Why do we look up our exes at all?
Have you ever wondered why an ex is called an ex? I mean, at first I thought it would be short form to something longer like ex-tinct love or lover or ex-terminator like one who got rid of himself or herself as a pest from your life. Or even ex-travagant. One who spent so much of your time or money. But it’s not a short form for anything. It’s just an incomplete word, exactly like the incomplete relationship you had with that person. It just is. Or was. EX.
Yet we find ourselves looking over our shoulder every now and then.
Haven’t you heard of the saying that the past acquires a sepia tint because the present is a shitty brown and the future looks bleak and gray? Of course you haven’t, because I just wrote it. But you get the drift, right? The only reason we look at our past fondly or longingly is because we are unhappy with our present lives.
The only reason we look at our past fondly or longingly is because we are unhappy with our present lives.
I was just being curious…
Or maybe it’s just plain curiosity to know how your ex is doing in a life that does not have you in it. Ouch! That hurts. And sometimes, even if it is harmless daydreaming, you might have found yourself wondering what if the relationship with your ex had culminated in something serious? Would it have been more blissful than your current state of affairs?
Sorry to break the bubble, but no. Your life with your ex would have been as miserable as it is now.
So why not free your mind of that clutter, and make space for something more exciting like yourself?
Of course, it’s easier said than done. While earlier out of sight, out of mind could well have worked in getting over a relationship, social media makes it impossible for your ex to be out of sight unless he/she is a social pariah. We are all legal stalkers now.
Related reading: 5 ways to stop stalking your ex on social media
Social media makes it impossible to forget
Love is an addiction. I think breakup is worse. You don’t get your daily fix and your dealer has left you in a lurch with nowhere to go. And as soon as your symptoms seem to subside, a picture of your ex pops up with their current partner, or even single, enjoying themselves on a solo trip and there goes all your resolve. If only that post had a revenge button…
Or another group on social media. Exaholics Anonymous anyone?
Looking up past loves is really like managing a spilt drink. You can only wipe it up. Not ‘unspill’ it. And in case you do manage to drink it whole, then dreaming about your ex and waking up without them is like a very bad hangover. One that gets worse every day.
Truth is, relationships in our lives are really there as a mirror. Partners, spouses, exes are all soul mates even if they were there for a one-night stand. But the word soulmate doesn’t mean anything if you refuse to look at how a relationship has changed you. If a relationship makes you better every day, then that is the person to hold on to, but if it makes you loathe yourself or think less of yourself with each passing day, then it’s time to quit. So where does the ex fit in here? Only in your head. Occupying space in your mind without paying the rent or the love you deserve.
Occupying space in your mind without paying the rent or the love you deserve.
Not everything is as it seems, so just move on, already!
Think of an ex like an open door in your life. A chance to do better. A chance to be one up. Not from your ex but from yourself.
So what if your last relationship was trash? If it was trash you need to throw it out immediately. And if there was something to it…like maybe you parted on amicable terms and still ‘Like’ each other’s posts on social media, then as long as you have genuinely let go, go ahead, ‘Like’ another post. But if you haven’t, then all your future relationships will be stained with the colour that the ex washed you over with.
There is no harm in stalking your ex on social media once in a while, because it’s like an open window in a passing house that you can peek through. You may see a warm, cosy setting with a family of a loving spouse, obedient kids and a playful dog and your heart may just want to wrench itself out of your chest. But rest assured that if you were to enter that door, you may see coffee stains on that expensive tablecloth, a cracked photo frame and a smell that could only have been coming from that neglected dog that hasn’t been given a bath in months.
So take a deep breath and when you release that breath, make sure you release ghosts of past lovers. Or else, they will haunt your future forever.