Ex must exit

  • By Dr. Neha Agrawal

“Sooner or later, we’ve all got to let go of our past.” – Dan Brown

Ever wondered why the person with whom we were in a relationship in the past is called an ‘ex’? Check the dictionary. Ex means something of the outer area, in another space, away from the now and here. Why then do we like to ‘remain friends’ after a breakup?

In the earlier generations, past was past, a broken relationship and a broken heart just said goodbye and parted ways. It did not make sense to remain in touch with your ex, what you would talk after all! May be a certain mutual friend, to know how the other one is doing. In the times of social media invasion, a clean cut is quite difficult. Deleting him /her from your contact list, erasing the SMSs, deleting on Facebook, blocking on messengers; is a mighty task. The temptation is high to remain the ‘zone’, to keep an eye on what is happening, to check the pictures posted, to read the messages posted, etc. It is extremely difficult to ignore the discussions with common friends.

To top it all, we have a new trend of ‘healthy breakups’ where the two remain friends even after the romantic relationship has gone sour. While you may be confident of pulling off such a relationship, be prepared for a sudden blow anytime in the future. Let us see five reasons why it is not a good idea to stay in touch with your ex:

  1. You live in false hope:
    Even the wisest become emotional fools in love. We hope against all odds. There is a tiny little wish that may be things will become alright some day. It may be over, but it may begin once more, and this time it will be better. Hope is a good thing, but not when it is stopping you from moving forward. What is over is over! Harsh as it may sound, the truth is unless he /she is totally out of your life, chances are high you’ll keep clinging on to that tiny wish.
  2. You cry, cry and cry more:
    Get done with it. Take as many hours, days, weeks or months. Grieve, pour your heart out, crib, whine, sob, but finish it off. Being in touch with your ex will only continue to give you fresh bouts of crying and depression. Healing can begin when the suffering is over.
  3. Moving on gets tough:
    How will you move on if you keep checking his/her updates every day? Girls, will you notice that guy who likes your smile if you keep crying over the jerk who caused pain to you? And boys, will you be able to notice that girl who’s had a secret crush on you, if you are busy obsessing over the girl who broke your heart?
  4. Sex with ex:
    It is common to become weak in one intimate moment and give in. The result is only the extended sadness of losing the loved one, or the effort to rekindle the love again. No. Don’t do this to yourself. When you decide to breakup, it is because you see things not working out, because you have reached the saturation point, then why linger on?
  5. Bad for you:
    To care for ourselves is our utmost responsibility. It is easy to fall in the ‘forgiver’ trap. You may try to justify the behavior of your ex. He/she may be a person who has a pattern of causing pain or emotional abuse towards you, and apologize later. If you broke up because they crossed a line, remember it, always. If you continue to be in touch, you shall remain vulnerable. To regain your strength and bounce back to positivity, you need to take charge of your life.

Dependency is dangerous. And to be in touch with your ex is to remain dependent. There is a reason why you broke up.

While temptation may be strong, but to stay connected with your ex can be detrimental.

Why you may want to be in touch?

  1. Over confidence: You feel the breakup was healthy; no bad blood between the two of you and you can handle it ‘being friends’.
  2. Unable to let go: The emotional dependence on your ex is too high. It is like an addiction, a bad habit.
  3. The good fault: You care too much, you feel your ex needs you; you might go in the guilt mode. You want to remain connected to be able to help him/-her cope up.

Yes, it is nice to take responsibility for the other. A relationship is a partnership and stakes are high on both sides. You may feel stronger and want to help your ex in moving on. But be careful; don’t put yourself on the secondary. Even if you think you can remain friends, give it time. Show your ex a bright open exit and make them leave, don’t cling on. Once you have healed, that is the time to decide if you can remain friends, not when you are in tears.