Wednesday, March 14, 2012
Close Encounters with the Ex
Ever worry about bumping into your ex, especially when you are out on a date? Not too surprising, especially if you live in the same town. The law of averages pretty much guarantees it will happen sometime, but up till now it never has happened to me. Or at least I’ve been unaware if it has happened. Truth put, I have very bad eyesight. I’ve been out and thought I saw someone who may have looked like someone I’d dated. Luckily, the man in question did not come over and introduce himself, and inquire if my date was his replacement. Realistically, most guys aren’t like that. Ah women, that’s a whole different story.
I’ve gone out once or twice with guys whose exes call them to cut the grass at their previous home or do simple home repairs. If you’re wondering, the guys did do these things because they felt obligated because it used to be his home too. We all know the ex-wife wants him to come over to recreate the family feeling in hopes of getting him back. There’s also the possibility she just wants home repairs done free of charge too. Talk about non-closure.
Vengeful ex-wives will leave cryptic Facebook messages that imply the two are still close to scare off any future women. Yesterday, I heard the worst local ex story yet; a woman scaled an apartment building wall to get to her ex-boyfriend’s balcony. Once there, she screamed insults at the guy and his new girlfriend for the hearing pleasure of the general public.
What causes women to do this crazy stuff? It is usually a combination of anger, jealousy, uncertainty, and a desire for payback, especially by the dumpee. As women, we often want to know what the ex was like so we can compare ourselves. Naturally, we want to think our guy got a better deal with us, right? That’s why some women when left alone in their guy’s house will scour the place for pictures of the ex. What is the point of having the photos unless he is holding onto the memories, and maybe even a hope they might get back together again. Then again, some guys simply forget they have a box of photos stuck behind paint cans in the storage shed.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if every woman entered a relationship totally confident that she was the very best thing to happen to her guy? While it probably is true or they wouldn’t be together now, females tend to wonder about the ex. Even judging their guy by the company he kept. If talkative relatives reveal that her man tended to hook up with emotionally unstable women, then there is the question about mental stability. Is he as okay as she thought he was, or is she the mentally unstable one? Even worse, when is the crazed time bomb-like ex going to come careening into their lives, that tense moment when they are face to face.
That’s a moment you can’t really prepare for, and you certainly hope it is a public moment. Public because even if it doesn’t moderate her behavior, it will moderate yours so you won’t come off as some raving lunatic. It is better to be gracious and pretend you have no clue what she is talking about. Some exes think they have a brand on their former guy that reads STILL MINE. She might want to regale you with all his turn-ons while you seek rescue in an urgent text message that you absolutely have to respond to; trust me, you do have such a message.
Keep in mind if she had a clue about your man, then they would still be together. Often women who even rejected the man can’t stand to see him happy. It is just another version of emotional abuse. It also lets you know she is one selfish individual; no wonder the relationship didn't work out.
What if the previous ex is dead? That’s a hard one. I will tell you what I did. I tossed out my dead boyfriend’s pictures, not because I had bad memories I just didn’t think it was fitting for my sweetie to stumble across them. Too often we idolize people who died. We tend to forget the fights, self-serving nature, or even the fact that they might have not been a lifelong partner if they lived. It’s funny that we feel like we have to invent an entire new history for someone who happens to check out early. A grieving spouse or romantic partner’s tales will often feature the deceased as better than they truly were in life. Part of the reason is survivor’s guilt, another part is our conditioning never to speak ill of the dead. It makes it hard for people to have future relationships if they can’t be honest about past ones.
The truth about coming face to face with exes is the normal ones will be civil. After all, their fight isn’t with you. The crazy ones will do bizarre things. Don’t blame your sweetheart too much for them, because even the totally out of control ones may have not started like that. The important thing is to keep your distance and your dignity.
Reminds me of the advice given to kids that are being bullied. The bully only wants to hurt you, when you show pain then they’ve achieved their goal. Avoid the bully at all costs. You don’t have to run, but you can disappear into bathrooms, stores, cars, etc. Keep in mind, if there is a vindictive ex in your past or his, do not allow your emotions to show because it just gives them way too much pleasure. Remember you are the beloved that’s why she resents you.