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Working models of relationships may also explain why some people recreate aspects of past relationships with new partners.

Recognizing these triggering cues is vital if you are to ultimately gain control and intentionally change your behaviors.

As a simple example, someone who had an unfaithful partner in the past may develop a working model in which other people cannot be trusted.

This may mean that he or she finds it more difficult to form stable, trusting relationships in the future.

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 missing. Sometimes, past negative experiences can sow the seeds for healthier future relationships.

But this only serves to confirm my existing working model of myself as unlovable and of potential partners as unaffectionate. For example, the period following a breakup is important because it may lead to personal growth and development.

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