Do you find yourself repeating the same scenarios in your relationships? Do you have the same sexual problems with all of your partners? This could mean your love patterns are messing with your love and sex life. But there is a way out. Watch the interview I conducted with Sandy Kaufmann, Zurich-based love coach.
In her work Sandy helps women understand the repeating patterns that lead them into destructive relationships or that make it difficult for them to build a healthy partnership with someone. If you prefer reading, find the transcript below. Don’t forget to follow our Instagram profiles!
Anka Grzywacz: Hi, Sandy. So today we will be talking about patterns in love and relationships, but also in the bedroom. I’m really curious to hear from you. How the patterns that you work with, with your clients, around love and relationships, how it translates into the intimate part of being together?
So, you are a love coach. You are based in Switzerland, in Zurich and you work mostly with single women. You help them open up to love and recognize their love patterns from their past experiences, so that they can change them, have better relationships in the future and find the right partner.
Sandy Kaufmann: Yes, exactly.
A: It’s something you do in English and French, right?
S: I also do it in German.
A: All right, so multilingual, and what I noticed, it’s so interesting that you combine talking to people, but also some sort of body work. Could you give us a brief explanation of what drove you to do this kind of work with your clients?
How Did You Become a Love Coach?
S: Yeah. So, actually, I became a coach in the field I struggled the most. Because I was repeating, since the beginning of my relationships, I was always attracting the wrong person. At the end, the guy was going with another woman and they were creating a family.
The first time I was OK, one lost, I will have over guys coming to me. No problem. But when you repeat once, twice, three times, four times, five times, you say no, something is wrong. And I even knew from where it could come because my parents got divorced and it was quite violent. So, I didn’t have a very positive view of what a couple is and should be.
And knowing that, knowing where it could come from didn’t help me to change what happened.
So, I started psychotherapy. I started different therapies to try to understand better how I was working. And it didn’t help me until I found the method I am using now in my coaching, which is this cycle body approach.
I did it on me. It changed my life so I decided to study it. And then once I finished, I said, I don’t feel ready to be a therapist or coach. I was about 28-29.
I stayed in my job and I didn’t change until I met my husband, and we got married, and I had my child, and it was like a creative force coming after my childbirth. I wanted to go into something that helps others.
And first I did a blog about therapies and coaching. And one day a coach told me that, Sandy, with all what you have learnt, why don’t you do it yourself? And the idea was seeded in my mind.
And one day I said, OK, let’s start. And the funny part is people came to me mostly about love.
So that’s why at the beginning I was thinking, oh, but they are coming in the area I struggle with the most, but I realized I had a lot of tools I could propose. I could understand their situation. And I don’t want to give standard solutions. I think everybody has their own solution. But I think, because I struggle in that, I can understand more what they are going through. So I made myself a love coach.
A: I think we need more love coaches in the world, definitely.
How Love Patterns Play Out in Our Relationships?
A: So, I know that you worked primarily with women who are single, and I work mostly with women in relationships. So this would be especially interesting for me because you said that you do have some clients who already are in a relationship or in a marriage.
I’m curious how understanding the patterns in love and intimacy can help somebody who already found someone . So you are not in this place that you feel blocked in some way and you cannot find the right guy because you meet the wrong people all the time, or you don’t meet anyone.
You already found someone. But in your relationship, it seems something’s not working out. Maybe you have some conflicts. Maybe the energy is not so good. How does understanding these patterns help people who already have someone?
S: So actually when the first crisis comes, it’s only the tip of the iceberg, because what really happens is that the two partners have wounds of their past that are triggered by what they are living in the crisis situation.
So it’s not only the adult man and the adult woman who are speaking, it’s the wounded children. A five or six year old child would be speaking to the other partner. And the crises are often seen as a negative or difficult experience and I lived already through two crises with my husband,
So how do you approach with your experience and your knowledge, solving this crisis from a different perspective, not acting like a child, but an adult person?
As the couple is established, the couple is an area of personal development. So, it means that when the crisis is coming, you have to try to understand. OK, we are not agreeing, for example, on the child education or how much time we should spend together. And then the first step is to understand, what is my own wound here that needs to be healed?
The couple is an area of personal development.
So, for example, when I had my first crisis with my husband, it was mostly because we had different education views. And for me, I was afraid to be a bad mother. And every time he was making a judgement of how I did it or what I decided on the child education, it was mostly hurting me, not because he had a different opinion, because for me inside, he was telling me, oh, you are a bad mother.
And it was my fear.
Heal Your Childhood Wounds
So here the first step, is to understand what the wounds behind the crisis are and then to go on an individual level to heal your wounds, your love patterns. And once you have done that, you are doing that because it depends what you have to work on. It can take a bit of time. And it’s not always linked directly to love, but sometimes can be linked…what I want to realize in my life, for example. You need to create a place where both partners can heal their wounds.
And don’t reach a certain level of crisis, so the couple needs to break. I call it managing the crisis. And how can you let each partner time and space to heal? How can you maybe help your partner to heal?
By what you are doing on yourself, by healing yourself, this is the beauty of being in a couple, you help him as well. So, your healing process helps your partner in his healing process.Sandy Kaufmann
So, if I give an example of me by accepting who I am as a mother in the crisis I had, by accepting that I can decide what is to be a good mother and what is to be a bad mother. Let’s say I gave a good example to my man that you don’t need to sacrifice yourself for having kids. And for him, it was exactly the wound he needed to heal because he was feeling guilty when he was taking time for himself or things like that.
So here the couple can be really a place of healing, you can grow together.
A: I noticed that as well in my work on sexuality. I work mostly with women. But these women are in relationships. So, if they heal their own sexuality, learn to communicate differently on these issues, it helps them and their partner starts to change as well. I do programmes for women only because I hear it all the time, I want to have improvement in my relationship, but my partner is not willing to participate or is afraid to go to coaching or therapy.
Do you get that as well when you talk to the ladies?
S: Yes, I do.
Do You Work With Men As Well?
I’m also coaching men, but for me it’s mostly due to our polarities. So, the feminine energy is more into the inner reflection, into understanding. The feeling, the intuition. I always say the woman is the architect of the couple because she can understand more things. What is happening that is maybe not clarified or said.
Then the man gets through this process through the woman. So usually, the worst thing you can do for men is to ask them to go to partner therapy and to ask him to speak about his feelings, because this way he will not be connected to his feelings.
But if a woman is working on herself, she’s having this inner process and clarity on her side. She can really, in crisis management, put what is not said to a conscious level. And so, you start on a better basis with women. So, I agree with you. For me, when a couple come and say, I have a problem, I usually start with a woman and then the man can comes for his patterns.
The feminine energy places women in a better space to understand what is happening.
A: So, going to the intimate side, how do the patterns around love and relationships shape our intimate life, our sex life and the other way around? How do our sexual experiences shape our beliefs and our patterns, what we think about love and relationships, maybe men, women, because this is all connected.
What Are Love Patterns?
S: So, of course, it’s always in two ways. I can explain how we create a love pattern, or what is a love pattern. So, you have basically two brains, you have your rational brain that says, oh, I would like to be happy in my relationship, I would like to communicate better. This is the conscious level, what you want, and then you have the lizard brain, which is how you automatically react in case of stress or what makes you triggered in a relationship.
And so, this lizard brain’s aim is to survive. So, in the first years of your life, you will save reaction patterns. So, let’s say you have stress in love. The brain will have to decide for the first time, OK, how should I react to that? Should I freeze? Should I fight? Should I escape?
After that, you will say, OK, in that situation in love, I react this way and I survive, which doesn’t mean I am happy, but I’m still here. Save it into its databank. And that bank is in the brain but also in your organs, in your body, including the sexual organs.
And the next time you experience the same thing in love, it will propose the same reaction patterns. And with the time and the repetition, it can go to such a level that in sexual intercourse, you feel totally blocked. You freeze to a level that you cannot even live with.
This is what I call the fight between two brains, because you want to have good sex, but you feel blocked in your body and these love patterns that influence how you can open yourself during the sexual intercourse and how can you open yourself to others.
And basically, they have three main directions. So, the first one is everything that is linked to what you think you are. I am not good enough to be loved or my body is too ugly to be loved or I need to be perfect to be loved.
So, everything that is with you. And this will influence a lot what you feel entitled to have in sexuality, because if you feel you are not good enough, you cannot open in the sexual intercourse, right?
A: Yes, exactly.
And the second one is what are your views on the feminine and the masculine? If I take my personal example, I was really thinking men are bad and women are victims of men. So, you can easily understand that here it’s a kind of competition of interests between men and women that can come from these patterns.
And then what I often see in sexuality is how you use sex as a transaction. If you’re nice to me, you have sexuality with me.
A: Yeah. Or a way to punish the partner.
Yeah. You were not nice, so no sex, or a kind of competition. Also, trying to show something to prove that you are a good lover, you are perfect.
So you will try to prove to others that you are like a sex goddess. And the problem is that the intention behind it came from a place of interest.
So, it’s not about you, really. It’s about the image of you that you have in your head and not about you feeling really like sex goddess in that.
A: This perception of what sex could look like, what she should do with her body, her sounds, you know. So, this is a bit like faking yourself. You could totally imagine that it is not you and that does not correspond to your needs and because you think you have to do that.
And the last one is patterns that predict the end of a relationship. So, the fear of abandonment, the fear of betrayal, the fear of rejection. And the problem is you have this Damocles sword in the couple and it’s very difficult to create intimacy. And to really open up during sexuality, because everything is based on fear.
Yeah, it’s a different sphere. It’s not a sphere of pleasure. It’s not something that can help you open up.
A: So how do you address that? How do you work with that? I imagine that the body work that you do comes into play here very much, right?
Changing Your Love Patterns
S: I always proceed the same way. So, the first thing is to identify what are the patterns. And for that I take stock of all the relational experience the person has. So not only the love relationship, but the relationship with the parents, with the siblings, with friends, also the sexual experience, the way you think love is can make a big dissociation between good sex and good relationships. I have often people that choose between good sex and good relationship, which is totally not logical, but it comes from their personal experience.
It’s like opening the Pandora’s box. We put it everything out. And then from that you realize the customer sees the real patterns. And once that is identified, then they go with me in my therapy center for a day.
And for each of the patterns, we will find out what was the first event. The way the person reacted, the way it was. What she said or what was happening, it gives me an indication which organs are programmed and so the person will think about this event and what happened. And me, I will check into the belly mostly, if the organs are reacting and I will not allow them to react until they become neutral to this event.
And then in order that we do not recreate, we suggest a new way to react. It’s more reprogramming so it’s not triggered anymore.
A: Could this type of therapy help someone who has a hard time to open up to pleasure, like a woman who cannot have an orgasm, for example.
Yeah, it it works a lot. I have also a lot of persons who had some kind of abuse. It could be times they said yes and they wanted to say no.
A: They abused themselves in a way.
S: Exactly. And for that, I work with another massage as well. In every situation, you have to unprogram the pattern. So, for having no pleasure, it could be, oh, I do not have the right to have pleasure. I have to forget my pleasure.
Or I will be betrayed if I show myself or my vulnerability. So I change the patterns. And the second massage I am doing is your body saves a lot of emotions in the belly, why? Because when you have a certain situation in your life and you have too much emotion, in order for you to survive you say, oh, in this situation I was too stressed.
I will stuck a bit of my emotion into my body. And what is the effect on that? I always describe it using a bathtub. The pattern is the same. So the tap makes the water pour into the bathtub. So the first step is to stop the tap.
But sometimes you have it full of water and by having a lot of emotions stuck, sometimes you can feel it by feeling yourself only in your head. And not in your body.
And it’s a real feeling, it’s only because you have so many things stuck into your body that you are not connected to your body. When I massage, I massage around the belly. I really see a kind of wall. And you can connect more with your body by doing yoga, meditation, bodywork, breath, work, et cetera.
The massage I am doing, it’s a bit more deep. So let’s say it gets out a bit more quickly. And if you had abuse, usually it puts your body into a fear modus, which can totally block you from pleasure because your body is not in a mood to have fun, is constantly in a survival mode.
A: Also associating the experience with the act. So, we have to reprogramme it, really.
What Should the First Step Be?
So, just to just to wrap up. This is such a rich topic and I’m sure people can learn more about it on your website. If somebody realized, OK, I think this could be a path for me. Maybe I cannot find a partner, or I struggle in my relationship or in my sex life, what would be the first step to make?
S: This first step is taking stock. So, to understand what happened, why I don’t meet the right guy or why I have this crisis is to identify the love patterns.
And then if the person wants to go further, then she can unprogram it and then develop new behaviours, new habits that will serve her for a better relationship or better love life.
A: I really appreciate this type of work that you do, because it’s a mix of bodywork and talking about these issues, I think this is the best way to go, whether in sexuality or in relationships. So, congratulations to you for taking this path and for helping women have more love in life. It’s amazing. And we need more of that.
S: And I think also we need a lot of sex coaches because to me, sex is communication. So you can really see what is not working.
Yeah. I think it’s a nice, complementing type of work, you know, life coaching, relationship coaching and sexuality coaching just to have this holistic approach to your life and relationships.
Thanks very much for the invitation and thank you.