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Learning from Past Relationships

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Healthy relationships help us grow toward balance and enlightenment. A relationship with another person is a sacred privilege to be appreciated and enjoyed.

Like a garden, relationships need to be cultivated; those who nourish and respect significant others gain flowering results. As Relationship Coach, Ed Shea says, “We are born in relationship. . .

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we’re wounded in relationship . . . and we can be healed in relationship.

”[1]Relationships are a corporate part of our own life. They are something that greatly influence our lives.

We sometimes get so involved with someone that reality no longer seems to affect us. Relationships can bring us comfort, happiness, pain, misery and contentment.

Not all relationships are the same, of course, and do not necessarily involve all of these feelings.There is no perfect person in the world. All of us do mistakes. That is why it is important to be able to analyze our relationships and to find out what we did wrong.

It is necessary  to learn from past relations because everything that happens in our life can be used as a learning experience.

As Rafikki, the wise baboon in The Lion King, said regarding the past, “you can either run from it or learn from it.”[2]Gradually people start learning from past relationships. One can find a lot of examples of such learning in cases when people break some relations and try to start afresh with someone else.

Life is too short to live in an unhappy and destructive relationship. If things do not seem to be getting better with someone, they probably never will. Chances are that you will find someone better than you imagined. Choice should not come without thinking.

It is important to weigh all pros and cons, being careful not to overlook any outstanding cons. It is necessary to be critical in this instance.We enter into new relationships for many different reasons and with many different expectations. It is important to realize clearly what we want to get from new relationship.

Knowing what you want will help you to determine if this is the right relationship for you.Too often we choose someone using a subconscious level of thought as our primary contribution. It is there that we hold our deepest unmet needs, desires  and fears. Unfortunately, there is often a contradiction between our conscious and subconscious selves that keeps this information “hidden” from our rational and thinking side.

Therefore, it is very important to examine all of your feeling and needs regarding any future relationship. Honestly look at what you must have and cannot live without. You must know what you want and need from a future relationship in order to choose the right partner for you.Honesty is also essential.

 Lies can always come back to distress you some way or other. If you often find yourself lying to someone or being lied to, then you probably should not be with that person. Someone should only be given so many chances to be trusted.If we want to enter into new relationship it is necessary to leave all our past relationships in the past.

  In most cases experiences or issues from past relationships become harmful and hurtful for us. They can even break or destroy new relationship. In  this context we are at risk of bringing them into present and future relationships in order to relive and resolve them.Toni Coleman in her article observes that  “it’s important to know that you have dealt adequately with any significant hurt or loss and have learned from any dysfunctional dynamics you may have contributed to.

”[3]     She continue,  “if you find yourself slipping into unhealthy patterns in your thoughts or behaviors as they relate to others; stop, identify, and then deal with that leftover issue.”[4]Realizing your own mistakes helps you become a better person. Brian Blostica, a junior horticulture major from Fowlerville, decided to offer advises  from past relationships in newspaper The Eastern Progress. Brian stressed that he had to learn a lot from the last relationship that he was in.

 He said that “sometimes a night of rest can help resolve an issue more peacefully. People get wrapped up in the moment too easily and end up saying things they probably don’t mean. We’ve all heard this before. Separating yourself from the situation, taking time to cool down, and evaluating how upset you should be leaves fewer issues to resolve than all the chaos that would ensue after a long and heated argument.

”[5]We should be able to learn to communicate and understand each other. Communication is the process of giving and receiving information. That sounds simple enough, but communication is actually a very complicated process. Many families are very mobile; some individuals live far apart and do not see each other frequently.

Even within a home, everyone’s schedule may be so full that it is difficult to find enough time to eat a meal together, let alone sit down to talk.People communicate their feelings and attitudes through physical gestures as well as by words. Listening, body language, and tone of voice are important parts of communication.Tone of voice may provide a hint of the feelings that the other person is unable to put into words.

Are they angry, happy, frustrated, enthusiastic, tired, full of energy, bored, or interested? Brian Blostica said that “arguing can get a point across, but yelling doesn’t. Think about it — you can still get your point across by talking in a lower voice. Talking in a normal voice can be just as effective as yelling. To prove this, I shall give an example.

When she was upset, she raised her voice. At that time, I felt like yelling, but knew that would only make me more upset than I already was. Talking in a low tone also uses less energy than yelling. So while I tried to remain calm, telling her what I felt in a low voice, she sounded ridiculous yelling, especially in a crowded public place.

The sound of couples arguing is never pleasant. ”[6]Speaking about male/female communication styles it is important to mention that men and women have been misunderstanding each other for generations – probably since the beginning of time. Numerous research articles and books have been written on the subject, with all of them drawing the same conclusion: Men and women speak different languages. As Michael G.

Conner, Psy.D, Clinical & Medical Psychologist, observes, “relationships between men and women are not impossible or necessarily difficult. Problems simply arise when we expect or assume the opposite sex should think, feel or act the way we do. It’s not that men and women live in completely different realities.

Rather, our lack of knowledge and mutual experience gives rise to our difficulties.”[7]Men and women have different communications styles and attitudes. The result is often that neither partner tells the other their true feelings and then they complain because they do not know, and expect the other to understand what they did not say. To prove this point, let’s take as an example a situation which was described on the Web site Liberated Christians in  the article “Communications Differences Between Men & Women”:A woman may complain about her feet hurting after a hard day at work.

What she really wants is for her partner to console her, tell her he sympathizes with her problem, and tell her he loves her. But his reaction is to “fix” the problem. “Why don’t you get a larger pair of shoes, then?” The woman may reply, “Oh, so my feet are too fat, is that it?” At this point he is dead meat. If he tries to explain away his statement, she may misunderstand and complain that he thinks she’s fat.

If he simply chooses to dismiss the comment, she may then complain that he wants her to suffer from sore feet.[8]There have been many attempts to explain the gender differences in communication with heredity and environment at the top of the list. Parts of the language differences are due to genetic makeup. Babies are born male or female; their brains develop differently and at different rates.

According to  BBC News Online, “scientists decoding the human genome have discovered that just 78 genes separate men from women.”[9]  But the main male-female differences in “psychological development are due to the differences in the female body which alter the reality to which genetic information (related to brain construction) attempts to conform. The world of the female is different from the male by reproductive necessity. There is another element.

The female brain is genetically designed to conform to the male’s conformity to reality. Thus, whatever the male becomes …

the female reflects genetically.”[10]One of the most interesting differences appear in the way men and women estimate time, judge speed of things, carry out mental mathematical calculations, orient in space and visualize objects in three dimensions, etc. In all these tasks, women and men are strikingly different, as they are too in the way their brains process language. This may account, scientists say, for the fact that there are many more male mathematicians, airplane pilots, bush guides, mechanical engineers, architects and race car drivers than female ones.

On the other hand, women are better than men in human relations, recognizing emotional overtones in others and in language, emotional and artistic expressiveness, esthetic appreciation, verbal language and carrying out detailed and pre-planned tasks. For example, women generally can recall lists of words or paragraphs of text better than men.The “father” of sociobiology, Edward O. Wilson, of Harvard University, said that “human females tend to be higher than males in empathy, verbal skills, social skills and security-seeking, among other things, while men tend to be higher in independence, dominance, spatial and mathematical skills, rank-related aggression, and other characteristics.

”[11]When all these investigations began, scientists were skeptical about the role of genes and of biological differences, because cultural learning is very powerful and influential among humans.However, gender differences are already apparent from just a few months after birth, when social influence is still small. For example, Anne Moir and David Jessel, in their remarkable and controversial book “Brain Sex”, offer explanations for these very early differences in children:“These discernible, measurable differences in behaviour have been imprinted long before external influences have had a chance to get to work. They reflect a basic difference in the newborn brain which we already know about — the superior male efficiency in spatial ability, the greater female skill in speech.

”[12]But now, after many careful controlled studies where environment and social learning were ruled out, scientists learned that there may exist a great deal of neurophysiological and anatomical differences between the brains of males and females.Language differences are also due in part to our social experiences. Born into the same world, we are socialized to live in different worlds. We respond to boys and girls differently.

Our expectations of them are different. Behavior that we tolerate from one sex may be less acceptable from the other sex. For example, boys yell, girls cry.These same gender differences, whether genetic or learned, become parts of the communication pattern that stays with us for life.

Generally speaking, in our society boys and men are seen as aggressive, independent, and objective. Girls and women are seen as submissive, dependent, and subjective.Men and women approach problems with similar goals but with different considerations. While men and women can solve problems equally well, their approach and their process are often quit different.

For most women, sharing and discussing a problem presents an opportunity to explore, deepen or strengthen the relationship with the person they are talking with. Woman are usually more concerned about how problems are solved than merely solving the problem itself. For women, solving a problem can profoundly impact whether they feel closer and less alone or whether they feel distant and less connected. The process of solving a problem can strengthen or weaken a relationship.

Most men are less concerned and do not feel the same as women when solving a problem.Men approach problems in a very different manner than women. For most men, solving a problem presents an opportunity to demonstrate their competence, their strength of resolve, and their commitment to a relationship. How the problem is solved is not nearly as important as solving it effectively and in the best possible manner.

Men have a tendency to dominate and to assume authority in a problem solving process. They set aside their feelings provided the dominance hierarchy was agreed upon in advance and respected. They are often distracted and do not attend well to the quality of the relationship while solving problems.While men and women can reach similar conclusions and make similar decisions, the process they use can be quit different and in some cases can lead to entirely different outcomes.

In general, men and women consider and process information differently.Women tend to be intuitive global thinkers. They consider multiple sources of information within a process that can be described as simultaneous, global in perspective and will view elements in the task in terms of their interconnectedness. Women come to understand and consider problems all at once.

They take a broad or “collective” perspective, and they view elements in a task as interconnected and interdependent. Women are prone to become overwhelmed with complexities that “exist”, or may exist, and may have difficulty separating their personal experience from problems.Men tend to focus on one problem at a time or a limited number of problems at a time. They have an enhanced ability to separate themselves from problems and minimize the complexity that may exist.

Men come to understand and consider problems one piece at a time. They take a linear or sequential perspective, and view elements in a task as less interconnected and more independent. Men are prone to minimize and fail to appreciate subtleties that can be crucial to successful solutions. A male may work through a problem repeatedly, talking about the same thing over and over, rather than trying to address the problem all at once.

All above – mentioned differences can create conflict between the sexes socially, professionally, and intimately. The task that faces men and women is to learn to accept their differences, avoid taking their differences as personal attempts to frustrate each other, and to compromise whenever possible. The idea that one gender can think and feel like the other if they truly loved each is rather absurd. Sure, a man or women could act in consideration of the other’s needs, but this would not necessarily be rewarding and honest.

Holding the benefit of another above our own is rewarding. But from time to time, and more often for most of us, it is important to be our self and to be accepted, and not to be the source of distress and disappointment in the lives of people we love.  1.      “Love On Purpose”, Life On Purpose Institute Home Page, 22 April 2004, <http://www2.

lifeonpurpose.com/love_on_purpose.html> (23 June 2004).2.

      Toni Coleman, “Are You Relationship Ready?” eNotAlone, 26 May 2004, <http://www.enotalone.com/print.php?pa=2758> (23 June 2004).

3.      Brian Blostica, “Student offers love advice from past relationships,” The Eastern Progress Online, 13 November 2002, <http://www.easternprogress.com/news/2002/11/13/Perspective/Student.


Past.Relationships-323109.shtml?page=2> (23 June 2004).4.

      Michael G. Conner, “Understanding The Difference Between Men And Women”, 2000 <http://www.oregoncounseling.org/ArticlesPapers/Documents/DifferencesMenWomen.

htm> (27 June 2004).5.      “Communications Differences Between Men & Women”, Liberated Christians, 1997, <http://www.libchrist.

com/intimacy/comm.html> (27 June 2004).6.      “What are the 78 differences between women and men?” BBC News Online, 19 June 2003 , <http://news.

bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/3002946.stm> (28 June 2004).

7.      “The Difference Between Men and Women”, EBTEXT Online, 2002, <http://ebtx.com/nman/womendif.htm> (28 June 2004).

8.      Renato M.E. Sabbatini, “Are There Differences between the Brains of Males and Females?”, Brain & Mind Magazine, 1997, <http://www.

epub.org.br/cm/n11/mente/eisntein/cerebro-homens.html> (27 June 2004).

     [1] “Love On Purpose”, Life On Purpose Institute Home Page, 22 April 2004, <http://www2.lifeonpurpose.com/love_on_purpose.html> (23 June 2004).

[2] See: “Love On Purpose”, 22 April 2004.[3] Toni Coleman, “Are You Relationship Ready?” eNotAlone, 26 May 2004, <http://www.enotalone.com/print.

php?pa=2758> (23 June 2004).[4] Toni Coleman,  26 May 2004.[5]Brian Blostica, “Student offers love advice from past relationships,” The Eastern Progress Online, 13 November 2002, <http://www.easternprogress.


From.Past.Relationships-323109.shtml?page=2> (23 June 2004).

[6] See: Brian Blostica, 13 November 2002.[7] Michael G. Conner, “Understanding The Difference Between Men And Women”, 2000 <http://www.oregoncounseling.

org/ArticlesPapers/Documents/DifferencesMenWomen.htm> (27 June 2004).[8] “Communications Differences Between Men & Women”, Liberated Christians, 1997, <http://www.libchrist.

com/intimacy/comm.html> (27 June 2004).[9]  “What are the 78 differences between women and men?” BBC News Online, 19 June 2003, <http://news.bbc.

co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/3002946.stm> (28 June 2004).[10] “The Difference Between Men and Women”, EBTEXT Online, 2002, <http://ebtx.

com/nman/womendif.htm> (28 June 2004).[11] Renato M.E.

Sabbatini, “Are There Differences between the Brains of Males and Females?”, Brain & Mind Magazine, 1997, <http://www.epub.org.br/cm/n11/mente/eisntein/cerebro-homens.

html> (27 June 2004).[12] See: Renato M.E. Sabbatini,  1997.

Cite this Learning from Past Relationships

Learning from Past Relationships. (2017, Mar 18). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/learning-from-past-relationships/

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