I’ve always said that exes are exes for a reason. No matter how good they may (still) look or how much history y’all have, chances are the relationship ended for a very valid reason: one that you’ve clearly forgotten if you’re seriously contemplating journeying back down that rabbit hole of emotion again. To each his or her own, but I, for one, wouldn’t advise it.
When it comes to matters of the heart, however, what makes sense isn’t always what happens. For instance, there was this one woman I dated off and on for several years and no matter how many times we said that this just wasn’t going to work, something kept pulling us back together. Be it boredom, familiarity, our warped definition of love or just plain ol’ horniness, our hiatuses were often abbreviated ones.
Of course the makeup sex was amazing and getting back into our comfort zone felt like bliss, but the fact remained that the issues that caused us to split in the first place were still lying there under the surface. Unfortunately we were more focused on lying under the covers than dealing with them. Time and time again we’d ignore the warning signs of the problems in our relationship until they all bubbled up into a big argument that caused us to break up… again… and again… and again…
Looking back on it now with a clear mind and more importantly a clear heart, I realize that we were just being gluttons for punishment. Deep down inside I knew that she and I would never make it to forever ever like Andre 3000 but I just wasn’t mature enough to recognize that let alone admit it to her or myself. In the heat of the moment, people tend to do what feels right as opposed to what’s actually right for themselves or the person they’re with. But you live and you learn.
I know now that breaking up only to make up didn’t do any of us any good, even though at the time it felt pretty darn good. We were just repeating the same bad habits and wasting time on a relationship that was going nowhere. In the wake of that, I firmly believe that if you’re honest with yourself and can see an end to a relationship, then end the relationship.
Too many times in relationships we hold on to what was for nostalgia’s sake, but traveling down that road can result in nothing more than bad memories that you keep adding on to. While the idea of being in love with someone can be infatuating, the reality of loving the wrong person can be infuriating as you realize that, by doing so, you’re only hurting yourself or, worse yet, the person you claim to care about so deeply.
Our desire to be with someone that’s wrong for us is a completely selfish endeavor. We want to have sex with them one last time; we want to tell people that we’re in a relationship; we just want to feel wanted. But at what cost? I’d much rather be alone than be with the wrong person for too long just so I can keep up appearances.
This fact of life became especially true after I got married. Unless I truly have a bond of friendship with someone of the opposite sex that my wife is both aware of and accepting of, there is no more direct contact — especially if this is someone I’ve been intimate with or if there was some form of attraction on either side. It’s a gray area that could negatively impact any serious relationship. That’s not to say that just because you’re in a committed relationship you can’t have friends of the opposite sex, but there’s no point playing in the singles sandbox with an ex if you’re trying to build a rock solid foundation with your current partner.
At the end of the day, you should spend more time focused on the one you’re with rather than the one(s) you left. If you find yourself pining over a love lost or even slightly upset that they’ve moved on, you really need to check yourself and re-access how committed you really are to your new relationship. Because no friendship with an ex should supersede the one you have with your partner. It’s as simple as that. Anything else would be just, well, dumb.
Anslem Samuel Rocque is the creator of the award-winning relationship blo, NakedWithSocksOn.com (http://nwso.net) and co-creator of TheLoversRocque.com (http://theloversrocque.com/), where he and his wife muse on marriage and Black love.