If you are like me, then you would have surely stopped for a second after reading the title of the article. You would have thought.
Let’s be open here. We have all experienced it. The tears, the pain, and the sleepless nights, the busy tone on the phone and what not. We have all had our hearts broken at some point or the other. We all have those past relationships that we look back upon and regret. You ask yourself a thousand times about how you can possibly devote yourself to a person who was nothing like your prince charming. You start doubting your choice, your judgment. You blame your luck. You doubt your values. You just could not bring yourself to believe that you got something that you never longed or deserved. You wonder if you could ever fall in love again. And then, at a snail’s pace, you start to move on.
What is the next step now? Well, you obviously meet someone new. But you are scared to close in. You just linger around for a bit, afraid that you would end up in pain again. You have had a big quota of pain, so it is completely natural to wander around that new someone before taking the steps towards commitment or relationship.
You, consciously or unconsciously, start to analyze whether the new person is different from the last one. You notice a tiny bit of similarity – you may end up getting less attracted.
It is natural to get scared before stepping into something new and you weigh the pros and cons for your satisfaction but at the same time it is unhealthy. The saying, “We can never feel joy while worrying about the past or future” fits in here. Projecting your past relationship and letting it decide your future ones is like re-living a nightmare you had last night during the day! It is not beneficial for both the partners. Just because your ex-partner did not give you the love, compassion and respect you deserve does not mean that you will have the same fate in all future relationships.
It’s quite hard to stop fabricating the possible scenarios in your head and convincing yourself that the new partner will also end you in a battered and bruised condition like the previous one. But, trust me, the best antidote is to let go.
Whenever we bring our past experiences and incorporate them into our present reality, we are activating what is known as “transference reaction.” It is a phenomenon that is defined as redirection of our feelings from one person to another. Assigning and reenacting the dynamics and feelings of past relationships into new ones falls into this category.
Transference will always be there whenever you start a new relationship after a broken one. Your past would entirely affect how you perceive people in the present and future. But you always need to understand that working your way through those perceptions and resolving your past issues would lead to a better and healthy future relationship.
So what do you do to move forward and stop letting the past to devoid you of future pleasure?
Well, the first thing that you can do is to look back at the bad relationship you had and instead of crying over it, analyze it. By analyze, I mean that you should look at the relationship very honestly and determine the mistakes or any mistake committed by you and take full responsibility for it. Sometimes blocking personal shortcomings and blaming the other person is easier but there is nothing wrong in committing mistakes. The mistakes that we make are all learning experiences and every one of us can start with a fresh slate.
The next step is being true to yourself. If your new relationship is building up too many negative vibes then it is better to take a step backward and follow your intuition. If you begin to feel that the same devastating pattern from your old relationship is beginning to take over in your new one too, realize that it is high time you try something different and new. Stop a new relationship from ending like a previous one.
If you are still in a dilemma, then talk about your fears to someone you trust. Sometimes by not voicing our fears, we make them strong within ourselves and wreck havoc in our lives. By sharing our thoughts and feelings, we sometimes get a new perspective and proactive way into our thoughts.
It is not guaranteed that by following through the above steps you would stop bringing your past experiences into current ones. But let’s be honest. You and your partner both need your full attention. You may not notice but you may be missing out on something good in this relationship by lingering in the past.
You may not reach your full potential if you are always haunted by your past experiences. The past is past. Just consider it as a bad chapter of your book of life and tear those pages and let them be carried away by the wind. Always remember, every relationship you have is always different from any past relationship you ever had.