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13 Harsh Truths You Don’t Want To Admit When You Can’t Get Over The Past Relationship

13 Harsh Truths You Don’t Want To Admit When You Can’t Get Over The Past Relationship

If you’ve ever been in a romantic relationship, chances are you’ve experienced the common side effects of sleepless nights, loss of appetite, and somehow managing to interject the name of that person into every conversation. Ironically, these are some of the same symptoms that are also common after a breakup and can be painful (not to mention extremely trying on your friends) when experienced for a long period of time. If you’re having a hard time getting over a lost love, consider the following harsh truths that may be holding you hostage to your pain.

1. Maybe it is you.

girl standing on log

    It’s human nature to blame outside influences when things don’t go the way we want them to in our relationships. We hear things like, “He was afraid of commitment,” or “She was too controlling.” While blaming your ex can help to satisfy your ego, it saps you of your ability to gain control of the situation. However, when you own your actions and/or expectations of the other person that weren’t met, you gain total control to change your perspective and to make different choices in the future. Try this the next time you’re feeling down: Write down all the ways YOU contributed to the breakup (even if you don’t think you did) and make a decision to, next time, make a different choice. It might not be an easy exercise at first, but it’s a great way to shift the power back into your hands.

    2. You didn’t fulfill his or her needs.

    Tony Robbins uses Human Needs Psychology to teach millions of people how to have successful relationships. This theory suggests that though we all have these six human needs — certainty, variety, significance, love/connection, growth, and contribution — we each rank them differently and seek to have them fulfilled in different ways. Usually in the beginning of relationships we all do a pretty good job of fulfilling the needs of our partner because most of us are concerned with what we can give to the person instead of what we can get. But unless we continue to meet our partner’s needs in the way they want them to be met, they’re liable to move their attention off of you in the way that you would want. Here’s the harsh truth: you didn’t meet your partner’s needs in the way they needed them to be met. The “bright” side? They probably didn’t meet your needs either.

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    3. A better match exists for you.

    There are over 7.2 billion people in the world; you’ve just broken up with one of them. And if you’re in the U.S., there are about 96 million people who are single and over the age of 18. I know it might be hard to believe that there could be even a slight possibility that you will ever find another mate or even (could it be?) a better match, but it’s true — just know that you’re someone’s better match, too!

    4. You saw signs and ignored them.

    They say hindsight is 20/20. That’s because usually at the end of a broken relationship we can see all the evidence from along the way that this one wasn’t going to last. Finally, you can recognize their behavior for what it really was — especially after you’ve put so much time and energy into making it work. Do yourself a favor: The next time you see signs on the road of love that lead you to question your relationship, don’t look away.

    5. You believed you would end up with your first love.

    boy-girl kiss on cheek

      Most of us are introduced to the fantasy of love long before we fall in love for the first time ourselves. These impressions are strong in our expectations of living happily ever after, and when we finally find that object of our affection, it can be an overwhelming and profound experience. Sometimes when our first loves ends, it can feel like our whole world is ending too. Research at Stony Brook University revealed that the anguish of romantic rejection creates the same cravings as being on cocaine. No wonder you may feel like you’re going through withdrawal; and every recovering addict needs support during recovery. Find a confidant or support group to talk to; better yet, read this to learn eight things to do when getting over a hurtful relationship.

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      6. You looked to him/her for validation.

      It happens to the best of us: One day you’re a happily independent-thinking person; the next you find yourself crying in a dejected ball on the floor in the bedroom corner. What will you do, and what’s to become of you now? But what if you no longer needed the approval of your ex and, instead, were totally confident in your own skin? It’s hard when you’ve invested so much time and energy into a relationship only to see it end. But the harsh truth is this: you are enough and you don’t need another person’s affection to prove this. If you can truly get this one concept, you’ll be so irresistible, you’ll barely keep from dating yourself.

      7. He/She’s just not that into you (and that’s OK).

      We all have our preferences for different things (food, style, vacation spots, etc.). And if you’re honest, there are probably several people you’d prefer to spend your Saturday night with over others. This doesn’t automatically make those others undesirable people, does it? Of course not. Well, the same goes for you. Just because you’re not one person’s preference doesn’t mean a thing about you; it just speaks to their preference. You, on the other hand, have plenty of fans. Why not give one of them a call and meet for coffee this week? You may be glad you did.

      8. You’ve romanticized the whole thing.

      romanticize; couple on pier

        It’s easy to remember only the good times when a relationship ends, but chances are you can identify plenty of things that weren’t ideal. If you find yourself only able to remember the good times, have a friend remind you of the challenges or complaints you had while you were together. Write these things down and then ask yourself these questions to snap yourself back to reality.

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        9. You want what you can’t have.

        If this one applies to you, chances are the person either a.) belongs to someone else, b.) is too young or too old for you, c.) lives in another state, country, or region or d.) has taken a vow of celibacy. Whatever the reason, the fact is they’re not available, and the more you focus on this, the more miserable you’ll be. Do yourself a favor: Shift your attention to what you can have, and go buy yourself your favorite dessert to take your mind off of things. (Hey, it always works for me.)

        10. You took them for granted.

        This is a tough one. If you believe that you let go of someone you truly cared about but took for granted, you might be having the worst reaction of all because, in your mind, if you had done things differently, you would be together today. Take heart: we all make mistakes. But if we’re wise we call them “learning experiences” and make sure we do things differently the next time around.

        11. Your beliefs are not necessarily the truth.

        We all believe something; some of us believe in angels, some of us believe in big business, and some of us believe in the Tooth Fairy. The thing to remember is that belief in itself is neither good or bad. So if you believe that you and your lost love were meant to be together and it’s causing you pain, recognize that you can choose to have a different belief. What if, for example, you believed that this relationship was the perfect set-up for the ultimate relationship on its way to you? Oh, the possibilities when you believe!

        12.You’re holding yourself back from happiness.

        You deserve every happiness that life has to offer. The fact that you’re hurting so badly only proves that you don’t feel the way you know you’re supposed to feel, which is not crummy. Try this: recall a time when you were extremely happy or at peace before this person came into your life. What were you focused on? What activities were you involved in? What contribution were you making to the world? Answer these questions, and you’ve got a blueprint for getting your groove back and moving into happy. Or try something new that you’ve always wanted to do and read this to perk yourself back up.

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        13. Everything will be OK.

        Everything will be OK

          Believe it or not, the earth won’t stop spinning on it’s axis, your heart won’t stop beating, and you will be OK. If you allow it to, time can be your best friend when you’re getting over a relationship. Spend some much-deserved time loving yourself and appreciating all of the good things in your life right now. Make a list and rehearse it each time your default turns to thoughts of your ex, or put yourself in the space of others who are less fortunate than you to give yourself some perspective on how good your life really is. The truth is you’re not the first person to have a hard time getting over a past relationship, and you won’t be the last. Just remember to breathe; everything will be OK.

          Featured photo credit: Logan Adermatt via unsplash.com

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          Last Updated on September 16, 2020

          3 Simple Signs of a Strong and Healthy Relationship

          3 Simple Signs of a Strong and Healthy Relationship

          In helping many people solve their relationship woes, I am often asked for the signs of a good relationship.

          Well, what’s fascinating about relationships is the dynamics of two individuals coming together and staying together amid an array of perceptions and misperceptions.

          Our relationships are not only influenced by our current actions but also by our past relationships and the life experiences that we bring forward into the current relationship. How we deal with misperceptions and misunderstandings determines the strength and health of our relationship and the level of happiness we are able to experience.

          Much of the subconscious programming that takes place throughout our life causes us to sabotage our happiness by preventing us from engaging effectively, especially when we become emotionally triggered.

          These mostly unconscious “scripts,” which we tend to run on autopilot, include our thoughts, words, and actions that result from these. Some may even refer to them as “baggage.” While we can rewrite these scripts and stop them from contaminating our relationships, we only become aware of them when we are in an emotionally empowered state.

          So, what are the signs of a good relationship?

          It boils down to these four essential requirements:

          • Emotional empowerment
          • Aligned attraction
          • Sexual functioning
          • You and your partner

          While we can take it upon ourselves to develop as an individual, a strong and healthy relationship results from both personal growth and teamwork with our partner in order to resolve any problems.

          Let’s take a look at how we can do this.

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          1. Emotional Empowerment

          A clear sign of a good relationship is that both partners stay focused on what they want to create and how they want to feel. It can be too easy to blame our partner when we’re not feeling good about ourselves or somewhat overwhelmed with the curveballs that life seems to throw at us continually.

          You may have heard of the saying, “Making mountains out of molehills.” When we’re not in charge of our emotional state, that’s precisely what we do!

          Someone also said, “It’s not what you say, but how you say it.” Our words and the emotional power behind them are either being constructive or destructive in our relationships.

          By trying to override your emotions and dredging up past situations, you may blow a current situation entirely out of context, keep retriggering yourself and your partner, and prevent essential issues from being resolved. Aside from that, it makes you feel disconnected.

          As a reminder, allowing yourself to indulge in petty annoyances and sarcastic comments will likely drive a wedge between you and your partner. So, is that worth your attention?

          When we focus on what we don’t want, we continually default to the old subconscious programming cultivated from our life experiences. These “scripts” can become self-destructive when expressed through negative rumination and self-talk or critical observations of our partner, rather than being the fun, uplifting, and naturally motivating partner that they fell in love with.

          Many couples start competing against each other when they are emotionally triggered instead of supporting each other to create the best outcome. While we can quickly become obsessed with being right (or not being wrong), it’s essential to stay present, focus on how we want to feel, and align our words and actions toward that outcome.

          Couples who enjoy a strong and healthy relationship consciously monitor their emotional states and can therefore influence the impact of their verbal and non-verbal communication in a positive manner. This offers a long-term benefit of enhancing their overall desire to be together and connect on more intimate levels.[1]

          2. Attraction in Alignment

          Known as the love and bonding hormone, oxytocin doesn’t just play an important role in intimacy. In truth, it’s also vital for increasing trust and attraction between two people. Synthesized in the human brain when you trust someone, the oxytocin molecule also motivates reciprocation.

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          We’re living in an age where an individual’s independence is ruling the day, and the social codes of chivalry have become sadly redundant. However, it’s never a good time to become complacent in how we interact with each other and in respecting the environment we share.

          According to Paul Zak, a neuroscientist and researcher at Claremont Graduate University, oxytocin is generated in the brain only after some concrete event or action, such as someone making way for you in the street.[2]

          “When someone does something nice for you such as holding a door, your brain releases oxytocin, and it down-regulates the appropriate fear you have of interacting with strangers.” — Paul Zak

          Suddenly, you feel like the person in front of you is not a threat. Then, according to Zak, this feeling disappears quickly for a good reason,

          “If you just had high levels of oxytocin, you would be giving away resources to every stranger on the street. So, this is a quick on/off system.”

          This has important implications for those in a relationship. Zak says:

          “If you treat me well, in most cases my brain will synthesize oxytocin and this will motivate me to treat you well in return.”

          In a relationship, our actions and behaviors are either attracting or repelling our partner. This is especially true when we have conflicting values. Common conflicting values include personal hygiene, health and fitness, and general tidiness.

          It’s important to know and respect what’s important to our partner. After all, one of the real signs of a good relationship is having the desire to continually step up and live your “A” game.[3] When our partner takes the time to communicate something important to them, we need to acknowledge that it’s essential to keep a relationship long-term.

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          While we like to think that our partner will be attracted to us no matter what, this is not realistic at all. “A” is for attraction, and we need to keep attracting our partner instead of being lazy and pretending we can get away with unappealing or inappropriate behaviors.

          Any unresolved issue can build up resentment and undermine the quality of a relationship. However, the thought of approaching a challenging topic can increase stress and anxiety to the point where it is nearly impossible to clearly communicate the problem without it sounding like an accusation or blame.

          Due to the fear of retriggering our partner by bringing up the same topic repeatedly, we often delay dealing with the issues that are of utmost importance to us. Over time, it can result in frustration, annoyance, and disconnection. We are sentient beings, so this type of emotional resistance can often be felt by the other person.

          Furthermore, we usually communicate a part of a request out loud and then complete the reasoning behind it internally. Unfortunately, our partner doesn’t hear this internal monologue, so they have no idea about the extent or importance of our need. Therefore, many problems aren’t fully discussed, and the main issue remains unresolved.

          “Prolonged stress and anxiety are like poison to oxytocin,” Paul Zak said. The underlying biological hypothesis is that stress — particularly the type that does not have a clear ending point — inhibits oxytocin release.

          In a healthy relationship, both partners can retain the desire to step up and continue to attract each other through verbal and non-verbal communication. Try remembering the following:

          • Every person has their own preference for how things are done, so effective communication requires actively listening as well as clearly communicating your needs.
          • Before talking about an important matter, make sure you have your partner’s full attention. Then, try to keep your words focused in the here and now.
          • Instead of rehashing a similar experience from your past for context and risking triggering each other emotionally, get to the point and explain what you want at once. If you feel uncomfortable doing that, try starting a request with “I like it when…” or “It makes me feel…” You may also ask, “How can we work together to create a win-win situation?”
          • If something is important enough for your partner to mention out loud, then you must respect, consider, and adhere to it whenever possible. For example, if a partner is brave enough to open up about their need for sexual intimacy to feel more connected, it may be an issue that needs to be addressed in your relationship.

          According to psychiatrist and Emory University professor Larry Young, increased intimacy can strengthen your connection as a couple, especially when you combine it with other rewarding experiences that get your brain’s reward system going.[4]

          Verbally appreciate your partner’s effort in supporting your needs and make sure to retain your individuality and interests outside the relationship to keep your mutual attraction.

          3. Sexual Function

          Sex is the one thing that differentiates a strong, healthy relationship from a platonic friendship. Sexual intimacy is one of the most important signs of a good relationship and has often been described as the glue that holds a relationship together.

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          Sexual intimacy allows two people who seek the ultimate connection with each other to come together. However, intimacy problems can lead to separation, loneliness, and disconnection — feelings that can eventually tear a relationship apart.

          Unfulfilling sex leads to an increase in stress hormones which results in a lowered libido as sexual intimacy becomes a souce of discomfort on all levels. A common cause of a low libido is, for example, sexual function issues such as early ejaculation and erectile dysfunction challenges in men; and orgasmic dysfunction for women.[5] An unwanted sexual technique such as hard and fast or constant changes of position can also be off-putting.

          While work stress, children rearing, and communication issues can all lower your libido and affect your overall desire for sex, a sexless marriage or relationship is not favorable for the vast majority of couples long-term.

          One of the most important things for women in a relationship is to experience a sense of connection or feel loved and close to their partner. But this is where things can become tricky pretty quickly, considering women naturally have much higher levels of the bonding hormone oxytocin than men. For men, higher levels of oxytocin are generated through intimate connections.

          What is the takeaway here, you may ask? Our hormones influence our behaviors, and oxytocin is said to be responsible for allowing us to experience love. In reality, studies have also shown that oxytocin can even work as the brain’s “moral molecule.” The more intimate moments we have, the more our bodies release the said hormone.

          This is especially important for a male to feel more connected and attentive toward his partner. Research indicates that a man who is often sexually intimate with his beloved can produce increased levels of oxytocin.[6] In turn, it boosts his desire to hold and connect with his partner and stimulate positive social interaction.

          A positive sign of a strong and healthy relationship is both partners’ desire to be intimate with each other. If either of the partners has little or no desire for initiating intimacy, then they need to address the issues mentioned in this article to restore intimacy in order to enjoy a truly fulfilling partnership.

          Final Thoughts

          The most important sign of being in a strong and healthy relationship is that you feel happy within yourself and in your connections.

          While it’s not always possible to stay happy and connected with someone, ensuring that you are emotionally aligned with yourself and aware of your partner’s needs will go a long way to guarantee the health and longevity of your relationship.

          After all, compelling narratives also cause oxytocin release and can affect your attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors.

          More on Maintaining a Healthy Relationship

          Featured photo credit: Candice Picard via unsplash.com

          Reference

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