When a relationship ends, chances are you won’t just be left with a lot of spare time on your hands. Most relationships that end leave you with some sort of unhappy legacy. It may be that you are left with new insecurities, or you might develop an issue with trust. Annoyingly, this relationship baggage has a habit of sticking around. It can be awkward to shift and can negatively impact on your new relationships. To help you ditch your relationship baggage, follow these 10 steps.
If you are in a new relationship and are finding that your old relationship baggage is causing problems for you both, then turn the situation around. Ask yourself how you would feel if your new partner was judging you and your actions by the behavior of their ex? Would you feel that was fair or realistic? Thinking about things from your partner’s perceptive can help you get over your ex.
If you’ve had a constant stream of bad guys or girls in your life it can be easy to begin to generalise and assume every man or woman is a terrible person. Clearly this attitude is not going to allow you to move on into a new relationship. To ditch this relationship baggage think about the positive relationships you’ve had with either men or women.
You can choose from a variety of people, from past friends, to relatives and maybe even some exes. Reminding yourself that the opposite sex are not all bad may help you to reach a new, more positive attitude that will help you form new relationships.
Don’t be a clam
Once we have been hurt it can be very easy to succumb to the urge to clam up. Yet you can’t develop a strong relationship if you never share or allow yourself to be vulnerable. The best way to overcome this piece of relationship baggage is to simply let go, dive in and open up about something you care about. Then you just have to wait to see what happens. It’s a tough one, but the rewards are well worth the risk.
Ask for help
Not making your new partner aware of the hurts or insecurities you’ve acquired because of your previous relationship will lead to confusion and may end up in the breakdown of your new relationship. Although difficult, telling your partner that you have an issue with trust or that you have a fear of commitment will mean that they can offer you the help and support you need to overcome those issues.
Advise your friend
When you are trying to look at your life and come up with a solution to a problem it can be hard to see what the right thing to do is. A really good way to help yourself through an issue is to pretend your friend has come to you with the same problem. In your head, relay all the information you would need from your friend to help them overcome it. Then think about what advice you would give them and apply that advice to your own life.
See a therapist
For some people the thought of seeing a therapist is terrifying, but looking at your past relationships and confronting the lingering problems those relationships caused can help you in ways you didn’t think were possible. If you have struggled with relationship baggage for some time, seeing a therapist might be the best option for you.
If some time has passed since you broke up with your ex, arranging to meet with them and talk about why the relationship ended can help. This can be especially helpful if you felt like you never got any closure once the relationship ended or if you have never been sure why the relationship didn’t last. Make sure you are in a good place mentally though before meeting up with your ex, because it can bring back a lot of unhappy and surprising feelings.
If you have a sneaking suspicion that your relationship baggage is affecting life with your new partner then make sure you are listening to everything your partner has to say. When we have been hurt it can be easy to hone in on the negatives that have happened and analyze our new relationship, looking for signs that the same problems are repeating themselves. Remember to listen to the positive things that your partner says and try not to overplay the negatives.
Give up control
Coming to terms with the fact that you cannot control your new partner will help you ditch your relationship baggage. Face the facts and understand that no matter how much you want to control them and know what they are up to, you can’t. If you pursue this desire to know everything about your new partner you will end up losing them and pushing them away.
You deserve more
After being treated badly by a string of crummy people it can be easy to point the blame at yourself and come to the conclusion that you deserve no better. But the reality is you deserve a lot more. Everyone, no matter who you are, has the right to a decent new boyfriend or girlfriend and deep down you know that you have a lot to offer.