The Ex Files
The weird life cycle of coping with a relationship breakdown…
Do past relationships, and I mean the biggies of our lovelorn lives, create a new dating style for future hookups or are we just a little too emotionally analytical for our own good? Our Char breaks it down, from the spat to the stalking to the revenge nookie to the getting fat to the… future?
Does your past make itself present in your future?
When I broke up with this guy I loved, I cried for months – and I mean literally months. I did the obligatory sobbing into the pillow, smoking out the window, stalking him on Myspace and watching entire box sets of SexAnd The City and other relevant chick flicks so much that I didn’t just change into Bridget Jones, I surpassed her.
I thought I would never get over him, and alas, I did, but what I have learned in my heart patch-up has somewhat interested me into exploring things further.
I found myself lately in the position where I am ‘seeing’ someone… and I thought to myself that I was actually very afraid of this prospect… but why, pray tell?
I had spent so long wanting to replace the original boy that I forgot all about him, and life went on. I survived and I progressed into living my life for me, and only me. I didn’t and still don’t need anyone to make it all OK. I do it all myself. So by taking someone into my heart again I will run the risk of not being my own DIY handy girl. And that is scary.
Because relationships are hard, wonderful, painful, invigorating, frustrating, inspiring and ultimately, a life lesson in how not to do things and how to get it right on round two.
You see, break ups are rarely ever as simple as boy meets girl, gets it on, falls out, splits up and they both go off in their own separate joyous ways. Oooooh no!
Relationships where someone means something, where they are etched into your heart and have the potential to change your life, and yourself, not to mention your decor, your tastes for experimental home cooking and racy lingerie…
Relationships where you morph into a couple, say ‘we like’ instead of ‘I’ and wonder what the future holds, build your future around someone…
These can end too, and your life crumbles, and you temporarily lose your identity. Is it any wonder one would be so cautious of entering into what could potentially do either a lot of good, or a lot of bad… isn’t it time we took a risk?
Maybe – maybe not.
Girls, I got to thinking that perhaps all of us women out there follow an in-built genetic book on how to get over a broken heart, and little chats with my fellow females have confirmed to me that what I presume to be true, is in fact, a reality.
It’s like this…
You break up.
Ouch. It hurts, you hurt, it hurts. Many questions, total confusion, what did you do wrong? How can you fix it? Of course the person who can give you these answers won’t reply to your calls, your texts, your emails, or even your friends who have been emotionally blackmailed into intercepting his psyche on a pub night out whilst you wait with baited breath sensibly at home, away from him. Oh no, who am I kidding, you hide behind the fat local in your pub wearing a large hat, sobbing into your seventh glass of wine hoping to gain enough Dutch courage to thrust yourself in his face and reconcile.
You cry when he says no. You cry even more when he threatens to call the police.
You contemplate suicide via smothering yourself in items of his clothing he has left behind.
You decide against it and put said items on teddy bear and then hug teddy bear so hard in the pretence it is ex boyfriend that you break the seams, spill the stuffing, its eye falls off… ‘I can’t do anything right, waaaaaaa!’
You listen to Love Songs volume 1 2 and 3 repeatedly. Then attempt to listen to his rubbish music in a lack sense of trying to be close to him. Like his music, like his sport…
You eat chocolate and pizza and slob about in tracksuits.
You solemnly swear that there is no other out there for you, ever. Ever ever ever! Ever! So shut up… you do NOT know what it feels like!
Friends stop calling you and call for a shrink.
One or two good friends weather the storm.
They pick your sorry arse up off the floor of abysmal behaviour and drag you to a karaoke bar. Once you have passed the ‘eat everything sweet and savoury in sight’, such as Kettle Chips, Dairy Milk, Ice Cream and all manner of takeouts and once you have drunk enough wine that you actually bleed Blossom Hill, lo and behold, you are then faced with the realisation it has been a week and he still has not called.
You stop eating.
You survive on cigarettes and tic tacs.
You get thin!
You get your hair cut!
You begin to feel a bit better but its ALLLLLLLLLLL fake. You feel good because you look good and you get it into your head that he will fall in love with the all new singing and dancing brand new you!
You convince yourself that he will be back.
He will. Just not for long.
By month two he will be back and be approached by a slimmer new-look you. He will have second thoughts, or thoughts that simply arise from his stamen (that’s a euphemism), and you will fall into the ‘Sex with the Ex’ routine where he will dangle carrots until you are wholeheartedly convinced it is only a matter of time before you are back in his arms once more.
Realise he was only after one thing, he got it, and now he has departed.
You cry some more. Days pass and you go out for revenge sex. You hit all his friends up on social media in a vain attempt to make him jealous. You pull someone right in front of him in a club. You make sure he sees you leave with a random hot guy.
You sleep with said random hot guy and desperately try to create some version of the intimacy that you and your ex used to share.
You feel confused and even more upset when it doesn’t work, and the random hot guy makes a random hot guy shaped hole in your bedroom door.
You date furiously in the hope that you can mend the gaping hole in your heart.
You will also rebound date for the following reasons:
- You want to feel sexy
- You want to feel needed
- You want to feel skin on skin because in the dark you can pretend it is him
- You want to feel normal again
Inevitably this won’t work.
You will go through approximately one to two random shags in the immediate aftermath, both drunk, and more than likely one will be someone he knows, and then you will feel repulsed by all men that aren’t your ex and become celibate for between 6 months to a year.
You will meet someone else. You will. But wait, it wasn’t immediate… so you spent what, months to even years searching frantically trying to piece it all back together? Then you get it, and what’s this… you’re afraid?
Yes, you are…
Why is it that something we want so much, to find the soul who will make us feel happy again, to feel at one in the world, suddenly changes so that being single becomes not a gaping ‘sh*t your pants’ fest and more of a comfortable hairy-legged excuse to have permanent fat days and overdose on soaps with no one to answer to?
Before after months 3 – 6 post break up, you are sleeping like a normal person, engaging in activities and partaking in life again and instead of having your thoughts switched onto autopilot wonder-what-he’s-doing, you barely think of him, you forget slowly… you move on without realising it, and this, my ladies, is when you will meet not one, but many potential lovers. The difference is that this time you won’t care all that much.
One pearl of wisdom from an ex who had blatantly been heartbroken before (because his dating demeanour was all about his road of life, a long straight non-bumpy road, his goals labelled like fluorescent posts): when you are happy in your own life, and secure in your own company, that is when a lover will come into your life, not as a necessity but as a bonus.
It’s one thing to feel afraid of another lover coming into your life and then shitting on your face as a nice calling card and thus damaging your perception on relationships and any subsequent man decoding / behaviour, but the whole relationship process is long and lengthy and leaves scars that take a long time to heal.
So what is a girl to do other than remain on the shelf gathering dust?
You don’t have to be in a relationship if you don’t want to be. There is no shame in being single, heck, it can also be a lot of fun!
If you are seeing someone, you just keep it light, fresh, fun and simple and allow fate to deal your cards.
Maybe if we stopped overanalysing everything a man does, and every feeling we engage in, then maybe, just maybe we will begin to mend our hearts, and believe in life, love and everything in between.
It’s worth a shot, no?