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This may mean that he or she finds it more difficult to form stable, trusting relationships in the future.Working models of relationships may also explain why some people recreate aspects of past relationships with new partners.In fact, some people may make the greatest changes in their lives following a period of stress or crisis after a breakup.This could change how reliant they are on themselves and other people, make them form closer bonds with family and friends, or even change life priorities.
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.
While there are no quick fixes, developing a clearer picture of your working models and how these might be affecting your relationships is a good starting point.
Take some time to think critically about your past relationships – put it down on paper if it’s useful or seek the help of a trained professional – and try to develop greater awareness of your transference patterns and when they occur.
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.
A working model might include expectations about our self-worth, beliefs about how other people behave in relationships and ideas about what to expect from relationships.