Dating a woman with emotion baggage
Andersen believed we do this because we seek what was missing in past relationships – instead of running from someone who reminds me of an unaffectionate ex, I form a relationship with a new person hoping to gain what was what was missing. Sometimes, past negative experiences can sow the seeds for healthier future relationships.
But this only serves to confirm my existing working model of myself as unlovable and of potential partners as unaffectionate. For example, the period following a breakup is important because it may lead to personal growth and development.
Some therapists highlight the positive impact that self-compassion – being kind, caring and understanding toward yourself – can play in promoting healthier relationships.
Once you have an idea of your transference patterns, the next step is to identify cues observed in a new person or context that evoke those patterns.
This is known as “stress-related growth” and refers to the idea that people can respond to distressing life events by growing beyond their previous level of psychological functioning.
In fact, some people may make the greatest changes in their lives following a period of stress or crisis after a breakup.
Working models of relationships may also explain why some people recreate aspects of past relationships with new partners.
For example, if I did not receive much affection from an ex, I might still form new relationships that recreate those same patterns.