Why People Break Up the Past Emotional Effects on a Relationship?

Much like anything in the world, relationships have history. Most of the time we carry this emotional baggage from past relationships. If you just had your first boyfriend/ girlfriend; still that person had a relationship with her/ his parents/ guardians/ friends before you. But let’s assume you and your significant other both had past romantic relationships that didn’t work out. How do these relationships affect the current one you’re in? We answer that question in this article.

Romantic relationships are so fun in the beginning… up until you find out about their ex. For some reason; you can’t help wanting to learn more about that person who used to be special to your current partner. He/ she could look like a 1, but for you, he/ she was a 10 for the mere reason that your boyfriend/ girlfriend used to hang out and be intimate with that particular person.

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Especially when the previous relationship lasted for a significant amount of time or their history together meant something special (as it always does) for your partner; you just can’t seem to accept that he/ she would love someone before you. And this is understandable. At the beginning of any relationship, you tend to be head over heels for the other person and you can’t let the thought of losing that person get into your nerves. But alas, they do. Exes have a way of haunting you so that you never really become sure that your boyfriend/ girlfriend thinks it’s worth it to be with you right now or if he/ she would rather go back to his/her ex if he/ she had the chance.

The thing to notice here is that all these thoughts are simply what they are: thoughts. These thoughts are not necessarily true nor real. They exist in your head and that is an important concept to be aware of. It doesn’t necessarily have to bother you unless you let it. Unless you relinquish control of your emotions over to your thoughts about these ex-lovers.

All this aside, other aspects of a person’s past, such as a terrible experience, could also have an effect on your current relationship. After all, we don’t remember much about a person except how they made us feel. And so, we will delve deeper into several reasons why a couple would break up and the past emotional effects on a relationship.


Some events can be categorized as inevitable, such as death or chronic illness. In this case; people have no choice but to actually let go of the person they used to love. Because there was never an external (or perhaps internal) reason for the relationship to break up, it can be difficult for a new relationship to form if the concerned person has not fully moved on from his/ her past. Traumatic events can have deeper past emotional effects on a relationship that is both complicated and difficult to explain in words. The emotional scars from past relationships may heal slowly. Someone who has gone through such terrible trauma has to be able to accept the situation and move on with his/ her life despite the difficulties.


When past lovers seem to have achieved so much or seem to have it all (i.e. beauty, brain, body, etc.), insecurity in the relationship sometimes creeps in. And this could also lead to a breakup. It is important to remember that no matter how excellent a person appears on the outside; nobody is perfect. And if somebody is able to attain something brilliant or seems to have qualities that the other doesn’t; it doesn’t take away from their own value or worth.

We need to appreciate people for who they are and accept them as they are in order to thrive in a relationship with them. In this case, the person who was insecure will still find himself/ herself insecure in the next relationship because the root of this problem is not on the person who seems to have it all but on the person who can’t seem to deal with these perceptions.


For some reason, abused people often don’t see or feel that they are being abused. They feel like it’s all part of the dynamics of a relationship even when it’s clearly not the case to the outside world. Physical abuse is as detrimental as emotional abuse. When two people end their relationship because one of them was abusive; the abused will carry the trauma and pain into the next relationship. Past emotional effects on a relationship that was abusive would be fear of experiencing the same treatment all over again or not being able to let go of the person who was abusive. 


Another external reason for breaking up is a betrayal. There might be a third party involved or the other person might be lying constantly to the other. In any case, there was a betrayal of trust and they are haunted by a past relationship. For the new couple, this means that the past emotional effects on a relationship ultimately include issues of trust and a fear of betrayal. Trust, as they say, is hard to gain but easy to lose. And it shouldn’t be on the shoulders of the new partner to try to convince the betrayed person to trust someone new. This decision lies with the person who has betrayed. He/ she has to be able to choose to trust again in order for the new relationship to work.

Other issues

There are possibly several other reasons why people would or should break up and the past emotional effects on a relationship could vary. Nevertheless, it is important to take note that the past should always be left behind where it is. When moving on seems to be the most obvious and yet the most difficult step to take, that’s when you know you really need to take that step. On the other side of moving on from the emotional effects of a past relationship, you will find growth and possibly peace within yourself.

Growing isn’t always as easy as we think. At the moment, we often fail to recognize it but having all those negative experiences molded us into the person we are now. Emotions are inevitable. We are humans, after all. But we are also more than our emotions. We are capable of strength, resilience, peace, and a better life ahead of us if we simply move on. Don’t allow your past relationship affecting the present relationship. 

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