Are You Sure You’re Over Your Ex?

“If you truly want to be respected by people you love, you must prove to them that you can survive without them.” ― Michael Bassey Johnson, The Infinity Sign

As she sat before me, it was clear that after seven years apart, she was still in my blood. I didn’t expect this, but I suppose no one ever does.

As I made my way home after our three hour conversation, a looming question I’ve asked myself occasionally was answered, and while I was happy to have finally figured it out, I was pissed because of the impending ramifications. I realized too that I had made life exceedingly hard on myself because of one decision.

No doubt you’ve probably heard of the studies that say that men take longer to get over their significant romantic relationships while others say they never really recover.

Well, I thought it was untrue. Now, the jury’s out and they’re not expected back anytime soon. While there is a way to address the suffering properly, you might be too young, naïve, proud or ignorant to do the right thing.

Against your best efforts, you may still trip yourself. At least, that’s what happened to me.

When we broke up in 2012, I knew what I had to do. Let myself feel bad and eventually it would pass. Simple to understand, harder to do but that was all that was necessary.

And yet, I couldn’t help but add a trap for myself.

Convinced that I essentially just suffered a divorce, there was a bitterness that didn’t go away. I felt slighted and I developed a vendetta against someone I loved. Well, I certainly wasn’t loving in that moment.

For me, she was number one. But if she was gone, I had to find someone that would relegate her to number two. That became my goal, but goals of this nature tend to yield the opposite of its intention.

If you have had this attitude after your most significant relationship ended, I have some bad news for you, but let me continue my story. Maybe you’ll find some similarities.

So after I took the time to feel bad, I felt better, but still adopted this scheme. After which I ended up dating new girls but these relationships always seemed to end in such bitter ways. (There’s that word again.)

Furthermore, I connected with each and every one of them after they had just gotten out of a significant romantic relationship. They were still licking their wounds but I thought I wasn’t. The truth was, life gifted me those relationships to highlight that I wasn’t over my ex either.

Relationships are mirrors. If you use them as such, you’ll see some things, man. And yet, this utterly floored me to the point I couldn’t sleep the night. It seemed so obvious but of course I missed it, because you can never see that which you deny.

What were the ramifications since the realization? Everyone that I liked now has a huge question mark. I don’t know how I feel about them anymore. It’s like my attraction has been reset and now my attraction point will be pointing in new directions.

Furthermore, the bitterness is back with compound interest for not addressing it all those years ago. But I’ve started to sit with it. I could do better but something’s being done. My mind oscillates from frustration from the past to wanting to get back together, but that can’t happen.

Lastly, I’ve had to go back in time to the breakup and ask, “How did I feel when she ended it.” The word “betrayed” came up and while it felt like too strong a word, I had to honor it. I then sit with the feeling instead of running from it and instead of trying to mask it with someone who I think would never betray me.

I’m thankful I had the chance to meet with my ex because I would’ve completely missed this for god knows how much longer. I would’ve continued to bash my head in from trying to figure out why things weren’t working and why things got so bad with girls.

I’ve said for a while that one’s relationships fail (or succeed) due to the failure (or success) of the first love relationship — the relationship between you and your primary caregiver/parent. This is the blueprint of what love is and it is drafted from infancy.

However, don’t think that you can’t get seriously messed up from a significant other. One misstep and you’re dead at the bottom of the stairs, impaled by your ignorance and pride.

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