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This article appears in the book, "Confessions of Shameless Dating: Using The Power of Effective Self-Promotion To Attract The Right People" by Debbie Allen.

Now available! - To order, click here!

Confessions of Shameless Dating

It's Not Your Imagination

Wes Hopper, Guest Author

Have you ever wondered why your partners in serious relationships all seemed to have similar issues? Isn't it strange that you ended up with virtually the same set of needs not being met each time? Have you ever found yourself saying, "Why are all men (or women) like that?"

Well, they aren't! But we seem to end up with the same type of person over and over again. It's because we all have two mental lists of characteristics for our partners. I call them the "A" list and the "B" list.

The "A" list is what we want - sincere, affectionate, warm, honest, supportive, caring, funny, self-assured - you know what your list is.

The "B" list, however, is what we get - distant, angry, indifferent, controlling, needy - and you know what that list is for you, too. Take a couple of minutes and write out your personal "A/B" lists and see what you've got.

How in the world can we be looking for one thing and getting another? Is the world just full of "B" list people who are really good at fooling us? Or is something else going on?

The answer is close at hand (actually it's between our ears). We have to understand how our mind works. There are two parts of our mind working on these two different lists. Our conscious mind has the "A" list, because the conscious mind is where we exercise choice. We choose ideas and form goals and create our vision of our future. This is where we make a rational choice of what our ideal mate will be like.

The "B" list is the property of our subconscious mind; our emotional, feeling mind where our self-image and all our important beliefs reside. Unfortunately, the subconscious is the real power center, and it controls our attractions and behavior regardless of what is going on in the conscious mind.

Your subconscious mind is good! If there's one "B" list person in a crowd, it will unerringly pick that one out for you. Because it's the feeling, emotional mind, it will give you an amazing feeling of attraction. You'll swear that, "This time it's different!" You'll say, "I feel like I've known him (or her) forever!" Because you have. Over and over again.

Where does this "B" list come from? Well, like most other important beliefs, it was formed in childhood. We get our initial programming for relationships from our primary caregivers, usually our parents. Our baby's mind, unfortunately, does not have the ability or experience to choose what it learns - it takes all its experiences right in to the subconscious mind - the good, the bad and the ugly.

Over time an image is formed of the physical and behavioral characteristics that our subconscious will look for in a mate. Many of these characteristics have to do with what we didn't get as a child; the situations where we were hurt. So it looks for someone with whom we can recreate these childhood experiences and finally get what we didn't get then. That's why the "B" list person often looks a little bit like Dad or Mom.

Can we change this programming? Yes! Here's how I've learned to do it. It's a three-step process.

The first step is to become aware of how this mystery program has been affecting your relationships. If you've read this far and made your own "A/B" list to review, you've got the first one. You're now aware.

The second step is to interrupt the process when it starts. You practice watching your feelings and your attractions. Instead of feeling really romantically excited when you hit it off with some new person, step back and ask yourself if this is "B" list in disguise again. If the attraction is instantly strong almost before you know anything about them, run for the exit! If not, enter the relationship cautiously, watching for "B" list clues.

The third step is based on the fact that your past relationship history is determined not just by who you picked, but who you rejected! All your life, "A" list people have been crossing your path and your subconscious has been telling you, "Nice, but not your type." "Great person, but the spark just isn't there." Get the picture? Your feelings have been lying to you.

So ignore them. If you're dating someone and your conscious mind says, "Yup, they're 'A' list. I can't find any logical problem with them" but your feelings are giving you that - "Nice, but not right" message - don't quit. Stick around, and as the relationship develops further the feelings just might catch up with the rest of you. Then you'll find that you can have the "A" list relationship you always wanted.

I know, because that's how it worked for me.

Copyright © - Wes Hopper. All rights reserved. Reprinted with Permission. - Wes Hopper is a speaker, trainer and the author of You Can Have It: How to Break Your Old Relationship Patterns and Finally Get What You Want. You can find out more about his book and seminars on his websites at and

This article appears in the book, Confessions of Shameless Dating: Using The Power of Effective Self-Promotion To Attract The Right People by Debbie Allen!

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