All Out of Love.... Again
Have you been on the receiving end of an unexpected break-up? Worse yet, more than once? Any break-up is painful, but when it is unexpected and unwanted, the effects can be devastating. The sadness is difficult to manage, and it can create a pessimistic outlook for attaining a viable relationship in the future, because you believe you only attract "the wrong" people.
But Randi Gunther, Ph.D., in her article 10 Reasons Why Some People Just Can't Let Go (https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/rediscovering-love/201708/10-reasons-why-some-people-just-cant-let-go?amp=), has identified some characteristics of people where this has occurred.
One is "innate insecurity". These people tend to already have an anxious world view, and the loss of more than one relationship only reinforced to them that the world is not "safe". They allow the fear to keep them from believing that they can find love again.
Another is "topping out". These people believe that the loved one who left was the best they will ever get, that they were "perfect". Again, this will reinforce the belief that moving on is hopeless.
Some people magnify the loss of a relationship simply because of a "fear of being alone". It is not the other person in the relationship, but merely being in a relationship, that is where the loss is felt. Similar to this is "relying on a partner for your own self-worth". Again, it is the fear of being individuated that is creating the pain.
Still others are "romantic fantasizers" or belief in "undying love". They will cling to the romantic notions of love, i.e. always feeling butterflies when you see your partner, or always feeling head over heels. This can be very difficult to live up to, and the partner may actually leave because of this expectation, leaving this type of person to believe that love has failed them again. The people who believe in undying love also tend to believe that there is one soulmate for everyone, and they need to cling to loving that person regardless of the relationship outcome.
If you recognize yourself in any of these types, don't despair. Recognizing nonproductive characteristics in yourself is a very strong beginning to changing these tendencies. The way we look at the world influences how we act in it, and how we feel. The good news about that is, we can work on changing the way we think.
Therapy can help you reframe how you are thinking about things so that you don't have to continue feeling the pain.
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