Premeditated Disappointment: Why Your Ex-Lover May Still be Controlling You…

Today, your ex may only be somebody that you used to know…

But are they really gone?

Humans are pattern-seekers. When faced with incomplete information our mind protects us by filling in the missing data with information patterns we’ve collected in the past. The bump in the night that fills you with fright, the potato chip that looks remarkably like your favorite saint and the words you heard when you play a Beatles song backward, are all indications that your patterning mind is hard at work.

We hear a bump in the night and our mind remembers that scary movie from long ago. Protecting us, our mind suggests a pattern…scary bumps in the night may be followed by the appearance of unwanted hockey-mask-wearing chainsaw-holding visitors. Be scared!

Desiring meaning, our mind rejects the possibility of random chance and interprets the shape of a potato chip as the face of St. Frito.

One study played the soundtrack of a rock anthem, long rumored to contain hidden messages when played backward. Unaided the participants heard nothing but inaudible sounds, but when researchers added a karaoke scroll of the rumored lyrics to accompany the reverse soundtrack, listeners universally reported hearing the suggested words.

So, what has this all got to do with your ex-lover?

The relationships we develop today are not created on their own merits. When your new beau asks you a question, your mind searches for patterns of hidden meaning. When your ex asked that question, it may have been a hidden putdown or some other slight and your mind credits yesterday’s meaning to what you are hearing today. When in fact, the question, could be just a question.

Knowing how your mind works to protect you and knowing that process could just as easily deceive you, may help you better see today’s relationships for what they are… today’s relationships. Getting rid of the patterns of premeditated disappointment your mind is sure to play for you, can make you and those around you much happier!

As always, I welcome your comments and questions directly, at

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Dr. Jeff Kaplan

Jeff Kaplan is recognized globally as a thought leader and organizational design expert in the areas of value creation and technology adoption. More about Jeff.