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The “emotional baggage” that we bring from the past can mean that we sometimes pick a partner who’s not quite right, make bad relationship decisions or find it difficult to fully devote ourselves to the person we are with.
This idea has its roots in John Bowlby’s attachment theory, which suggests that individuals differ in the way they approach and respond to the world.
Beyond this, viewing yourself as worthy, accepted and decent is vital for forming and maintaining healthy relationships.
Some therapists highlight the positive impact that self-compassion – being kind, caring and understanding toward yourself – can play in promoting healthier relationships.
In fact, some people may make the greatest changes in their lives following a period of stress or crisis after a breakup.
Viren Swami does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.Working models are the mental representations that we hold about ourselves and other people, and that develop through experiences with people we are attached to.A working model might include expectations about our self-worth, beliefs about how other people behave in relationships and ideas about what to expect from relationships.For example, “IF a new person is as unaffectionate as an ex was, THEN I will avoid this person”.By thinking and planning ahead of time, we can begin to master our behaviours in relationships.