Why can't we move beyond our past relationships?
|Some psychologists believe we are nothing but the sum of our experiences. This is no more evident in our lives than when we're dating.
Every time I meet someone, I wonder whether he'll be just like the guy I dated before him - or the guy before that or the guy before that.
I worry when he's a millisecond late to pick me up because I was once stood up.
My heart palpitates when I learn that he's in marketing - the last guy I dated in that profession was marketing himself to a lot of other women besides me.
My throat closes up on me when he makes a mention of his mother. I think, "How did I manage to snag another mama's boy?"
So it is that the demons of our past relationships latch themselves on to us like so many safety pins, branding us emotionally with the paranoia of relationships past.
The problem with this is that we soon learn to close ourselves off in an effort to avoid future pain. In order to stop ourselves from making the same mistake, we stop trying to move forward in our relationships.
So many of us have learned that the only way to protect our heart is to guard it so closely no one can get anywhere near it.
In an effort to stop the pain, we stop every human emotion, losing out on the good times we might have otherwise had.
A wise (married) man once said, "The evil that men do lives after them; the good is oft interred with their bones."
Perhaps the only way to mend our broken hearts is to dig up those bones and face up to what really happened.
Stop dwelling on every little thing that went wrong in the relationship and try to gain some comfort from what went right.
Yes, he stood me up - but every previous date he was on-time, handsome and witty. He made sure I enjoyed our dates.
OK, so, in the end he cheated on me, but while his attention was focused on me, he made me feel special and beautiful.
And while it's true that he was a mama's boy, he knew how to treat a woman well and with respect.
Dwelling on the positive doesn't mean I want to restart the relationship, it just means I am finally able to come to terms with the things that made it fun while it lasted - and precious now that it's over.