male psychology dating relationships - Dating and relationship and baggage

But you do not need to experience a breakup to begin forming healthier relationships.

While there are no quick fixes, developing a clearer picture of your working models and how these might be affecting your relationships is a good starting point.

But it’s not just childhood relationships that shape us—adult relationship histories can also influence relationships.

What traits, behaviors, or experiences with an ex (or exes) act as triggering cues in new relationships?

Recognizing these triggering cues is vital if you are to ultimately gain control and intentionally change your behaviors.

It may seem that new relationships are entirely fueled by dreams and hopes for a perfect future.

But the past can have a powerful influence too—often more so than we would like to admit.

The “emotional baggage” that we bring from the past can mean that we sometimes pick a partner who’s not quite right, make bad relationship decisions, or find it difficult to fully devote ourselves to the person we are with.

This idea has its roots in John Bowlby’s attachment theory, which suggests that individuals differ in the way they approach and respond to the world.

Once you are aware of your transference patterns and recognize triggering cues, make a plan that highlights these signals (the IF) and link it to a new way of behaving (the THEN).

For example, “IF a new person is as unaffectionate as an ex was, THEN I will avoid this person.” By thinking and planning ahead of time, we can begin to master our behaviors in relationships.

Take some time to think critically about your past relationships—put it down on paper if it’s useful or seek the help of a trained professional—and try to develop greater awareness of your transference patterns and when they occur.

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