Has this ever happened to you?
You met someone on the internet and have been communicating a lot with them over the phone or online. Everything seems to be clicking, and you’ve been getting all the right signals and vibes that say “full steam ahead.”
You’re really excited about the relationship and its potential, so you finally meet them in person at a fancy restaurant. But then suddenly your date says, “You’re so different from my ex.”
The conversation comes to a screeching halt. Ugh, you think. Not this again! Why can’t I find someone who hasn’t been badly burned by someone from their past – and is still living there?!
When it comes to relationships, too many people continue to live in their past ones. They are constantly comparing first loves with current or possible loves, and end up disappointed every time. Why? Because they can’t let go of the yardstick they’ve been using to measure everyone in their present against everyone in their past. This needs to stop.
We should always honor our current relationships, and that means we need to be vigilant about leaving the past in the past. It’s okay to reflect on our personal experiences, but sharing the faults and successes of others in our past isn’t the path to a fresh, symbiotic relationship with someone new. Nobody likes to be compared to somebody else. It’s unfair and uncomfortable!
Listen, no one really cares about your ex-partner (unless perhaps you are sharing something meaningful you learned about your experience with them). This is the type of behavior that can ruin a relationship, either preventing it from ever getting started, or causing it to come to a premature end. This is sabotage! It’s a petty way to let someone know “there was so much more before you.”
Your job in a relationship is to:
- Be 100% present for your partner.
- Continue to give your partner what they need.
- Share yourself.
There’s a wide range of ways you can sabotage a relationship, from comparing and contrasting your current partner to an ex, to living in the past and carrying all that baggage into the present, not being able to get beyond the past hurts.
If you’re considering heading into a new relationship with a potential love interest, and you’re willing to take the chance on a fresh start, then get out of the past and stay the present. Learn to embrace what you are experiencing right now. It may end up even more beautiful than before!