Dealing with the Ex

I think there was an entire episode of Sex and the City devoted to this topic. Can you really revive a mostly dead relationship? Should you? Can things really change or are you just lowering your standards? Should there be a required amount of time to pass before you try? I can’t remember the conclusion Carrie came to, but I’ve come to my own.

I recently tried to go backwards and rewrite relationship history, but the painful reality remained the same, we still weren’t right for each other. I still held onto the shread of possiblity that this time might be different. Everyone says I’m pessimistic, but I thought this was downright hopeful and glass-half-full of me.

I think it’s easier to move on when the reason you broke up is monumental – cheating, death, they’re really married, etc. In my mind, those reasons force you to accept the reality of the situation. But when they’re simply not in an emotional place to love you, that’s heart wrenching. Accepting that they can’t love you takes a healthy self-esteem to realize that you deserve more. You can’t force someone to want to grow as a person to reduce their steamer trucks full of issues down to manageable carry-on bags. I didn’t want to be just his therapist, I wanted to be the love of his life. I could be the former if I am the latter.

The end of a relationship is always hard, no matter what. Maybe relationships are a living breathing entity with their own time and space. The rules should say that once you’ve said it’s over you can’t go back.

I have learned a few things. The biggest being that it’s helpful to determine what someone means when they say they love you. Love has lots of definitions. I need to make sure we have the same definition next time, I want love to be a verb.

Have you ever tried to go back to an ex? Did it work? Are you glad you tried?

4 Comments:

Libprincess said…
I’ve spent the last 6 months trying to figure out this same exact question. It wasn’t until he got a job at my workplace that we stopped sleeping together, even though we had an “undefined relatioship.” I had been on my own for a year before we tried this again, but we both were still trying to see other people.

End result? It just blew up in my face. And being “just friends” is pretty much impossible.

5:56 PM
Marti said…
Being just friends is the biggest lie in relationship history. It’s too hard to let go of the expectations. It’s like we forget who we are and what we really want in an attempt to hold onto something that was good at one point. I think ex’s should disappear off the planet until you’ve really moved on.

6:00 PM
Libprincess said…
If you haven’t read Five Men Who Broke My Heart by Susan Shapiro, you should. I quoted this bit of wisdom earlier this month:

After George left, I told Dr. G. my theory that old boyfriends should just die. “Breakups are worse than death,” she said. When a mate passed away, you were left with good memories and sympathy. When a lover dumped you, you were expected to get over it in a month. Then, for the rest of your days, you were faced with the threat of seeing him happier with someone else.

8:59 AM
Marti said…
I will have to check that book out. I’m always on the lookout for good books to read.

The quote is powerful and SOOOO true. At least if they’re dead the memory gets warm and fuzzy. When they are still alive the chances of them hurting you again is inevitable it seems, at least for a while. If my ex can be happy with someone else, more power to her, cause it means she’s either super woman or a mean-ass bitch who puts his sorry ass into place. I wanted to love him and he couldn’t deal, so its his loss. SO I hope he finds the latter.

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Posted on August 29, 2004, in Psychobabbling and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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