad relationships and welcome those that are better suited for you.
Yogi Cameron Alborzian
Alternative & Complementary Medicine

At one or more points in our lives, each of us has found ourselves in a particularly toxic situation with someone be it a romantic partner, a roommate, a co-worker, or someone else. Usually, all we're able to do about relationships that inspire a lot of pain in ourselves is end them and try to work past the emotional turbulence of that situation over time.

Those in pursuit of the Yogic path recognize that no relationship is an accident. Yogic tradition teaches us that we attract exactly who we need in our lives to grow in the most meaningful and beneficial ways possible. You might have found yourself in a series of relationships with people who don't treat you well, lead a particularly destructive life, or simply don't have a value system you relate to. A conventional train of thought in response to this situation may be, "I really need to stop dating losers."  When embracing this Yogic concept, though, you would instead say to yourself, "I've attracted a lot of people in my life whom I don't benefit from”. What is it about my path that's creating this, and what am I supposed to do about it?"  In exploring this situation in this way, you may come to realize that you attract this type of person because of some deep-seated issue related to your past--such as your upbringing or your coming of age. Without addressing that issue, you'll continue to hold onto pain from the past and all of these toxic relationships would then serve as a reminder that you haven't done the necessary work to live in happiness.

In Yogic philosophy, everything happens for a reason. Bad relationships can teach us about the most fundamental aspects of our own lives, and when we find the value in such situations, the situations themselves have a funny way of no longer being a source of conflict. If you resolve to seek that benefit from every problematic relationship you have, then none of them will remain problematic for long.

Lisa Oz
Health Education

Life is a series of learning experiences, and many of its lessons come in the form of human interactions. Most of us think that pleasurable relationships are the blessings in our lives, while relationships with people who are cruel, harsh, or unpleasant are unnecessary at best. All the same, every single person we come in contact with provides a unique opportunity for our inner self to either evolve or degenerate. Relationships, especially those driven by conflict, push us outside our comfort zone. Often, the principles taught by these encounters are the ones that would be hard for us to grasp on our own - such as forgiveness, humility, and compassion. Consequently, in the big picture, even "bad" relationships can be good. However, the better our relationships are, the more we will enjoy the ride.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.