If every relationship seems to be the same in a bad way, maybe it’s not your partner — maybe it’s you.
While promoting their new book, “The Wait,” celebrity couple DeVon Franklin and Meagan Good brought up an interesting point about those of us who do the same thing over and over again in relationships. Although their book focuses on choosing celibacy for religious reasons, the duo mentioned another reason to try a new method to finding love — explaining that so often, people end up in the same relationship situations over and over because they fail to change their own patterns.
“In relationships, a lot of people are suffering from post-traumatic relationship disorder,” Franklin says during an interview on Sway in the Morning, “Where you go from one situation where you got completely hurt, and instead of dealing with it and healing, you go right into the next situation.”
The Franklins’ interview was not the first time post-traumatic relationship disorder has been discussed, so what exactly is it? It turns out that this seemingly hyped up affliction is a real one. According to research by the University of Hawaii and the Institute for the Study & Treatment of Psychosocial Stress, this can come from emotional trauma caused by a partner, including abandonment, betrayal, or malevolent intent — the effects many of us experience in a bad relationship.
Even if you’re hurt from a past relationship, it’s necessary to let it go. Relationship expert and author Yanni Brown says that bringing old baggage into a new relationship is one of the many ways to end a relationship before it even starts.
“We don’t tend to do anything different in our relationships once we break up, because no one has told us what was wrong,” Brown says.
Your next relationship doesn’t have to be like your last. Here are three common mistakes you may be making:
1. Not listening.
Your new partner is not your last one, and if you never listen, you’ll miss out on the opportunity to learn who he or she truly is.
“Be in tune and listen to your mate,” Brown says. “And if you don’t know something, don’t be embarrassed to ask.”
2. Not speaking up.
When people don’t communicate what bothers them in a relationship, they don’t allow their partner to make the relationship better.
“People don’t discuss the little things when it could improve the relationship,” Brown says, “because they don’t want to rock the boat.”
3. Leaning on potential.
Giving too much credit to what a person could be instead of who they are can influence decision-making — staying too long when there’s nothing there.
“It can become a problem down the line,” Brown says. “We can be infatuated with what it could be, as opposed to what it really is in the moment.”