Romanticizing Your Past Relationship Stops You From Moving Forward, And It Also Does More Harm Than Good

F8 \ Suport Ukraine - illustrative purposes only, not the actual person

The following column is the opinion and analysis of the writer, Abby Connolly.

Relationships are a big part of life. That’s an understatement. Many of us have found ourselves in situations where we become single for the first time after a while and suddenly find ourselves reminiscing on past relationships, missing the person we used to be with.

But here’s something to keep in mind – those relationships ended for a reason.

Whether you realize it or not, romanticizing or looking at past relationships with rose-colored glasses can actually do more harm than good. We’re often told to “remember the good parts” about our exes, but the “bad parts” should never be forgotten.

You might be reading this, thinking you would never be caught dead focusing on the positives of your old relationships, but it happens more often than you’d think. When we’re feeling lonely or abandoned, many of us tend to long for the days when we had someone and start thinking about how good things used to be with someone else.

You know what’s interesting? You may not even be aware that you’re romanticizing the past. You could be falling victim to ‘fading affect bias,’ a psychological phenomenon that causes negative memories to be forgotten faster than positive ones.

The good relationship memories are the ones we want to hold on to. And while that’s great, it can be dangerous if not kept in check.

How can you fully move on and grow after a relationship if you ignore all the reasons why it ended?

Instead of romanticizing past relationships when you’re lonely, applaud yourself for growing. The next time you find yourself thinking about an ex, remember why you had to break things off. Be mindful and allow yourself to process all of the emotions, not just the good ones. This way, you can move on and find someone new.

F8 \ Suport Ukraine – illustrative purposes only, not the actual person

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