Many people say the major relationship killers are lack of communication, lack of a shared blueprint, etc. As a matter of fact, those are oftentimes the symptoms of the biggest relationship killer – unresolved trauma.
- Unresolved trauma is often unexplored or dismissed.
Whenever people experience challenges in relationships, they tend to focus on problems and solutions, which is fair enough.
However, if similar issues keep arising, unresolved trauma is usually the real reason why individuals always need to solve the same problems.
For example, Jennifer is an attractive woman in her early 30s. Every time she is in a relationship, her neediness and anxiety would eventually ruin the relationship. Her friends say it’s a guy’s job to make sure she has a sense of security and certainty in a relationship, so she should find the right person. Jennifer’s counsellor says it is her neediness that makes men want to leave her. Further examination shows that the fundamental reason behind her neediness is fear of abandonment – when Jennifer was 4 years old, her dad left, so she grew up with her alcoholic and abusive mom.
If Jennifer’s trauma stays with her, the same pattern will happen repeatedly in her future relationships.
- You can heal your life and enjoy a satisfying relationship.
Truthfully, traumatic experiences are very, very common. People just don’t want to talk about trauma because it is an unpleasant topic. In fact, I would argue that almost everyone has some kind of unresolved trauma. The good news is you can heal your life.
First of all, if you can afford therapy, you may choose Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) which is the most effective therapy for unresolved trauma.
Second, if you can’t afford therapy, there is another way to cope with unresolved trauma – you can condition your emotions. For instance, let’s say you dated some con artists previously and you have unresolved trauma about money. From now on, you can condition your emotions whenever you deal with money, e.g., every week you organize a 1-hour ‘Money Time’: You sit down and manage your finances – you pay your bills, check your bank accounts, etc. During your ‘Money Time’, you have your favorite drink, eat some dark chocolate and put on relaxing background music. You can even use some beautiful candles and wear the best outfit when you are doing this! In this way, your emotions about money will change over time. Therefore, next time when you are dating someone new, you wouldn’t become hypervigilant!
Don’t let your past define your future.
- Don’t make these mistakes:
After interviewing several very interesting safe dating experts who offer dating and relationship advice, I’ve summarized the following typical mistakes that people often make on the first date.
Mistake 1: Talking too much without listening carefully.
Talking too much usually has two effects: 1) you only focus on yourself; 2) you may share too much information on the first date.
Worse still, talking too much makes you unable to listen effectively. On the first date, you would be well-advised to ask questions and carefully listen to what your date tells you.
Mistake 2: Talking about your ex a lot.
It’s okay to mention your ex when the context is right. However, please don’t talk too much about your ex on the first date. You need to show your date that you are already over your ex and now you’re ready for a new relationship.
Mistake 3: Not talking enough.
If you avoid talking about yourself on the first date, your date might assume that you are not interested in them at all. Don’t be indifferent!
Mistake 4: Showing very high expectations.
The first date is about knowing each other instead of finding out whether this is the person that you will marry or not. Talking about high expectations on the first date could be a turn-off because the first date is supposed to be fun and relaxing.
Remember: there is a difference between high standards and high expectations.
Mistake 5: Doing the wrong activity.
The traditional first date can be a dinner-and-movie date which makes you yawn. Having dinner in a restaurant and then going to the movies could be the worst activity for the first date. Please let me explain.
“When you are sitting in a restaurant with someone, it basically looks like a job interview. Consequently, it is hard to be fun, spontaneous and playful on the first date in this setting. Also, the dinner may last for several hours, so if you know the chemistry is absent, you can’t even leave earlier.”