Dating a woman with emotion baggage
The Conversation is funded by the National Research Foundation, eight universities, including the Cape Peninsula University of Technology, Rhodes University, Stellenbosch University and the Universities of Cape Town, Johannesburg, Kwa-Zulu Natal, Pretoria, and South Africa.It is hosted by the Universities of the Witwatersrand and Western Cape, the African Population and Health Research Centre and the Nigerian Academy of Science.The effects of childhood attachment become embedded in “working models” that influence how we form relationships in adulthood.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.The psychologist Susan Andersen termed this process in which working models developed from past romantic relationships come to influence new relationships as “transference”.In her view, past experiences in romantic relationships can affect how we approach and relate to new partners, as well as our behaviours and motivations in new relationships.
Beyond this, viewing yourself as worthy, accepted and decent is vital for forming and maintaining healthy relationships.Working models of relationships may also explain why some people recreate aspects of past relationships with new partners.For example, if I did not receive much affection from an ex, I might still form new relationships that recreate those same patterns.Andersen believed we do this because we seek what was missing in past relationships – instead of running from someone who reminds me of an unaffectionate ex, I form a relationship with a new person hoping to gain what was what was missing. Sometimes, past negative experiences can sow the seeds for healthier future relationships.But this only serves to confirm my existing working model of myself as unlovable and of potential partners as unaffectionate. For example, the period following a breakup is important because it may lead to personal growth and development.