Chloe and Rick are giving their relationship another try. A year ago, they decided to break up because of incessant fighting. Both dated other people during this time apart and Chloe even moved in with her boyfriend. But they didn’t stop loving and missing each other. Finally, Rick called Chloe and admitted this. Now that Chloe has broken up with her boyfriend, she and Rick are taking things slowly. Their goal is to do things differently and this includes working hard on how they communicate with one another. The trouble is, they both feel cautious and tentative when together. This is confusing and Rick wonders if Chloe really wants to be with him. He’s worried that she regrets leaving a perfectly good relationship to reunite.
The past can be a tricky thing.
It’s there for all of us and it’s what has brought us to where we are today. There really couldn’t be a now without the past but…
What you think and believe about the past can become an obstacle to intimacy, trust and connection. When it’s allowed to, the past can make it impossible to really know your partner or even your current day self. It can breed suspicion, distance, jealousy and cause you to shut out the one you love.
No matter what your relationship status– if you are reuniting with your ex, starting over with someone new or trying to keep the spark alive in your love relationship or marriage– make it your priority to keep the past in the past.
There are many things about relationships that are beyond your control, but this is one thing you have TOTAL control over and here’s why…
You are the one who gets to choose what you focus on in your mind and in your talk.
“But the past IS important,” you might be thinking!
It’s understandable that you might be curious and interested to know what your partner did before you two got together. How sexually active was she? Has he ever been arrested or committed a crime? Has your partner ever been engaged, married or had children with someone else?
There are some big questions that you might want answered as you get to know someone new. There’s nothing wrong with asking for transparency, as long as it applies to both of you. There’s also nothing wrong with living according to your values and ethics and that might mean that you decide to stop dating someone because of his or her past
Have a conversation with your beloved and make an agreement– in advance– that you will be open and honest with each other and that you will each listen without judgment. You can also agree to not hold the past against each other.
What’s crucial for the health of your relationship is for you to commit to being aware of the past as you live fully in the present moment. If you’re going to be with this person, find a way to make peace with his or her and your past so that it doesn’t interfere with happiness now.
If it’s your past that you can’t seem to move beyond, come up with some completions that will help you heal and let go. Powerful completions are usually symbolic and connect to the past event. Burning old photos or letters in a fire pit is one way to make a completion with a past relationship. Packing up and giving away your wine glasses and beer mugs could be a completion if you abused alcohol in the past.
Whatever you do, make sure it is meaningful for you and helps you clearly differentiate that time in your life from what’s going on today.
When your partner’s past is troubling for you, open up to acceptance. The fact is, you can’t change what your beloved chose to be or do in the past. You can’t alter his or her history. You can remind yourself that you don’t have to agree with or condone your partner’s past. You can accept that this is what happened and now it’s done and you can do so without condemning or acting superior.
Acceptance takes practice so keep bringing yourself back to the understanding that this was true for your partner then and it’s not true now. Again, if you absolutely cannot make peace with your partner’s past, it might be better for you both to end the relationship.
As you move through these processes to accept and release the past, you’ll find it has less emotional charge and hold over your life. You can more easily be present moment-focused and you can actually enjoy being in love with this special person.