For all of us that have found our loves later in life (as in late 20’s and upward), we all have had to accept that our partners and ourselves have a past filled with Ex’s. Whether it’s an Ex that we almost married, an Ex that was more of a fling, a list of Ex’s so long that it’s similar to a phone book, an Ex that caused more emotional damage than walking in on your parents doing it, or an Ex that parted ways because your relationship ran its course, our lives have been filled with experiences and people that have got us to where we are today and ready for the person we’ve ended up with.
With this in mind, our next step is to determine our comfort level with our partners current relationships with their former flames. I mean it would be a lot easier if everyone was that girl in the Gotye song and cut their Ex off completely. I am exceptionally good at this, and believe that in many cases this is exactly what you should do – delete number, delete facebook, and may as well go eternal sunshine on yourself and delete memories. However, for some reason or another Ex’s often come in and out of our own and our partners lives – whether we like it or not. In some instances, the former couple decided to remain friends (yikes), or the Ex is in the same group of friends, or their Ex happens to work with them, and unfortunately, all of these factors are out of our control. Ugh. What’s that all about? Things are always worse when you can’t control them. However, here is a list of things that I think could help with the Ex-Factor scenario:
- Set limits, boundaries, and make known what both sides are comfortable with. I mean let’s face it, as much as you may want to (really, really want to), you can’t tell your partner that they can’t be friends with someone because…that’s just controlling. However, what you can do is express what you are and are not comfortable with, ex: you’re not OK with them having topless drinks with their Ex (or anyone for that matter) or you’re not comfortable with them accidentally having sexytime with their Ex while pocket dialing you. You know, common sense things.
- Control your imagination. Picturing them having that ‘ah ha’ moment with the Ex and them falling madly in love again, leading your partner to completely forget about you is a totally unhealthy way to spend your day. Instead, focus your daydreams on more productive, realistic things like what you’re going to do with all that Lotto Max money when you win this Friday.
- Learn to trust. This, I’m sure is the most surprising of all. Trust in a relationship – who would have thought? I guess it’s a simple concept because technically LOVE should equal TRUST. So, when they tell you that you’re the one they want, and that they completely love you, perhaps, just a thought, you should believe it and trust that they mean it.
OK. I realize that all of the above is hard to digest and that it’s much easier to go into a jealous rampage and sabotage everything you’ve built together. However, there comes a point in a relationship when you have to believe that what they are saying is true, otherwise how could it ever work out? Plus, the odds of them sustaining that ‘friendship’ with their Ex forever is highly unlikely, so as long as you’re the one who’s in it for the long-haul everything should be A-OK!