Love-Life Tip: Do A Love-Life Review

If you ask me, Dr. Jordan what is the simplest and most direct way to change my love-life for the better? I would say to you, it’s time for a Love-Life Review. What this means is, you need to review, really think about, what has happened in your relationships with all the people who were supposed to love you and you were supposed to love, starting from when you were born. You need to figure out what went wrong in those relationships that could be negatively affecting your love-life now. Keep it simple. Write it down if you need to. We always know more than we think we know.

The most common way our past love-life experiences (broadly defined as any relationship in our lives where the emotion of love is involved) can affect our current love-lives is by making us feel bad about ourselves. When we are young, how we feel about ourselves has a lot to do with how other people in our lives, especially those people who were supposed to love us, feel about us. For example, if I review my love-life and find out that while growing up I was overly criticized by people in my family of origin, made to feel small, chances are I am still dealing with that feeling somewhere in my mind and heart. When you are struggling with low self-esteem it always affects your love-life. It’s hard to give love and receive love when you feel small. One important step in correcting this problem is to realize that their criticism said more about them than about you.

When you feel small, you feel you don’t have much to give, and you don’t deserve much from others. The purpose of your Love-Life Review is to become aware of what it is in your personal history that could be negatively affecting your current love-life. Remember, awareness breeds opportunities. If you know something is happening you can start challenging it and risking a new and different outcome. These after-effects of disappointed love relationships prefer to operate in the ‘dark,’ on ‘automatic pilot’ in our current love-lives. They operate on their own just outside of our awareness. In fact, things could go on like that for a lifetime. The negative emotional pattern, whatever it is, produces the same love-life disappointment over and over again. It tends to keep showing up regardless of the change in people, places, and situations.

Our innate capacity to challenge these repetitive after-effects in ourselves is a wonderful gift from creation. The only problem is, it will probably hurt. Figure it’ll be like taking out a ‘splinter.’ While the splinter is in, it’s hurting and getting infected. Taking it out temporarily hurts for a good cause. Once out, you start to feel relief as it heals. Same here, once you challenge whatever pattern has been in control of your love-life, you’ll feel things, you’ll feel uncomfortable, anxious. Just like with a splinter, you’ll have to remind yourself that the discomfort you’re creating is for a good cause.

If you leave this after-effect of earlier love-life disappointment in place, it’ll be like living with a permanent splinter, getting more and more infected over time. When you see it clearly and start messing with it (challenging its predictable outcome and doing something different), if the discomfort gets really bad, find a professional person to go with you through this part of your journey. There’s no shame in asking for help with love-life problems. Think of the relief once that splinter is out of your heart.  Dr. T. Jordan













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Dr. Jordan

Dr. Thomas Jordan is a clinical psychologist, certified interpersonal psychoanalyst, author, professor, and love life researcher.

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