Does it seem like every new woman or man that you date pales in comparison to your ex? That you’ve yet to meet anyone new that could match the connection that you two once shared?
Constantly comparing your new dates or boyfriends to an ex isn’t just a silly flaw of human nature – it can seriously sabotage your chances of finding love again.
Take Off Your Rose Colored Glasses
Humans tend to see the past as better than it was, and often block out negative details in favor of positive abstractions. In fact, psychiatrists have a name for this cognitive memory bias: rosy retrospection. Optimists who look on the bright side of life and people who describe themselves as “romantics” are particularly vulnerable to seeing the past through rose-colored glasses.
Passion for Your Ex – or Passion of Youth?
You no doubt dated your ex when you were younger. If he/she was your first love, you may have even been in your teens or early 20s. Do you remember how excited you would get over random things when you were that age? How intense everything felt, how much energy you had, and how lust took over your entire being? Don’t confuse the general passion of youth with a specific passion that only your ex could arouse.
The Most Important Thing
No matter how many positive qualities your ex had, or how many secret jokes you shared, or how many special moments you shared – one fact trumps everything else: you are no longer together. You broke up because your relationship was broken. Something wasn’t working, and there was a disconnect that prevented the long-term success of your relationship. This fact is more important than anything else.
Don’t Compare Dates to Relationships
First dates are awkward, people are nervous, and things always feel a little weird. Comparing a first date to a serious relationship is like comparing apples to orangutans. It takes time to get to know who someone really is; snap judgments only scratch the surface. Romantic comedies tell us that true love takes place at first sight, with an instant, extreme connection. But in real life, most lasting relationships don’t happen this way. Be sure that you’re not basing your romantic expectations on a Hollywood fairy tale.
Focus on the Positive
As a new relationship begins, and you start to truly get to know someone, it’s essential to focus on their positive characteristics. Be as specific as possible. What do you love about your new flame? Write them down, or better yet – tell him or her exactly why you think they are amazing. Every time an ex comparison pops into your head, list three things you like about your new companion.
Make New Memories
Still going to the same café for brunch? No wonder you are still comparing your new love to your ex. It’s essential to make completely new memories, in new places, with new people. Say goodbye to the places where you hung out with your ex. Yes, you may have really liked that café. But if you can let go of it – and your ex – then a new true love will more than make up for the loss.