Without resolution, awareness, and acceptance, your relationship past may have a strong effect on your current dating life.
With a past that feels heavy, heartbreaking or disappointing, dating in the present may feel more draining and trigger anxiety and fear.
Your past has a lot of influence if one of your biggest fears is having it be repeated.
Therefore, you utilize behaviors made to protect yourself, which makes it hard to trust other people and take chances toward intimacy and connection.
If the end of a previous relationship came as a shock or devastation to you, you may struggle to get close to somebody new and approach dating with walls of emotional protection.
If your ex betrayed you, you might be hesitant to trust a new lover and become fixated on determining if certain behaviors like, not responding to a text quickly.
It’s a sign of cheating or future rejection. You might catch yourself debating over giving into urges to check a potential lover’s email or phone for other clues.
If your past isn’t resolved, you may consider that the person you’re dating now will abandon you or break your trust just like your ex did.
Even if everything is going well in your current love life.
You may doubt if you are lovable or wonder what you have to offer, and beat yourself up about your relationship past and current singlehood.
While those thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are understandable as they can be protective in nature.
They represent the last remaining unresolved and dictating each time.
Here are the best five ways to approach dating when you have had difficult relationship experiences in the past:
1. Reconstruct and modify the narrative in your head for healthy closure.
We all know that you can’t erase the past. However, you can take control of how you think about it, which is what is the most important thing and drives your behavior in the present.
Spend your time thinking about the story you tell yourself about your past relationships, your ex’s, and breakups. What is the feeling that accompanies those thoughts and relationship stories?
If your narrative feels more negative, is filled with anger, blame, resentment or fear, see if you can change it to feel a little bit neutral or positive.
For example, can you find the silver lining? Can you concentrate on what you learned about yourself, your needs, and relationships instead of staying stuck?
Can you find some space to create a new and improved version of an unhealthy or uncomfortable narrative by making some modifications to the story you tell yourself?
Rewrite your story and alter any scripts that don’t seem to be serving you well.
2. Watch your assumptions about the past.
Most of what happens to us in our life
Also, unfortunately not all breakups involve healthy closure or communication. This can cause your mind to run wild with false thoughts about what happened and believe stories that may or may not be true.
Your mind may naturally want certainty and closure so badly that it will make answers to unresolved questions regardless of how factual they actually are.
Therefore, it is vital to see your assumptions about why an ex treated you the way he or she did or why your relationship ended, as well as how your ex is doing now.
Especially if you’re bothered by their current relationship status. Keep in mind that thoughts are not facts no matter how believable they may seem.
3. Look at each dating or relationship experience as a clean slate.
Work to detach yourself from past romantic experiences and any associated feelings that cause discomfort or fear.
While it is healthy to take a look at your part and explore possible relationship patterns.
It is crucial to avoid making negative projections into the future or continuing to punish yourself because of the past relationship experience.
Take part in self-discovery while looking at each dating experience as a new and separate opportunity and isolating each individual experience from the rest. Especially when you are emotionally triggered.
4. Confront your underlying fears and insecurities.
It is natural to feel vulnerable in a relationship, especially if you’ve been rejected or hurt before.
However, learning to tolerate all of the ups and downs of life will lead you toward your goals.
Facing your fears makes them less powerful and makes you more confident.
If you allow fears and insecurities to hinder you from dating someone and you don’t act on your relationship goals and desires. Life will feel a little bit incomplete.
In fact, inaction can grow even more anxiety, fear, and doubt. Whereas taking action and getting unstuck leads to confidence and the ability to handle more.
Work on resolving and own your fears and insecurities instead of avoiding triggering experiences, such as first dates.
5. Try to engage in behaviors that keep you open, ready and willing to experience what you are looking for.
Build an intention to slowly take down any walls interfering with your skill to connect. A small beginning is absolutely okay.
Allow yourself to move forward to your relationship goals despite any past trauma by being more vulnerable and letting go of a guarded approach.
Release all unhealthy tendencies or responses to relationship pain. Like controlling, passive-aggressive, mean-spirited or avoidant behavior.
Utilize an open, calm, optimistic, and grounded approach. Take breaks if you want to. But commit to staying aligned with your goals and acting in ways that grow connection.
Remember to breathe and invite love in.
Dating may not be easy for you and your past may be very painful. But it is worth it to achieve great love and companionship in life.
You have the power to control what you do with your past and to create the great future you want.
The past can end with some time and stay there or it can come with you. Try to be empowered!
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