If you’ve ever been cheated on, then you know the feeling of anticipating that person, or a new love in your life to cheat on you again. You start to snoop or question your partner because when you believe something to be true, you will find the evidence to support it.
I once dated a man who was with a possessive woman in his past. She would bicker about his social life and wouldn’t let him hang out with the guys, or have his personal time without it being an issue.
Even though I never kept him from doing as he pleased, he would always argue with me about the issue of understanding his need for personal time and that he needs to do his own thing at times..
You see, our brains are built to solve problems and survive. They are built to predict problems based on our past. This often means that we are anticipating a problem that we may have faced in past relationships and therefor believe it to be true even when the problem doesn’t exist.
Even when it’s far from the truth, you will find a way to prove it to be true. The result will be finding a problem where it doesn’t exist and this behavior will lead you to argue or even break up with your significant other.
How do you keep these neurological patterns from ending your relationships? You have to identify your past or patterns versus what is real.
In the case of the man I was dating, I asked him to list the times I’ve ever had an issue with him needing alone time and the times I ever told him he couldn’t do something he wanted.
In six months of dating, there was only one time when I had made such a request. Once the facts were on paper, it was easy to identify that the problem we kept arguing about was based on his past experience and not on our relationship’s reality, and he never brought it up again.
I would encourage you to go through the same exercise with some of the persistent issues you may have in your relationship by taking the following 5 steps:
- Identify the issue.
- Is this an issue you’ve experienced in the past, either in your relationship or with your parents?
- List the evidence, which supports that the issue exists in your current relationship.
- Does the evidence for the past and current issue follow a pattern or look similar to you?
- Is there real evidence to support it or are you just anticipating the issue and looking for confirmation where it doesn’t exist?
If the issue is a pattern it’s time to let it go. It’s time to realize what’s real versus what we’ve made up in anticipation of being hurt.
From this point on, you get to choose to be free of that pattern in your life and not allow it to destroy your perfectly happy relationship.
If you’ve found yourself stuck in bad relationship patterns and habits I encourage you to seek a personal coach. You can read more about my dating and relationship coaching here.