If you’ve been in more than one relationship in your lifetime (so we’re definitely not talking to you, DJ from Full House!), it can be super-duper easy to fall in to the trap of comparing this relationship to that relationship; this boyfriend/girlfriend to that boyfriend/girlfriend; this husband/wife to that husband/wife (I think you get the idea…). And really, it’s just human nature that we do this. Sometimes it can be good (“he treats me SO much better than old what’s-his-face”), but most of the time, it can be bad (“she doesn’t quite make me laugh the way my old girlfriend did” etc.). However, to be completely fair and honest, it’s unfair that we compare our relationships at all.
Over the last 11 months, I’ve told you story after story about the relationships I’ve been in (and failed at…), and I would be straight-up, bald-face-lying if I told you that I never compared one girlfriend against another. It happens. But what I’ve learned is that comparing an old relationship with your new one is so very dangerous to the wellbeing of your relationship in the first place that doing so does very little except paint a very large and dark cloud over your relationship as a whole.
It’s one thing to compare our past and present as a way to appreciate what we now have as compared to what we did or didn’t have back then. But it’s a whole other thing to constantly compare our new relationship to our old ones as a means of examining where our new gal/guy falls short. Comparing this new partner against the ones of the past could not only magnify the faults of your new one to a detrimental level, but it could also cause us to treat them differently because of it.
I’ve preached and preached (prought? I feel like there’s another word for the past tense of “preach” that I just don’t know about yet) over and over again that we must fully heal from the ending of our old relationship before even considering an attempt at a new one. This allows us to approach our new relationship with a clean, full heart without the baggage of yesteryear’s romances weighing us down. So if we do this, if we allow ourselves to be new and whole before finding someone new, then the tendency to compare this new person will be less fitful than if we jump right into something new while still hurting from the last madman/woman who shattered/disappointed our hearts/didn’t meet up to our requirements.
In short, comparing our relationships against each other usually leads to trouble. And since each new relationship should be seen as a fresh and separate entity apart from the ones in the past, they should be appreciated and focused on as such. We should notice all the wonderment that this new Romeo/Juliet brings us without automatically measuring them to see how they stack up against the former loves of our life. To do the opposite is unfair to you and especially to them.
Comparing relationships is a fast road to Splitsville; avoid it and appreciate what you have for what it is, not what it is not.