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My first relationships could barely even be considered relationships at all. Yet, every experience I had has continued to stick with me even as I’m looking to find something new.

Past experiences with a relationship will always come to mind no matter how different the new partner you are pursuing is. Even as I have different romantic encounters, nothing is stopping my brain from dwelling on how past partners did one thing differently or how other dynamics define me in a new light than they did before.

While major relationships will obviously have a major effect on your life, even short term relationships, flings or one night stands can affect your perception of new people who enter your love life.

Comparisons come not only with the people pursued in a relationship, but the dynamics shared with those people. When something is done in a past relationship – an action of kindness or even something traditional you did with a partner –  sometimes expectations are already there for the new relationship.

If a partner would surprise you with flowers every day, there is going to be a subconscious expectation for your new beau to repeat similar gestures. The same goes for negative actions. When a previous person treated you badly, you may expect your next person to do the same, or be surprised when they do not.

Toxic relationships are an example of the past having a lasting effect on both parties involved. While one may be trying to change their ways with a new relationship, the other could be looking for just how different a fresh person can be than what they experienced before.

There are direct points made on how scarring relationships can lead to a decline in mental health, and this alone can create an altered mindset when it comes to finding a new partner.

Moving on and into a new relationship requires some work from both yourself and those around you. The biggest advice seen from therapists is to let yourself have feelings and let your support system around you aid you with anything you need.

Having new standards in a relationship is not the only effect at play, sometimes the process of how you find this relationship can leave a mark. But, it is how someone chooses to move on that sets the new standard.

Even in my own case, I had past relationships that mentally left me drained and thinking there was something wrong with me. I started basing any new relationship I made around the ideal I had of myself in those past scenarios. It wasn’t until college that I realized maybe I wasn’t the problem in those situations, and was able to move on to greener pastures.

It is not only past relationships that can affect the current partner you are pursuing, but the lack of any experience at all as well.

What some consider to be “relationship virgins” are adults who have few or no past significant others. This can affect the new relationship because not having a prerequisite can leave you unsure about how you want your partner to treat you. This can lead to a lot of blank space to fill and a lot of learning to accomplish.

What may be the hardest relationship to move on from is the kind where you believe that partner would be your future spouse.

Having such big experiences or important moments shared with another human being can make it hard to make new memories with someone else. Sometimes, it can feel as though you’re replacing the old with the new and don’t expect to feel the same with that new partner as you did with the old. 

Even though past relationships can become an obstacle for starting new ones, the best way to start fresh is to get past these mental blocks and previous connotations we have of what love is supposed to be like.

No matter what the past was like or how it affected you, don’t let it affect how you move on with your life.

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