How to Not Let Past Experiences Affect a New Relationship

by Kimberly Turtenwald

About Kimberly Turtenwald

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Kimberly Turtenwald began writing professionally in 2000. She has written content for various websites, including Lights 2 You, Online Consultation, Corpus Personal Injury and more. Turtenwald studied editing and publishing at Wisconsin Lutheran College.

How to Not Let Past Experiences Affect a New Relationship

Some relationships cause enough damage in your life that it is challenging to leave your emotional baggage behind and proceed to have a healthy relationship with someone else. If you don't want to spend your life alone, though, you must find a way. With some concentration and effort, you can leave the past behind you and move forward without allowing the past to bog you down.

Counseling

Depending on what has happened in your past relationships, seeing a counselor can help you learn to deal with your feelings so it doesn't impact your future relationships. If you have experienced verbal, emotional, sexual or physical abuse, you may be left with emotional scars that can last a lifetime if not addressed properly. A counselor is trained to help you learn to handle the trauma of your past. Once you accept that your future can be different, you can take steps to ensure future success.

Learn to Trust

You may have difficulty trusting someone in a relationship if you have been hurt in the past. However, you must remember that your new partner is not your ex. Avoid spending time finding similarities between your current partner and your ex. It is normal to try to identify warning flags to avoid repeating your mistakes. However, identifying faults in your relationship can destroy it rather than build it. Instead, try to trust your new partner unless he gives you a good reason to be suspicious.

Let Go

Letting go can be one of the most challenging aspects of a difficult relationship, even if you know you are better off without your ex. Your ex's poor treatment can easily stick with you, causing you to obsess over whether it was your fault and why it happened. While there is a healthy element to discussing past relationship problems with a future partner, you can reveal too much, especially early in a relationship. If you need to talk things through, choose a family member or close friend to talk to instead of your partner. Obsessing over past issues with an ex can drive your new partner away.

Open Communication

Your past relationships can shape how you handle future relationships. Some issues can be corrected, but others have longer-term effects. Keeping the lines of communication open between you and your partner ensures that you understand each other and know what is going on. For instance, if you were with someone who constantly yelled at you in the past, it is okay to let your partner know that you prefer a quiet talk when something is wrong. Letting your new partner know your preferences and even why can build a more solid foundation for your relationship.

Grow from It

Instead of allowing your past to drag you down and negatively impact your future, use your experiences to grow and learn about yourself. Ask yourself what you would like to do differently in the future and learn to live on your own. If you have been involved with a destructive relationship, it is often best to stand on your own two feet before moving on to another relationship. Once you are comfortable with yourself and know who you are, your future relationships can only benefit.

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