While working from home and playing the television in the background, I found myself tuned into the newest season of Basketball Wives. And while the Evelyn vs. Tami storyline is what those behind the series hope you’ll tune in for, I found myself drawn in most by a conversation between two new cast members: Keonna Green and a young woman named Elena Ahanzadeh. Green is the mother of Los Angeles Lakers star Nick Young’s two children and is his former high school sweetheart. Ahanzadeh has dated a few players in the past. Interesting enough, Young was almost one of them.
After meeting and initially hitting it off at Shaunie O’Neal’s birthday soiree, Green and Ahanzadeh decided to connect for lunch. Feeling as though she was holding onto something that could blow up in her face later (see Evelyn’s decision to wait six months to tell Tami she slept with her ex-husband Kenny Anderson), Ahanzadeh let the cat out the bag. In a straightforward but polite manner, she said that five or six years ago, likely when Green and Young were together, she had exchanged messages with the NBA star. Despite finding text messages to be a petty thing to bring up when compared to actually having a sexual relationship with the man, Green wasn’t mad at that. Instead, she was more upset at Ahanzadeh bringing up Young and a past tumultuous relationship that she is still trying to move on from. This was ironic to me considering she has two young children with the man. In her case, he will always be a part of the conversation. But I’m starting to get it. When the wounds still feel fresh, the person who left you with them is not who you want to be talking about over mimosas.
I learned that recently while doing brunch with two good friends. We were having a lot of light and insightful conversation about dating. My friends had been in pretty serious relationships with a man and woman they planned on marrying, but their partners got cold feet. That, however, didn’t stop them from seemingly moving forward and trying to date again.
My male friend was excited about the networking events he’d gone to and the interesting prospective lady friends he’d met. I couldn’t help but ask if he was still in touch with his former fiancée, considering that she was hindering him from moving on with his life just months prior. It didn’t make sense to me to date someone new while still attached to a woman he didn’t seem to want to be rid of. Thankfully, he was not upset by my mention of her name, and instead said, “No, I haven’t talked to her in a while.”
However, I guess I inadvertently opened the door to uncomfortable talk about exes, because he turned to my female friend and told her that he keeps running into her ex in Brooklyn. It wasn’t a question of whether or not she had seen him, but rather, just a light update. I could tell from her face that it was a sore spot for her, but I didn’t realize how sore it was until later that evening.
Hours later she would text me asking why our friend brings up her ex every time we see him. It wasn’t a playful inquiry, but rather, one of full annoyance. She didn’t understand why he was playing nice and having conversations with the man who did her “fu–ing dirty” as she put it.
“Why on earth would I wanna have more than two words said about him?”
There are those so-called “friends” who bring up your ex in order to get a rise out of you, to create a crack in your calm and seemingly happy demeanor. I tried to remind her that our friend likely meant nothing by talking about her ex. Still, I could tell that the whole situation had brought back a wave of negative feelings and a reminder of all that went left in that relationship. She ended our conversation by saying that she was going for walk. It was well after 9 p.m., so she was clearly fuming. I didn’t understand it at the time, but I realized that only she knew what she’d been through and how she felt, so she had every right to feel that way.
The obvious assumption to people may be that she, and Green, still have feelings for their exes, so that’s why the mention of their name is so upsetting and has so much power. But there is also the reality, I had to finally see, that just as certain reminders of situations, losses and incidents can cause us great physical and emotional distress, reminders of an individual who consistently cheated, lied, left us in very precarious situations, said they cared but truly didn’t, and honestly damaged us can easily bring about that pang of sadness and anger.
We’ve all dated a guy or girl who hurt us, but some people have gone through hell and back, and in the case of my friend, rearranged their life and almost ended up homeless for someone who really wasn’t sh-t. In those situations, it’s best that those individuals, and mentions of them, stay in the past. Because while amicable splits don’t leave long-lasting aftershocks, ugly ones can really do some damage.
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