Why You Shouldn’t Let Your Failed Relationship Ruin You for Your Next Love

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If you’ve recently gotten out of a bad relationship, it can be tough to remember to separate that from your next relationship. It’s part of human nature to learn from our mistakes, after all. But there’s a thin line between “learning from your mistakes” and “blaming someone for something that wasn’t their fault”.

If your ex was a cheater

I have had a few exes who were… Let’s say, far from faithful. Sometimes it was sort of my own fault (such as pursuing a girl who told me she had never been faithful to a previous partner), and sometimes it wasn’t (such as a girl I dated who told me she was getting a ride from a work friend, who she was actually sleeping with).

Sometimes, someone who is unfaithful may tell their partner that their cheating was a result of something they did. It’s usually a result of something the cheater did. Cheating is very rarely an accident.

Since it’s not usually an accident, it’s important that you realize that not every woman will respond to the stimulus the same way. Women are definitely able to make a conscious choice not to cheat. If your new lady doesn’t show signs of being a cheater, she shouldn’t be held accountable for the fact that you’ve been cheated on in the past.

If your ex was abusive

This is an example that holds deep personal significance for me. Once you have been through an abusive relationship, your brain can start to make connections that might not be real, in order to make sense of the surroundings. For example, if your previous partner cooked for you (and hit you), and your new partner cooks for you – in the mind of someone who’s been through trauma, the “logical connection” seems apparent. We may worry that our new partner will do some other things that our old partner did.

However, it’s very important to realize that most of these logical connections aren’t true. Anyone can be an abusive partner; it’s not generally tied to most personality traits. Even among the traits that are considered “common” among abusers, they aren’t automatically an indicator of abusive behavior.

Definitely be cautious, and trust your instincts if you think your new partner is being abusive too – but just because you have been in one abusive relationship, that doesn’t automatically mean you’re more likely to be in future abusive relationships.

If your ex was “perfect”

This is another dangerous territory that actually lies to the far opposite of the previous topics. Sometimes, we can’t actually find fault in our past partner – and we feel that our new partner might not measure up.

If you think about this one, it’s really unfair to everyone. By assuming that your previous partner was perfect, you’re taking all the blame and laying it on yourself. Most relationships aren’t one-sided, though, which means that they played a part in why it went bad, too.

Your old partner gets a spot on top of a pedestal, which gives them both an advantage and a disadvantage. If they’re not interested in working things out, they may feel uncomfortable with the idea of being held in such high regard. If they are interested in working things out, they have the responsibility of determining whether breaking up your new relationship would be ethical or not – and in most cases, it’s not.

Your new partner may feel invalidated by the fact that you still hold onto feelings for your ex. It’s generally accepted that you shouldn’t actively try to seek out someone new while you still have feelings for someone else, but that’s not to say we always process it that way. By not being “as good” as your previous partner was, your new partner may feel a constant need to compete – which can be straining for some.

Instead of trying to chase someone else while you’re still hung up on what you did wrong with the last one, you should actually try working through the problems first. Take some time for yourself, and make sure you’re in the right place for a new relationship before you try to find one. Sometimes these things happen on their own, but you shouldn’t try to force yourself past it.

If you made a lot of mistakes in your past relationships

Some women believe the old myth that “once a cheater, always a cheater”. This is absolutely not true. While it’s a good idea to be honest with your partner about your past, that doesn’t mean that you’re bound to be the same person you have been in the past. It’s a part of learning and growing up – you do something wrong, you realize the wrongness, and you move forward and learn to do better.

Of course, if the “mistakes” have become habit, it can be hard to break them – but you can always try. With a solid effort, you’re less likely to slip up, and you’re more likely to be the partner you should have been from the beginning.

(It should be noted that cheating isn’t the only mistake that could be used here. If you have had issues with hard drug use, alcoholism, a bad temper, or any vice, you can teach yourself to overcome it. It won’t be easy – but if you care about your new lady, it will be important. You shouldn’t condemn yourself to stay in your vices if they don’t make you happy.)

If you don’t know what went wrong

I say it a lot in my articles – not every relationship is meant to last. Sometimes, they end, and it’s not even that anyone did anything wrong. Simply, the two of you weren’t a good fit anymore – or maybe you never really were.

It’s important that you get to know your new partner fairly in order to ensure that you’re not holding grudges for a previous failed relationship. After all, for all you know, this new woman could be the embodiment of all your hopes and dreams!

For those who consider themselves hopeless romantics, it may seem a bit pessimistic to think that most relationships end. It’s actually just a harsh reality – and in a way, it’s even more romantic to think that the heartbreaks you’ve faced are actually bringing you closer to your true love. Hey, we’re human! We mess up sometimes. But the right woman is out there, and you’ll never know if you don’t give her a chance.

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