By Drew Allen

Photo credit: Walt Stoneburner

Ask any man you know, and I’m sure he can tell you about a time when he’s been called “insensitive” for working late and not calling. And, on more than one occasion, I bet any man you know has been accused of cheating after arriving home late from a night of simply hanging out with friends.

When you approach a man in that way, ladies, I wonder if you consciously realize that you are essentially throwing your man, head-first, down to the bottom of a barrel with every low-down Tom, Dick and Harry, you’ve ever encountered.  You are, essentially, blaming your new man for every feeling of disrespect, neglect and rejection that some other brother put you through during some other dark time in your life. And, by transferring that no-good-dude’s debt to the account of your new possible-love-of-your-life, you are, effectively, being haunted by the “Ghost of Boyfriends Past.”

Please don’t get me wrong – I understand why you do it.  We’ve all got emotional baggage that we need to toss back onto the carousel at baggage claim.  So, it’s no surprise that many women struggle with issues from their past relationships.  These struggles usually stem from the inability to let go of past disappointments and/or feelings of resentment over a relationship that somehow and somewhere went wrong.

And when these old feelings are resurrected in new situations, it’s a knee-jerk reaction to compare the past to the present.  The red flags go straight up, the “DANGER” sirens start blaring, and the “fight or flight” instinct makes you ball up your emotional fists and start swinging. But the problem with that is, far too often, we newbie’s (new boyfriends and/or spouses) end up taking the blame for things that we not only aren’t doing but, in many cases, are things we have never done.  And let me tell you, ladies, there are few things that will send a good man packing faster than a woman who doesn’t trust him and continually shoots wrongful accusations at his head for target practice.

Whether you’re a man or a woman, constantly being compared to a former lover just never feels good. Think about it.  Do you really want to hear your man blabber on and on about how “So-and-so” was such a great cook, or how “What’s-her-name’s” body was oh-so-bangin’?  Or, better yet, how would you feel if, in the middle of making love, your man called you by his ex-girlfriend’s name? Yep. That ain’t cool, and the reason it’s not cool is because, when things like that happen, it’s as if somebody else has somehow found their way into your relationship – and they have no business being there.

So when that old, creepy haunting begins, ladies, you owe it to your man, and to yourselves, to stay focused on the lover in front of you.  Fight the fear you feel inside and consider the possibility that your newfound Prince Charming is not an illusion, but he may actually be the real deal.  Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not advising you to walk around blindly.  If you have clear signs (we call that PROOF, by the way) that this guy is not treating you right, then, by all means, call him on his behavior, or, if necessary, walk away.  But be clear, before you pull that trigger, whether you’re reacting to something new, or if you’re reverting to old behaviors and old feelings that are nothing more than emotional scars that still haven’t healed.  Taking a moment to be real and honest with yourself will be one of the best things you can do, and it will keep you from being locked in on the proverbial relationship rollercoaster.

It’s also a good idea for you to be honest with your man if you need help in this area.  A good man – one who really cares about you – will be up for the challenge of helping you check your emotional baggage at the door.  Your real Prince Charming will want to make you feel secure and he’ll help you let go of the very feelings that haunt you.  He’ll listen to you when you talk about these feelings, he’ll try to understand why you feel the way you do, and, if necessary, he will hold your open wounds shut as you apply the stitches.  And, above all else, a good man will respond to you by letting you know that he understands your fears and he will do his best to not repeat the things that hurt you in the past.

A famous philosopher once said “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” In relationships, I think it’s safe to say that those who can’t let go of the past may be cheating themselves out of a beautiful future.


About the Author: Drew Allen is a former talk show host and writer originally from the Midwest. He currently lives in southern California.


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