A Brief Interview with Dr. Rob

If you’re an adult whose name isn’t Dr. Pete you probably have at least one former significant other in your life. Hopefully you’re curious enough about your past to learn something from it as you move forward into more ideal relationships. If so you need to check out Jen Straw’s weekly piece “Meet the Exes.” This week she interviewed me in hopes of getting some trenchant, ground-breaking psychological insights into learning from prior romances. While I doubt she got what she was looking for I did try to contribute in some meaningful way. Below is an excerpt.
Head on over to MissAttitude.Us for the complete interview.

Q. It’s been suggested to me that I’m not going to meet someone better suited for me if I keep focusing on the past negative situations. Do you think there’s any truth to that?
A. There’s truth to that only if your hyper-focus doesn’t allow you to see new and better situations for what they are. There’s no shame in remembering the negatives of life; it shows you’ve been paying attention and makes you less naive going forward. But when people have been burned they tend to associate any similarity, no matter how small or trivial, with the original offense. This is where it becomes problematic. The goal is finding a balance between using what you’ve learned and being open to what is fresh and new. I’m currently writing a book that probably won’t teach you how to do that, but you should buy it anyway.

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3 Responses to “A Brief Interview with Dr. Rob”

  1. Hannah says:

    I think it’s totally true. It’s only problematic if you associate everything with the past hurts and project it into the future- self fulfilling prophecies. I wonder if people generally get better at choosing significant others when they date more, excluding of course the chain daters who never commit for more than a year or even a season.
    I love your concluding sentence.

  2. Joe says:

    What ever happened to just going on a two day bender and moving on? Yeah, sometimes there’s something to be learned, but sometimes there’s not. Whether there is or isn’t depends on the facts of the case. That much was said in the interview, minus the bender part. That was my contribution.
    But isn’t the issue here that either fixating on unimportant details or ignoring important ones comes down to judgment, and that’s why these folks are in therapy in the first place? They get flustered, don’t rationally analyze what’s going on, and don’t make sound decisions? Feelings and emotions are what you make of them, I guess, but at some point isn’t it important to put them to the side and focus on the facts and not necessarily how a person feels about them?

  3. matthew says:

    Haha, i love the (not-so) subtle plug.