Sometimes, after you break things off with your ex, you never see them again… not in the back aisles of bodegas, nor at the concerts of mutually-enjoyed musicians. Depending on how your relationship ended, you’re lucky enough not to see their mug again. Then, there are other exes, those who are always around. They are visible, they make frequent appearances, they know your schedule, they ‘like’ everything on your Facebook wall and Instagram, and/or they still talk to all of your friends. Despite the fact that you two are no longer an item, your ex has failed to get the memo that you both need to move on.
Once, I had an ex who called me every day for the next six months after our short relationship ended, even when he’d moved on to another relationship. I had another ex who would tattle to a mutual friend anytime he saw me hanging out with other guys, claiming that I was being “out of control.” Some exes don’t know how to mind their own business, and some of them need to find business of their own. We’ve all had to deal with a person like this at least once.
Some people are unable to step away from their fallen relationships. Geared by certain motivations, they decide to hang around for a number of reasons, including: personal history, lingering attraction, persisting emotion, fear, or not feeling a sense of closure. And, sometimes, people hang around just so they can stay in your system, and remain relevant. While they don’t necessarily want to be with you, they can’t resist an urge to check on you, access you, and/or make sure that your happiness doesn’t exceed theirs. Their actions not being based on wanting you back, missing you, or caring deeply for you, they often behave this way because it’s simply a matter of them not wanting anyone else to be with you. They suddenly see your value once others are appraising you, and that somehow provokes some insane sense of entitlement in them that compels the person to infringe on your time, make off-hand comments, or to be all-around haters.
Even if your ex has your best intentions in mind, (i.e. calling to check on how you’re doing, being emotionally available) it’s important to gain some sort of distance post breakup, otherwise it produces confusion, and the situation becomes murky. Very solid lines that were been drawn when you two broke up can suddenly become blurred, and the thought of “Why did we break up in the first place?” surfaces. It’s easy to stumble back into a relationship, especially when your ex is a concerned and helpful person. This isn’t to say that you and your ex can’t ever be friends or that you and your ex can’t give it a second go, but it’s important to gain that initial distance for a few reasons.
Number one: if you’re not careful, you might end up bedding him simply because feelings were amidst, and you were feeling sentimental and vulnerable. Number two: you don’t want to use your ex, which can be the can be the case with kind overly-attached exes. As flattering as it is that your ex will still travel several miles out of his way to pick up your dry cleaning, you don’t want to take advantage of that kindness, especially if those kind things are are only being done in order to lure you back into a relationship. Number three: if you decide that the two of you should get back together, remembering why you broke up is really important, and a few nice gestures won’t cure ongoing issues. Make sure you take the proper amount of time to digest your break-up before making the decision to get back with that person.
No longer being with your ex grants you the permission to do whatever you need/want to do, despite the fact that a nosy ex can be a naysayer. Try to vocalize your position to your ex if you’re feeling overwhelmed by them, and try to inform them that while their opinions were once held with the greatest esteem, it’s time for them to take a step way back. Like way back and out of the picture.