I haven’t written about relationships in a while, but I’ve been pondering this question a lot and figuring out if it is worth writing about.
One of my closest friends is currently “getting to know” an ex again after not dating each other for a number of years. They have dated other people over the years and loosely remained in contact through it all. Now that they are both single, one more newly single than the other, they are taking it slow and seeing if the attraction they still have can grow into a flourishing relationship. What’s the issue? Dating an ex is rarely as easy as dating someone new. If the relationship had turbulence there may be old wounds that haven’t healed, and at the very least, water under the bridge. Does this mean you should automatically exclude an ex? No, but you darn well better take the time to determine whether or not something old deserves your new energy.
In my experience, the answer is no. However, this won’t be the same for every situation; I’ll explain below.
I had an ex who was on again and off again for a number of years. In the end, all the repeated tries did was hold me back from moving on and truly having a new experience with anyone else. In our specific case, we didn’t love the same way and neither of us wanted to acknowledge that.
Frequently people ask me what I mean by loving differently, and I think an explanation is quite simple. For example, my ex is an individual who operates through a position of needing to be able to financially care for her partner to feel that she is being the best partner that she can be. That’s all great and dandy, but financial security through a partner isn’t something that is high on my list of wants. What I desire from my partner are emotional support and encouragement through words of affirmation and quality time. Do you see? We give and receive care in different ways. I do understand the societal expectations for financial support and security, however, a one-dimensional idea of what it means to be there for a person is problematic. It is lazy if you become so consumed with providing what you think the other needs that you aren’t able to see what your partner might actually need to feel supported and secure in the partnership.
Throughout time my ex and I have loved each other deeply, but it doesn’t work romantically. At least based on the growth that we’ve both experienced and where we currently stand in our lives. This is what I mean when I say that for some situations it may be different.
Time and experience are wonderful teachers. Sometimes people grow in ways that are similar. Sometimes people mature in ways where they are able to provide love to others in a way that they need, without it feeling as if it is taking something away from themselves. Loving another is an act of giving; it is something to be treasured. If either the love you’re giving cannot be reciprocated, or you are not in a position to accept the love that is being offered to you, let it go. History is a beautiful thing, but it is not reason enough to stunt emotional growth and prevent either of you from developing a healthy love affair with someone new.
So, should you ever give an ex a chance? Only if it will lead to the betterment of you two as individuals and as a couple.
Until next time, remember to give time time and have the best day of your life! – Ms. Malcolm Hughes