It can be confusing if you bump into an ex-partner. You might start comparing him to your current partner even without thinking about it. You could even ask yourself what it might have been like if the two of you had stayed together.
If this should happen to you, relax. It’s normal. Don’t let your feelings confuse you. Instead, turn your chance meeting into a learning experience. That’s easy when you focus on the five major feelings of love. Do that by asking yourself these questions concerning your current partner:
• Does it feel like I am in love and that it is rewarding to be with him?
• Does it feel exciting and meaningful to have sex with him?
• Does it feel like he is my friend?
• Does it feel like he is a part of my family?
• Does it feel like I enjoy helping him with things that matter to him?
When you work through your feelings associated with these questions, you will understand more about why you are with your partner. You will also understand more about what you need in your relationship and where you hope it is headed. After you think about that, it will feel safe to look at your past relationships.
Do that by asking yourself similar questions about an ex-partner concerning the five major feelings of love:
• Did it feel like I was in love and found it rewarding to be with him?
• Did it feel like I responded to him sexually in an exciting and meaningful fashion?
• Did it feel like we were friends?
• Did it feel like he was a part of my family?
• Did it feel like I wanted to help him with the issues he was facing?
When you ask these questions about your ex-partner, you will naturally find yourself making comparisons between him and your current partner. Don’t look at this as a threat to your current relationship. Use your ideas to clarify the direction you want your relationship to go in the future.
You might want to discuss your ideas about the future of your relationship with your current partner. If you have problems talking about this with him, ask him questions that relate to the five major feelings of love. Those five feelings are: being in love and finding it rewarding; desiring sex; feeling like a friend; feeling like family; and wanting to help out at times—just because.
These feelings form the foundation of every romantic relationship. You won’t experience all of these feelings in dysfunctional relationships. But they arise from human physiological systems and, together, they create all the feelings of love.
– Dr Billy Kidd