Dating : With Ex-Relationships, It’s Important Not to Villainize or Romanticize.

h2>Dating : With Ex-Relationships, It’s Important Not to Villainize or Romanticize.

(image by McKinley Law, from

Why? Because this can directly impact and influence your subsequent relationships in significant ways.

Instead, see the relationship as it was. This includes both the negative and painful aspects, as well as the good.

Here is how doing so is crucial to the success of your next love.

In romanticizing, we tend to focus (sometimes hyper so) and potentially even overblow the positives, good, and romantic aspects of a past relationship or partner. While there is nothing wrong with recalling the favorable of a relationship (and in fact, this is a healthy thing), when taken too far, there can be damaging results to our emotional growth, as well as our future romantic relationships.

When you focus mainly on the rose-tinted side, you forget the negative. And the negatives are crucial, because that’s why the relationship ended.

In romanticizing a relationship too much, we risk forgetting or even flat out ignoring why it didn’t work, how it was flawed or unhealthy, in what ways they were not a good partner, or possibly even an outright crappy one.

The great risk here is then repeating the pattern. That which we cannot clearly see, we are bound to run into again. Either in getting back together with the person we shouldn’t, a result of our disillusionment and downplaying of the negatives. Or, repeating the pattern once more with someone new.

Why do we prefer to focus on the good, while downplaying or even ignoring the negatives? Because no one wants to face or admit that they might have chosen wrong in the first place. This feels…embaressing…painful…invalidating of the love we thought it was (and maybe in actuality, wasn’t after all). No one wants to accept that either, they might not have chosen well, or that the relationship wasn’t what they thought it to be.

This can hurt, and deeply. So instead, we prefer to focus on what makes us feel good. “They loved me, it just didn’t work out,” or “we loved each other, it just wasn’t a good fit.” This is thinking akin to the sentiment “ignorance is bliss.”

Sometimes these sentiments are the truth. There are some generally good matches and partners with whom things just do not work out.

Frequently though, it’s harsher than this sugar-coated version. Sometimes the reality is that someone didn’t love us after all (the majority of their actions making this plain, in contrast with their words). Other times, the reality is that they weren’t a person of especially top-notch character. This is a hard thing to face fully and own because in these cases, we tend to take it personally. If they didn’t love me, this means I was not loveable. If they weren’t a great person after all, that means the relationship was a farce, wasted time, or worse, that I am terrible with choosing partners.

However, these considerations are crucial to ponder on and acknowledge if one hopes to learn fully from the relationship and pick better next time.

All the significant relationships in our lives offer lessons. Some, more relevant than others. By the same token, most relationships are a combination of positive and negative, health and dysfunction, joy and hurt. Healthy, good relationships though are those in which the positive, healthy, and joy far outweigh the negative, dysfunction, and hurt.

Remember the sweet moments, the good which they taught you.

Do not though, forget the bad.

The painful stuff is where your personal growth lies. It’s where insight is found. And, it’s from these insights that you learn to avoid making a similar mistake again.

On the flipside, in villainizing an ex-love, our heart floods with venom and bitterness. Further, in our hostility, we remain fixated on our ex-love. Anger is not love, but it’s still a strong hangup on and preoccupation with this person. It is continuing to give them much of your energy and thought, and at the cost of your own happiness and emotional health.

Villainizing misses all the points. This inner rancor making one blind to the lessons that relationship entailed, both positive and negative. Are you familiar with the phrase, “blind with rage”? Then you get the idea. Significant levels of rage and anger cloud our vision.

Harboring these types of emotions for an ex-relationship is also a major turnoff to prospective partners who are actually mature and emotionally healthy. Thus, this can only serve at keeping you within the pattern of not so great relationships (since that’s what a bitter, unhappy, emotionally unhealthy person is likely to attract if anything).

Bitterness isn’t being “so over someone” and hating them along the way. It’s the opposite. It’s indifference and disinterest. It’s feeling neutral. It’s letting go. Villainizing is still a significant concentration with someone and thus, you are far from over this person. Instead, you remain, in a way, obsessed.

See your exes for what they were. Be brave enough to do so. This includes in their aspects of light, though in equal measure, their negatives and dark.

It can be equally painful if in the opposite case. That potentially, if this were the reality, you had with someone a wonderful thing, which possibly you somehow undermined, damaged, or sabotaged.

Acknowledging difficult truths does not mean that simultaneously, you have to disregard all positive. Far from it. You can observe, acknowledge, see, and realize both. It need not be one or the other. However, “both” is the operative word.

One can never stand to learn all the lessons offered in a given relationship if they do not have the guts to examine all of its facets and sides.

See and remember the soul-moving moments, all while reflecting clearly on both the negative, as well as on why it ended.

Read also  Dating : Lather, Rinse and Don’t Repeat

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