No matter if you’ve dated only a few women or many, there will always be that one placing a permanent imprint upon your mind. Perhaps she’s “the one that got away” or she left battle scars along your chest that you’re still healing from. Or maybe, in your mind, you’re still trying to make it work despite her continued rejection .
There could also be repeated mutual attempts at long-lasting love that never seem to work out, keeping you from seeing other prospective partnerships because neither one of you can really let go.
Whichever is the case, and for whatever reason, the years go by with nothing to show because you’re always comparing and holding others to an invisible standard. And the danger of clinging to past memories of her is how it affects your ability to really find one who suits you best. Sometimes she could be standing right next to you, even living next door, but you can’t see her because your mind is still reeling and focused on another. Don’t get me wrong. There’s nothing bad about remembering past relationships, as long as you’re not obsessive about them or still burning that love candle in the dark.
Projecting a past relationship onto a current one is like re-living a dream we had last night, in the light of day. The past is no longer “real,” but our memories and experiences from our last relationship can come back to haunt us. And while we all know intellectually that it is not a good thing to do to ourselves or our significant others, it happens to many of us more frequently than we’d like.
Though we innately know that it doesn’t feel good to replay the past and project it on our current partner, there are two other important reasons that we want to curb this tendency to rehash the past. First, it blocks your joy. True joy can only be experienced in the present moment. Even old memories that are joyful, are only joyful when thought about in the present moment. We can never feel joy while worrying about the past or future. And often, if we are comparing our partner to the “last one,” we are not appreciating the present, thereby restricting joy.
The second reason re-playing old relationships is harmful is because it hurts your growth with your current partner. Unless you begin to live in the present and experience new levels of intimacy with your current partner, your relationship will never reach its full potential. It will either never compare to how great the last partner was, or you might base your current appreciation for your current partner’s actions on the fact that they are so much better than “the last one.” In either case, you are bringing that last person into your relationship, making it a trio.
It is difficult to stop our past from affecting our current relationships. Bad experiences can make us more suspicious, anxious, jealous, careful and judgmental. I know I have been there. Perhaps you have too?
I’ve worked with countless men and women who have been hurt and become fearful and bitter, as a result of their past experiences.
However instead of allowing it to cause havoc in their love life, they have used it to embark on a journey of healing and change towards greater happiness.
Next update, I will be giving you steps to help you (or anyone close to you, going through this).
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