Are you dating someone that reminds you of your ex-partner?
This is an interesting question to explore. Some may encourage you to steer away while others find it acceptable. I want to share with you a few key areas to keep in mind when you are considering dating someone that reminds you of your ex.
3 things to consider when dating someone that reminds you of your ex-partner?
1. Consider the red and green flags in a relationship.
Green versus Red Flags
In relationships, there are red and green flags. The green stands for positive or good and the red for negative or bad. It’s important in relationships to take time to reflect on the flags. To be able to fully be aware if you are in a relationship that holds green versus red flags.
When you think about your past relationships take time to identify the green versus red flags that you can pursue or build boundaries around.
For instance, if you dated someone that included the green flag of willingness to be vulnerable. You noticed that your ex-partner did a great job of being willing and open to share their thoughts and feelings.
You can in new relationships find that you are pulled to people that show the same green flag. This is not a negative.
Common green flags in relationships include:
- Willingness to be vulnerable.
- Ability to take responsibility for personal actions.
- Smooth startup for the relationship.
- Strong support system.
Common red flags in relationships include:
- Shutting down
- Avoiding confrontation
When it comes to red flags, it’s important to identify if you are dating someone that reminds you of your ex-partner who also holds red flags.
One example of this is dating someone that engages in negative manipulative or gaslighting behaviors.
You wouldn’t want to find yourself in the future dating someone that holds the same red flag.
Let’s consider that the red flag is that of secluding you from others. Your ex-partner pushed you to end peer relationships. Which connects to common gaslighting behavior.
What does the red flag of seclusion look like in relationships:
Often within gaslighting seclusion takes place. As a victim, you may feel that your partner is encouraging you to stop spending time with friends or to feel bad when you spend time with friends or family. Over time, you notice that you are living a very solitary life with your partner. In some ways, you think this is healthy because it makes you feel that the relationship is strong. In other ways, you notice that your support system starts and end with your partner.
The above gives your insight to understand the red flag, the behavior found in gaslighting. So that when you are dating new partners, you do not date persons that engage in similar behavior.
2. Identifying healthy boundaries in the relationship
When dating someone that reminds you of your ex-partner take time to evaluate your boundaries. This simply means that you are now in a new relationship with someone that supports your healthy boundaries versus the opposite.
When you think about boundaries consider looking at it as your home. Your home represents you. Having healthy boundaries means that you allow into your home what serves you and close the door to what harms you.
Having healthy boundaries aligns with your identity. While unhealthy boundaries highlight that you are disconnected from your identity.
When you reflect on your identity it can feel like a big concept or topic. Let’s break it down to make it easy to understand.
So, when you are dating someone that reminds you of your ex-partner ensure that you are remaining connected to your healthy boundaries.
3. Understanding comparisons in the relationship.
One key item to keep in mind when dating someone that reminds you of your ex is the area of comparison. For instance, it may be damaging to your relationship to compare your partner to your ex-partner in a hurtful way. Versus in a constructive manner.
When I look at relationships, whether they are intimate or not. I try to maintain a clear understanding of the impact of time. The element of time is something that we do not get back. It is a generous gift that we give others.
When you look at the people in your life, consider practicing the element of gratitude. Such as expressing gratitude for the persons that have shared space in your life and have supported you in some sort of way versus erasing that you lived through the experience.
I completely understand that some experiences, especially those of trauma may not entirely fit in this discussion.
When it comes to talking about ex-partners while in a relationship. It seems that there are certain movies that make it okay. For instance, if a person has a 30-year marriage and their partner passes away. This same person then starts dating a new partner years later. Both talk about the previous 30-year relationship with a sense of gratitude. The new partner expresses gratitude that the person had someone to love and care for them. The partner of the 30-year marriage shared their past relationship because it was something important and entirely connected to who they are.
The key to the discussion above is that the discussion of the ex-partner does not come from a place of criticism, judgment, insecurity, or lacking in any way.
Instead, the purpose of discussing the ex-partner is to show gratitude and respect.
I’m hoping that the above makes sense.
Again, the key element is to remove negative comparison, insecurities, doubt, judgment, and criticism. While building strength in willingness to have the conversation. A supportive resource to go along with the reading is found HERE. A podcast episode focused on relationship growth.
4. Evaluating what reminds you of your ex-partner
I think a great place to start at, is with the question focused to “what qualities/personality/behaviors does this person have that remind you of another?”
The desire to be with someone because he/she reminds you of someone else can lead to a negative place.
You may find yourself internally in pain as well as hurting in the relationship. Always lusting and seeking something that isn’t present.
On the other hand, the basis of positive and negative is dependent on what about the person reminds you of someone else. With the question being asked, try to focus on the behaviors of the other person that you are reminded of.
Let’s say that the behavior is that of “kindness”. This is a behavior that in essence, is positive and can be mirrored.
During the new relationship, you may find yourself in a space of discussing what you are looking for in a relationship. Both share your way of receiving love.
At this point, you share that you love receiving kindness. This can lead to discussing past relationships from a perspective of learning and growing. Versus comparison and judgment.
- My friends, what did you think about the reading above?
- Did you find it helpful or interesting in any way?
In addition to the above, check out the podcast episode HERE for ways to build trust in your relationship.
If you are struggling with this question or would like support in the related area, please reach out to Santos Counseling PLLC. Working with a counselor can provide a supportive and constructive space. Giving you the tools and knowledge aimed to support the very goals that brought you to seeking counseling.