After a conversation with a friend, I found a perfect way to express the fault in running back to an ex-partner and an unhealthy relationship. Once, in everyone’s lives, you have a moment of insecurity, and for a split second you remember your past relationship with a certain ex and you may be tempted to run back. However, deep down you know full well that this is not healthy, that the reasons why you broke up with that person are most likely still valid. And that you should not run back to comfortability, but towards new possibilities. I call this the ‘Gideon Graves’ theory – now if you are unfamiliar with the film ‘Scott Pilgrim vs the world’ then:
1. I suggest you watch the film as it is awesome.
2. It is actually a very interesting film in terms of the psychology of relationships and love.
So here is the ‘Gideon Graves’ theory on running back to unhealthy relationships:
Firstly, let’s flesh out the character that is ‘Gideon Graves’. They are the partner that you have underlining feelings for, someone that once made you feel comfortable in a relationship or someone you have crushed on for a very long time before getting into the relationship. However, no matter how hard you worked at the relationship, things did not work out and ended in a … well disaster, leaving you feeling extremely low. Now, fast forward to a time in your life where you no longer associate with that individual. One night you feel extremely low, depressed and in need of comfort, your brain flicks through memories until you land on your ‘Gideon Graves’. Now, in this moment, all you will see are the positives; the happy memories and the reason you feel in love with them. However, you may also twist bad memories to make them happy… falsifying a past with this ex-partner. This is dangerous territory because now you associate that unhealthy relationship with positives, making it easier for you to rationalise running back to them. You may even be in a happy relationship with someone new (Scott Pilgrim), but the desire for the old and familiar can become too strong sometimes, especially after arguments with your current partner.
Before you grab your phone and text that individual, consider these points:
1. Remember your self-worth – in unhealthy relationships we lose our self-worth, our boundaries and the understanding of right and wrong. Before you run back to that partner, try to think of how you felt about yourself during that relationship and how different you have felt about yourself after it (including dating other people if you have).
2. You are thinking with your heart NOT your head – referring to my ‘Gideon Graves’ theory, you just cannot get him out of your head! However, this idea of that partner that you have created inside your head in the last five minutes is completely different to the real person or even the person you believed them to be the hour, day, month or year earlier.
3. You may be seeking closure – if the relationship ended without closure, you may be seeking that sense of closing the door on this period of your life. That is perfectly normal, but by re-entering that relationship to gain that closure will open wounds that were nearly healed.
4. Finally, he feels familiar – this is one that even I have just wanted. The comfort of an old, familiar partner, however it is never the same. Feelings change, people change and sometimes familiarity IS NOT WHAT YOU NEED. You will find that comfort in someone new, it just takes time.
Therefore, what you should take from this article is importantly to watch ‘Scott pilgrim vs the world’
… I’m kidding!
What you should take from this article and the ‘Gideon Graves’ theory is that running back to a relationship that you know is toxic and will not fulfil you is bad. You can have those feelings about that person every now and then, but before you grab your phone and call them, think through the four points previously spoken about. It will get easier to disassociate from that person, especially if you find someone who will treat your right, but the stronger you are at the start the easier it will become. Find yourself a Scott Pilgrim.