Yet, even now, while you are awake at night, perhaps alone and alone, or even perhaps with your partner sleeping beside you, your mind still returns to those dazzling days and here you are, still thinking in your ex. Those days of intense love and joy. Of attraction that consumes everything. And after the despair when it was all over.
And as you look at the ceiling, a 20-year-old with a broken heart trapped inside the body of a 40-year-old man, you can’t help but wonder if he was the one you had to end up with.
Of couse, meant is a strong word. After all, if you stay together it was fate, well, would have been like that. But you didn’t, and yet you can’t undo the feeling. Why can’t you let it go? Why are you still so deeply affected by an event that has long since disappeared? And when it really comes down to it, why are you still in love with your ex? You’ve known other loves, other unloves, for sure. But they usually only fade into the background. You rarely check them. What’s different? You to own knowing this, he is eating you inside.
The answer may be in your connection style.
Securely connected people can roll with their punches
One of the key factors that influences how we relate to others and process the emotions that surround our relationships is our style of affection. This is formed through a myriad of personal experiences that span our entire lives and has a strong effect on our future expectations. On a deeper psychological level, our style of affection even affects the way our emotions interact with our own memory.
People who are well connected are good at regulating their emotions. They can catch both the bad and the good. They don’t think in binary, where everything is wonderful or catastrophic, and they have generally optimistic outlook. They believe that love can always be found and that there will always be people who will support them when things get tough. Be careful not to overdo the positive aspects: if a relationship is going well, they simply enjoy it right away and don’t extrapolate what it means to other aspects of their lives.
By extension, if things go downhill, they are not crushed or devastated. That’s not to say they don’t feel these emotions, of course, are not incapacitated by them. They can still come out and work, even if they feel blue. And perhaps most importantly, their belief that people will be there when they need them means that they do not feel the need to cross paths with that special person. Unlike binary thinkers, securely linked people do not see relationships as a matter of finding the truth or being alone forever. They are not prone to catastrophize, idealize, or believe they need to be “saved” for the love of a soul mate. This means that they are reluctant to build love stories bigger than life, which only set them up with impossible expectations.
A worried connection style means you’re more likely to think
Others see love as a scarce commodity that must be kept and protected at all costs. They may even see it as a zero-sum game; that is, if one of them has love in his life, another necessarily has less, because there is only so much to do. People with this mindset are more likely to believe that they need to connect intensely with just another person, so when they meet someone who fits the bill, they run the risk of becoming obsessed with the idea of losing. ‘ls. They are more likely to engage in immersive fantasies of passionate love, and may manifest them in life with great romantic gestures, but these higher highs lead to the lowest of the lows. And because their relationship defines them, they may repeat the smallest of facts over and over again, instead of accepting their partner’s transgressions as part of their inherently flawed character.
This is where memory comes into play
When you have an intense emotional experience, your amygdala (a key player in your brain’s emotional processing) assigns a “tag” to memory. When you later regain that memory, the excitement takes you on a journey, whether you like it or not, and often he won’t like it, because the feeling can finally seem inescapable.
Similarly, if you experience a certain emotion, through some neurological gymnastics your brain can bring to mind that old memory of your ex at the head, without you having asked for it. And there’s also a loop of positive feedback: the more you dedicate yourself to a memory, or the more you feel that specific emotion, the more strongly these neural pathways are reinforced, in a process known as long-term empowerment.
People with troubled affection styles are likely to perceive their past breakups as ambiguous or unresolved. They are obsessed with the details of what happened, determined to find out. But this approach is not particularly effective, and this is how some people end up lying in bed at night without being able to think about anything else. Even decades later.
What can you do if you haven’t passed your ex?
Regardless of someone’s affectionate style, we all share the need to feel understood and to make sense of the world around us. So if you can’t figure out why your relationship ended, your brain won’t know how to store the information in your memory, so it just bounces off trying to stay active in your mind.
Probably the most important strategy is to try to stay future-oriented and realistic. If you have a relationship now, try to stop treating your current partner as compared to your ex. Instead, look at them as individuals, for whom you could probably do more to improve the relationship.
Don’t focus on trying to figure out the past. People with the style of clinging contempt actually do it automatically, regardless of losses and negative social events as insignificant. This can be helpful in the short term when it comes to a breakup, but it can also turn off your emotions, lead to the denial of any personal crime, and suppress pain, although pain is an adaptive emotion that reminds you not to. you must follow this path again.
Another key point: talk about things. Sit down for an honest, frank conversation with someone you trust, whose opinion you value and who will tell you how it is, even if you don’t want to hear it. Alternatively, seek professional help from someone who can help you understand why you feel the way you do. Either way, once you start engaging in solution-oriented, future-oriented thinking, you’re more likely to gain some perspective, better understand yourself, and move on.
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