“There are no accidents.”  You’ve heard that phrase?  I don’t like it.  I find it annoying.

It’s not that I don’t believe there is a very valuable nugget of truth in it.

There is.

I just prefer other phrasing to capture how I see things.


I like, “We attract what we need to learn.”


It’s more of an opener to explore the hidden value.  Now I’m curious, not feeling pigeon-holed or judged somehow.

So, Mate Selection.  We attract what we need to learn.  Can you feel the potential in this?

When it comes to life partners, spouses, love relationships, it could not be truer.


We attract partners with whom we create a dynamic that contains what we most need to learn in this life.  And, our partners are doing the same thing.


There may be some exceptions, but for most of us garden variety neurotics, who aren’t in arranged marriages, there is no escaping this force of nature.

To me, it’s good news that we attract our hardest lessons in our love life.  Let me explain why.

We can relax about how many life lessons we’ll need to learn before achieving a deeper level of peace, serenity, and well-being.


The most reliable road to the higher self, an existence with peace, love and joy, is intimate relationship.


Intimate relationship brings up so much of our stuff, our issues, which contain the core learning challenges we need to conquer in order to be truly at-peace beings.


Why is intimate relationship such a reliable provider of our greatest frustrations with the richest potential for healing us?  Because in life partner selection we unconsciously gravitate toward what feels most familiar, like home, where we first learned about love.  This includes painful elements that are the root cause of our defense mechanisms, where we most need to heal. 


Most of us have some unhealed pain from our experiences in the family of origin – where we received our original and deep programming for relationship and love.

It’s perfect design, if you think about it.  In order to grow and heal in the deepest way, we need to have breakthroughs in relationship with someone who reminds us of the original wounding, and reactivates it, but with whom it is safe to do the healing work.

Committed relationship.  That path will give us a supply of personal growth material for a lifetime.

Our psyche wants us to grow and learn.  Underneath the ego defenses, underneath our fear-based mind, our true self wants to live from the heart.

The problem is that most people have an ineffective approach to experiencing love.  People are organized by immediate gratification, conflict avoidance and keeping up appearances – basically, ego.

We have the opportunity to practice the intentional work of conscious relationship with any being we come into contact with, but the deepest potential for growth and discovery is with an intimate other.  It can be a friend or family member, and most commonly is with a life partner.


The good news about Mate Selection is that as much as you might try to avoid it, you will mostly likely attract someone – and be attracted to someone – with a combination of your primary caregiver’s personality traits and issues – both endearing and annoying, even painful. 


The relationship will deliver exactly the most custom-made-for-you challenges for your psyche to have breakthroughs.

If, however, it is not safe to do this work with your partner, and you’ve tried – quality couples therapy with a very skilled therapist is often the best way to know you have truly tried – then the lesson you may have attracted in that relationship is to set tough boundaries and possibly leave it.

Often, the learning and growth challenge is not to end the relationship, but to face the relationship challenges with courage.

People often ask, “How can I avoid a relationship breakdown next time?”  This is where the deeply encoded attraction mechanism is a force to be reckoned with.


You can try computer dating with the most detailed profile on the planet, painstakingly designed to weed out anyone with even a whiff of similarity to all the others that went horribly wrong.  It won’t work. 


You’ll think it did, at first.  You may get a couple of months to a couple of years of pink cloud/honeymoon phase. Eventually, it will burst in the form of a painful conflict, or some manner of screeching brakes on the good feelings.

This is actually expected.  That is part of the crazy good news I’m talking about.

But the pain is a lot to bear – the emotional reactivity, the despair.

That’s when it’s time to get down to the real work.

Either way, the mate you selected is the perfect partner for you to learn exactly what you need to learn in and from that relationship, whether the lesson is to leave it, or commit to working on it.