Sometimes we choose partners in the hopes that they will also provide us the opportunity to conquer that dread rather than because they will give us something good. Therefore, we might pick someone who reminds us of how distant our father was or how controlling our mother was, or someone who makes demanding situations that remind us of failing an exam in school or getting fired from a job. That someone you refer to as he/she keeps me on my toes. We find all of this unpleasant but familiar, unsettling yet known; this time, we aim to resolve, to cope, and to endure. You can easily call it wrong turn in dating.

And it often works out well. Because we are now older and wiser, we frequently get the chance to turn things around and deal with obstacles in a way we didn’t in early life. In addition to giving us triumph right away, our ability to cope also helps us get over our earlier feelings of failure. Yehuda Amichai, an Israeli poet, once said that “people utilize each other as a healer for their sorrow”; nevertheless, in this instance, we consciously choose each other for the agony in the hopes of also receiving the healing.

Consider your formative years. Which individuals or situations left you feeling unloved or forced you to learn difficult lessons about how to interact with others? Do these recollections have anything to do with your adult partners or the events you’ve shared with them? What does that mean for your methods of relationship searching?

Of course, there is also the influence of catastrophic life events that leave us very vulnerable and make us distrustful, depressed, enraged, or otherwise too hurt to make wise decisions in a connection. It’s possible that we lack the resources to accept or give love when it is provided to us, are unsure of what love is, or are unable to recognize it when it occurs. Bullying, abuse, and violence are the obvious traumas that receive the most attention, but we can also be hurt by other events that appear less serious. We may come to believe that love will let us down if our environment seems to be spinning out of control, possibly due to a move, a hospital stay, or an absent parent. If we mainly received attention as children while we were being punished for misbehaving, we may develop a temper tantrum tendency as adults. The shock has damaged our ability to make wise relationship decisions in addition to breaking our spirits.

Moving on

Everything listed above is reciprocal. Shakespeare famously said that for ourselves as well as our partners, “the past is prologue,” meaning that what transpired in a partner’s life prior to the scenes they wrote with us has an impact on both who they are as individuals and as a couple.

Couples chart their own road using their own love maps, transferences, and stream of painful or upsetting people and events from their own lives. They may therefore pick us because we remind them of amazing individuals and events from their past or because we remind them of tough people and events from their past in both cases. They may also need to adjust their expectations, deal with the discrepancy between their hallucination and the reality that is us, and deal with how to handle it when we give the pain that they unknowingly wanted to be relieved by being with us.

It’s important to pay close attention if a partner seems to be responding in a way that speaks more to their past than to the reality of our relationship right now. Not all the news is negative. Though it can be tempting, it’s not true that anything that comes to us from the past is bad.

It gives us a firm foundation for loving and goes a long way toward making up for any hurt that comes our way when we get normal, kind, human love from others around us, whether it is shown to us as children or as adults. Additionally, while one particularly traumatic act of betrayal might leave us emotionally scarred, similar acts of joy, acceptance, achievement, and stability can immunize us against errors. Most of the time, negative relationship experiences in the past are just a hiccup along the way rather than a relationship disaster.

Lessons in love

Furthermore, we are not required to bring the past into the present. The parts that seem to be most beneficial and healthful can be kept, while the rest can be thrown away. You might want to consider all the lessons you have ever learnt about love in order to achieve this. Which texts are dreadfully out of date and should be deleted? Which don’t matter to you now that you’re an adult? Which messages are so idealistic or perfect that no one has the least prospect of living up to them, and by trying to, you are just stoking your guilt monkey?  Which lessons were imparted to you by those whose experiences differ from your own, whose words you no longer trust, or whose lives you have no desire to emulate? Which life lessons have you had to weed out of your memory bank because they were so traumatic?

We can eliminate. With fresh insight, we can let go of our old beliefs and adopt some new, more constructive ones. There is a variety of information and direction available to assist us resolve relationship challenges, so if we are unable to do that on our own, getting help is entirely doable and advisable. So let me urge—no, let me beg—you to consult a professional if you believe that certain things or individuals have made you susceptible to making the wrong decisions or choosing the wrong path. Although we can’t undo the life we’ve led, we can reconsider it, perceive it in a new light, and therefore alleviate the suffering.

Confucius argued that understanding the past is essential to defining the future. However, after studying, we can desire to finish the lesson and continue.

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