Choosing a loving relationship

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Choosing a Loving Relationship

Estimated reading time to read this page; 1 min, 29 sec.

Total reading time (3 pages): 1 min, 29 sec + 1 min, 31 sec + 2 min, 40 sec = 5 min. 40 sec

Q: When we choose a loving relationship, where do we go? It’s always the same story. What does a single person do after one or more failed romantic relationships?

Once a story is over, we choose another person who reminds us of the one who made us suffer. Aren’t the partners who come and go in our love lives similar? Why do our relationships always have the Are we choosing based on images from the past? These images stay in our subconscious mind and influence our present.

Aurora Mazzoldi - Agatha & Audrey. acrylic,painting - Choosing a loving relationship
Aurora Mazzoldi; Agatha & Audrey; Acrylic Painting.

What influences the choice of our relationships, even the most intimate ones?

In everyday life, we meet people we have never seen before. Often, they remind us of a parent, a close friend, or even a partner. After this first impression, we find that the new acquaintance looks like that person; we represent him or her to ourselves based on this interpretation. We often think of this relative, friend, or partner, and we may also have certain feelings toward him or her. Do we prefer to have contact or distance ourselves? It depends on our image of that person.

Some characteristics of people who are important to us activate and stimulate our representations.

If we activate these representations often, they remain accessible over time because of their richness and emotional relevance.

We can trigger them many times in our daily lives. They shape many of our social interactions.

How Much Does the Past Matter?

Important research on how people choose their partners shows that memories of past interactions with other people influence our current relationships.

Participants in an experiment by Pawel Lewicki (1986), after interacting with rude people, preferred not to interact with a person who resembled them.

We value new acquaintances less if they remind us of a person toward whom we have developed negative affectivity.

Instead, we value a new acquaintance more if he or she reminds us of a person for whom we had positive feelings.

The Introspective Psychology Approach

(Estimated reading time: 1 min, 31 sec)

In the emotional world, dynamics flow at a different level and intensity than in the rational world.

When we consider them, we live in REALITY. When we ignore them, we live in ILLUSION.

We know it’s difficult to put an end to a romantic relationship that is over and focus on the present one; we are still connected to the old relationship but the energy that feeds it has changed.

Many factors influence the choice of a loving relationship and its management.

We fall in love again; we feel that life is worth living again. Enthusiasm emerges from a kind of forgetfulness that characterized the previous phase.

It is a magical moment. There is no more loneliness, no more fear, and even the bitterness of the previous “failure” is less.

What Are the Mistakes in This New Phase and How Can They Be Avoided?

But something emerges from the depths: a subtle fear, a dread, a recurring thought that our rationality tries to suppress; what if it goes wrong again?

As we move forward, our awareness warns us more and more.

We can choose to listen; in those rare moments of “awakening”, we may realize that the new relationship is slipping into old patterns.

Perhaps it does so in a different way, but our sensations and perceptions are the same as in the past.

We now have at least two choices:

Coppia al computer
Source: Leonardo AI
  • Rationality can repeat that these fears have no reason to exist because our new partner is different, the circumstances are different, and the times are different. This is a strategy of self-conviction. In fact, deep inner fears do not disappear by denying them; the more we try to silence them, the louder their voices become.
  • There is another option, the introspective one.

We bring these fears to the surface. If they exist and make themselves heard, it means that something is not yet clear and resolved. It is always advisable to listen to our inner world because it always gives very precise indications.

In every human being, there is a defensive mechanism that causes us to deny and ignore reality.

If we master it and accept reality, we can achieve true harmony.

How Mechanical Are Our Interactions?

Estimated reading time: 2 min, 40 sec.

We often think and behave mechanically. We follow recurring patterns that we think are the only ones possible ones because we have not learned to act in any other way.

For this reason, we should work on the internal patterns we create in our emotional life. Instead of judging them, we should identify, observe, and understand them.

We need to experience them because it is only through the experience that we will change something. Then it will then be possible to evaluate the results gathered so far and decide what to let go of and what to keep and perpetuate.

There is nothing wrong with that.

The primary goal of introspective psychology is neither to change oneself, nor to change external situations.

The goal of introspective researchers is to understand things through experience, to accept them and integrate them into their inner world.

We then live with OPEN EYES, without judging, condemning or censoring, but with EXPERIENCE, with awareness.

In previous relationships, I may have had the unconscious goal of having a certain experience. Perhaps I wanted to better understand my inner workings and patterns. If I haven’t completed my experience yet, I need to complete it. Maybe with another person.

So, I change partners just to recreate the kind of relationship I had before. And this will repeat itself until I understand how to change things, and “manage the couple”.

What Rules Do We Follow When We Choose a Loving Relationship?

What governs our choices is not bad luck or fate. It is rather an unconscious need to understand some power games and learn to manage our lives. We must learn to take the responsibility for our actions instead of remaining a powerless victim.

To achieve this result, we should find and examine the mechanisms of suffering experienced in the past.

We should remain free of judgment; we should avoid things like labeling, making adjustments or suppressing emotions.

We should examine our deepest choices — the fundamental ones — with the objectivity of a scientist analyzing a phenomenon to understand it in all its complexity.

Only if we remain open, free from rational adjustments, can we benefit from the experience.

We can live the experience as a movie we have already seen, and observe it from a different perspective, that of non-identification.

Such a work makes us relive strong and unpleasant emotions, that we would never want to relive again. However, this is useful and functional for healing.

The moment we revisit our internal conflicts without identifying with them, we have begun the path of integrating ourselves.

Emotional Integration

Even though the solution seems simple, few people choose this path.

And why is that? Who does not want to have a healthy and harmonious relationship?

Who doesn’t understand that to open a new chapter it is necessary to have learned the previous one?

If we take responsibility and recognize and understand the bad habits of the past, we can change them. These habits have complicated our life as a couple in the past and have caused misunderstandings and suffering.

But all is well!

When you start a new relationship, the last thing you want to do is work on yourself. But this is the best situation to dismantle old mechanisms and turn to health and harmony.

People don’t see the need. They conclude that the previous failure was the partner’s fault. He/she was the wrong one, so now that they have a new partner, they have solved the problem.

They tell themselves that everything is going well, and even if they see some rough edges or misunderstandings, they consider them minor.

Children at the funfair
Source:. Leonardo AI

They choose to deny reality because they believe that if they don’t see things or find them meaningless, things will resolve themselves.

This doesn’t happen!

If we believe the words of our inner movie“… and they lived happily ever after”, we lose sight of reality, and forget to manage the couple; we then risk the death of our relationship.

Antonella Giannini