In this world nothing can be certain, except death, taxes, and break-ups.
Over the course of life, through the sheer nature of the quest for love, we inevitably accrue exes. Ex-girlfriends, ex-lovers, ex-flings. Just exes in general.
Now, for everyone it’s different. Personally, I don’t count it if it’s under a year and anything before high school is debatable. But everyone is not me.
I know guys who have anniversary dates memorized from their first-grade girlfriend to the three-month fling that really was just a carry-over from spring break.
No matter how you see your previous romantic adventures and whatever value you place on them is up to you, but the substantial and significant ones, the ones where we feel we invested the most, always seem to be the trickiest to manage going forward.
The nature of the relationship, the break-up itself, and the reason behind the break-up are all strong factors that go into determining how the relationship is handled post-split. But even ideal break-ups (however those may look) face roadblocks to friendship and civility.
In a perfect world, you would want to be on good terms with everyone you’ve cared deeply about.
If at one point you couldn’t see yourself living without an individual, wanting everything for them and doing everything in your power to ensure that they received all they wanted, why wouldn’t you desire to see how that person’s life panned out?
If you’re not a hateful individual, the most unfortunate of circumstances won’t turn you into one.
The issue is that break-ups are fresh scars, and we all tolerate pain differently.
For some, the only way to heal is to address the wound directly — confront the issue and treat with answers and closure. Others like to mask the injury.
They retreat to short-lived physical satisfaction, abuse of substances, and finding other relationships to hide behind.
The urge to reconnect with an ex is natural. You shouldn’t feel ashamed of that random sweeping urge to peek at their social media handle.
That doesn’t make you weak, it means you’re human. If you truly loved someone unconditionally, even if they did hurt you, you still see the good in them and what the best for them.
Hoping the best for someone doesn’t necessarily suggest wanting a life with them, rather, it’s believing that whatever purpose you served in their life was good in some way, whether direct or indirect.
As much as you may want someone in your life or vice versa, it takes a special case of scenarios where that can happen amicably. They have to be ready, you have to be ready and it has to make sense for both of you.
For starters, in order to reconnect with an ex, they have to be willing and ready to let you back in. It must be as strong of a desire on their part as it is yours, and you are forever at their mercy when it comes that decision.
As simple a concept as entering a closed door is, a lot of us have difficulty wrapping our minds around the idea of bringing an ex back into our lives.
We point at sorry’s, the time invested, the time that’s gone by, and even our innocence as reasons why you two should be able to maintain some kind of communication with each other, but if they are straight-up not interested in going back down that road, that is something you must respect.
You cannot fault someone for how they handle the pain you caused them. While it’s your responsibility to seek amends, they’re not obligated to forgive you.
Maybe the trust is gone. It’s possible that they are not over you and never will be, or maybe they were the transgressor and feel too guilty to get back with you. You must honor all circumstances.
If there is a response to your outreach, then the time is right. But until they are ready for you to enter back into their life, regardless of how badly you want it, you must see to those wishes.
It may seem obvious: If you’re seeking reconnection, of course you’re ready for them to be back in your life. But, that’s not always the case.
Checking your motive as to why you want to revisit that time in your life is smart, and checking why they want to enter back into your life is even smarter.
Break-ups take a toll on us and are often times attached to bad memories. That is why it’s important we make sure we are in a healthy space to let an ex back in our lives.
Just because time has gone by does not necessarily mean they have changed, and just because you no longer choose to be associated with an individual does not mean you resent them.
When people show us their true colors — colors that we ignorantly bypassed when letting them in the coloring book of our lives — we have to accept that they will forever color outside of the lines.
Checking to see if you are ready to let an ex back in your life is all about accepting that it will be different, that whatever context you two lived in prior doesn’t exist anymore. It’s this misunderstanding that makes bringing an ex back in difficult.
Often times we have a hard time dropping that sense of ownership that came with the relationship. We think that once ours forever ours, which is a mentality we must put in check before trying to make a reconnection.
No, you cannot sleep with her whenever you want, and thinking that you have it like that is a problem. If you have not forgiven her and you find yourself throwing things in her face, you probably shouldn’t contact her at all.
She doesn’t deserve that. If seeing her in a healthy relationship is tough, again, it might be a sign that you are not over her and probably shouldn’t reach out at all.
They have to be ready for a reconnection, but also you must make sure you are in the right head space for that rekindling, too.
The third case where it would be okay to let an ex back into your life would be that it makes sense for where you two currently are in your respective lives.
If they are engaged, you probably should go ahead and let them live happily ever after. There’s no need to interfere. The same goes for her current relationship. If they are okay with you coming back in their life and you are ready to come back in their life, but their new partner is uncomfortable, then that’s something you have no choice but to respect.
Sometimes the window where two ex-lovers can make amends and establish a healthy line of communication closes. Sometimes the relevance dies and there is no need. It has to make sense, for both parties involved.
A lot of times it’s our friends who are so disgusted with our exes — the lies, how they treated us and maybe even the discord they brought upon them specifically– that they will put your friendship at stake regarding getting back with an ex. Again, in such cases that it’s up to us to decide if bringing them back in to your life makes sense.
Exes are exes for a reason. Figuring out how they may fit in our future is up to us. Just don’t go looking for answers that have already been spelled out for you.