#316 - When you cling to your past you can never move forward

starting over toxic relationships

Recently I dated a woman that refused to let go of her past and how she had been hurt by her ex. She had been married for a few years and was now divorced for 17 years.

She’s been divorced longer that she had been married. She would tell me of her frustration of having the vision of how her life would play out with her husband for the next 75 years.

She lamented about how none of her dreams would come true and how she couldn’t envision a new future because it wasn’t the one she dreamed of when she first got married.

No matter what I said or how I tried to reframe her current situation, she clung to her pain like a badge of honor. She is perpetually stuck in her past, refusing to let go of her pain.

We’ve all experienced situations where we’ve been hurt badly.
Often times it’s through no fault of our own. A relationship ends and we’re devastated. How could this happen?

The loss of a marriage or relationship can turn your world upside down. It seems like life’s rug has been yanked out from under you!

This is where you get to take control of your life or to relinquish control to your emotions.

How do you deal with your hurt?
Do you internalize it, hang on to it, and drag it with you into the future? Or do you examine it, learn from it, heal from the loss, and then pack it away?

Sadly, I see so many people internalize their hurt and not take any responsibility for their lives. It’s always someone else’s fault.

When you refuse to take responsibility for your life you start to develop a distrust for the opposite sex. There’s always something wrong with them.

Men are ALL liars, cheaters, or just want sex. Women are ALL emotionally broken, users, too demanding, or are too high maintenance.

Are all men and women this way? Absolutely not. But it’s always easier to not take responsibility for your life and your decisions. It’s always easier to blame someone else.

The men and women that do this are the ones that get the most frustrated with dating. No one wants them because…(you name the issue or problem).

They’re the ones that give dating a black eye for the rest of us that are working hard to find our soul mates.

Taking responsibility for your life.
When you take responsibility you start making better decisions. There are things that are going to happen that you have no control over.

Don’t internalize problems that you didn’t create. They are burdens that you’re not meant to carry.

Recognize that you’re the common denominator in ALL your relationships. What roll are you playing in your relationships falling apart?

Are you missing red flags? Are you trying to force a poor relationship to work? Are you not recognizing one-sided relationships where you’re putting in all the effort and your partner isn’t?

I’ve talked to so many men and women that didn’t recognize their relationships or marriages were doomed from the start. The thought they were with their soul mate.

Unfortunately, their mates didn’t see it the same way. This can leave you blind-sided when the marriage or relationship ends.

Step back. Review your past relationships objectively. Ask your friends or family what problems they saw in the relationship that you didn’t. Learn from the experience and move forward.

Unless you’re able to learn and grow from each experience, you’ll always be stuck making the same mistakes, missing the same warning signs, and falling prey to your emotions.

Be an adult. Make adult decisions. Take responsibility for your life.

If you need help I have resources for you.
My book, Dating Backward, is a great resource to start with. In it you’ll learn (or relearn) the basics of dating and the fundamentals of all great relationships. You can order it directly from my website, or from

If you want a more personal touch, drop me a note at [email protected] to schedule a free introductory personal session.

I hope I’ve given you some ideas to make healthier dating and relationship decisions today. Have a great and blessed day.