I have ex’s with whom I remain very close. Somehow, and over the course of time and with much determination, we’ve managed to rise above the nastiness of the failed relationship and become friends. I have others who are best swept under the rug. What I’ve learned about exes is that it isn’t necessarily the ex who’s “the problem”.
(I’m not talking about violent and life-threatening stalker ex’s. Those ones are “the problem”, and are best dealt with beyond this post. I’m not a social worker—just a sex and dating go-to guy.)
I’ll meet a guy online, we’ll hookup, and sometimes it feels like I’m hitting paydirt. I’ll think I’ve snagged a perfect catch. The guy is awesome! “The problem” is, I’m not the only one who thinks so. His ex won’t go away. He won’t accept the breakup. He certainly won’t accept having me in the picture.
First I panic: should I be concerned about anyone’s safely (see parenthetical above)? The frustrating answer, usually, is no. “The problem” seems to have more to do with the guy I met than his ex.
Some people just can’t seem to make a clean cut on a bad relationship. They don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings. They wish the relationship—and the ex—would simply go away, without having to say the things that need to be said. Making clear to someone that you don’t want them in your life anymore is no easy task. It takes great courage, and if you’re serious about it, a strong will. Knowing it’s not what your ex wants to hear doesn’t help.
But you gotta suck it up and get the job done. Otherwise, you’re perpetuating false hope. And if the ex is still in love, why wouldn’t he have hope, until you use the words, “There is zero chance we’ll ever get back together, I have moved on, I’m happy because of it, I haven’t a single regret, I don’t miss you, and I don’t want to talk to you anymore”, or something to that effect. The ensuing relief will knock you over like a tsunami, without the casualties.
You must be clear with him. Be honest, and firm. Allowing the ex “problem” to fester is a lose-lose-lose situation. Everyone’s happiness is compromised. I shouldn’t have to take part in a negotiation that has nothing to do with me. As far as I know, the awesome guy I’m dating might still be in love with his ex, even if he doesn’t realize it.
Seriously, you’re awesome—hit me up when you and your ex get your shit together.