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4 tips to keep your relationship hot by dealing with your emotional baggage

Everyone comes into a relationship with sensitivities from a previous relationship. Even if it is your first great love you may have dealt with tempers, substance abuse, parental infidelities that impact yor current relationship.

The key to keeping it hot going forward is to own your past and not to let it get the best of you going forward.

1. You have an ex with a bad temper.
This means you are skittish about conflict. Realize conflict happens in all relationships. It’s about how you fight- not that you fight. You need to stop it before it gets ugly or anyone says something you don’t want to say. But you also have to understand that running away or pulling back at the first sign of frustration also doesn’t work. I remind my patients of the adage “the calmest person in the room always wins”.

2. Your previous partner cheated.
This means you are going to be distrustful and look into anything that might not seem kosher overly closely. Declare this upfront. And mention that ambivalent of wishy-washy information will cause your antennae to come up. Even if they are completely innocent.

3. Your ex made negative comments about how you looked.
Remind yourself that person was a dweeb. Usually it was because they are insecure and needed to put you down in order to feel better. If you don’t have a guy that tells you that you are beautiful LEAVE. Hwever don’t be insecure with your new one always fishing for compliments. Do go to the gym, the spa and do things to look good. It’s important to feel good in you own skin. The opposite sex finds that sexier above all.

4. Your past relationships have hit the bottle too hard.
You have to understand your values in this department. In my books there is a zero tolerance for things like being impaired at work, or when you have to drive, or being responsible for kids. On the other hand drinking responsibly with friends is fine. You need to outline your comfort level and remove yourself if you aren’t comfortable. Be realistic and don’t project. But also know that substance abuse is a deal breaker in any relationship as the partner will be at the emotional age of a teenager.

I’m working on a blog about “best hacks that psychologists use on themselves to fix their own emotional issues”.
A quick cheat sheet is that my top three are:
1. Emotional Freedom technique. Tapping on the trigger points to have your brain re-process emotion. Read about it.

2. Meditation. I’m a big fan of Dan Harris and his model about pulling together both sides of the brain in 5 minutes a day. Check out his book called Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics.

3. Passion pursuits. Find something, anything that gives you a charge. I’m a beekeeper. I have a friend who is in a ukulele band. It keeps you from being boring.