There is a saying that goes a little something like this: “People are exes for a reason.” This chestnut was a rule for a long time in my life until I found myself in a relationship with my current boyfriend who is my ex not once, but twice over. I’m sure there will be people who read this and will never understand. However, in this relationship, I have had some of the best learning experiences.
How we met
We met in college, at a time when most people are trying to find themselves so I guess I can’t even really count it as a break up when we decided to part ways. Our defining moment(s) came when I gave birth to another man’s children and he married another woman who he promptly divorced. However, despite all of life’s little detours, we still managed to find each other (again) and come April of 2010, we will have been together for 3 years.
One of the biggest things I learned as I re-embarked is that you can’t keep time traveling to the past. I played the “what if” game so many times it gave me headaches. I had ring envy, wondering why I was never given the title of “Mrs.” I even asked if he thought about me at all while he was married-now I realize just how ridiculous that question was. At the end of the day, I was so busy living in the past, I couldn’t focus on the present and how great it truly was.
The cardinal rule of dating your ex is that the past is just that – the past. There was a point when I had to turn around and realize that he’s with me and not with her. Never once has he looked back and wanted to be with his ex or even mentioned her. As a matter of fact, I think that I mentioned her more in the relationship then he did.
Understanding is the second word that pops into my head when I think about dating my ex. As women, we get so absorbed in our own melodrama, sometimes you are hesitant to admit that other people can hurt too. For the longest time, I griped about how his marriage hurt me and the effects it had on me. It wasn’t until he opened up and started telling me about his disappointment in his actions that I started to have sympathy and more importantly understanding.
The path I’ve taken hasn’t been easy and it isn’t for everyone. Dating your ex means starting fresh and taking the time to rediscover one another. Not living in the past is the one glaring piece of advice I give anyone who decides to revisit the past and date their ex. Communication helps a great deal too to smooth over the rough spots (and there will be some). In the long run, it can be worth it. It has been for me.