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When You’re Obessed With Someone’s Ex

March 8, 2012

I dated this guy once who had the uncanny ability to talk trash about his exes while simultaneously putting them on some sort of pedestal. I should specify, he didn’t talk trash so much as he talked about what was wrong in the relationship, i.e. this one had a bad temper, that one was too emotional, that one was crazy, that one was too controlling, but he also went on about how amazing they all were, and how much they had been in love. He had a tendency to romanticize past relationships.

At first, it didn’t bother me, you could even say, I was curious. Well, who isn’t, right? Mostly, it was good in the “we were sharing our lives with each other” kind of way, or so I thought at the beginning. Eventually it became a real drain on my self-esteem. I felt like the only way I could be on one of those pedestals is if I weren’t in his life anymore. Some people prefer the ones that got away to they ones they have.

At my worst, I compared myself to these exes and always fell short. I became obsessed and looked for what I was lacking that these other girls had while simultaneously trying to repress the things in me that he didn’t like in those other girls (my temper, my emotions, etc). It took a while, but I realized that the way this guy romanticized his exes was less about me and more about him. The only thing I could control was my reaction to it. Did I want to be this person who wasn’t getting what she needed from the relationship and would  settle for whatever she could get? No. Did I want to be this person who was so jealous it was eating her up inside? No. Did I want to be anyone else but who I was? No.

How fucking liberating to be free of that! I have no idea where this guy is anymore, or if he’s dating anyone. I hope he’s happy, and I’m not jealous anymore. Actually, this might sound mean, but if he is seeing someone or married or whatever, I’m kind of glad someone else had to deal with all the girls that came before. Hopefully, she’s a stronger woman than me.

I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s ever become obsessed with someone’s ex. Actually, I know for a fact I’m not. It’s pretty common, especially in the age of social networking and blogging where everything you’ve ever wanted to know about a person is at your fingertips. Seriously, how many of you have looked up someone’s ex on Facebook? Come on now, don’t be shy. Raise your hands. How annoying is it when their profile is set-up with maximum privacy and all you can see is their profile picture?

I don’t like censoring people. I don’t think you can be friends with someone if you have to censor what you say or what they say all the time. Relationships just don’t work like that, but you also have to consider the other person’s feelings. It all comes down to respect is what I’m saying here, but what does that mean exactly?

I’ve been struggling with the idea of respect, as well as self-respect. I’m not sure how to define them; what they means in a practical way. I mean, how do you apply it in your day-to-day life, and in your relationships? Before being able to do that, you have to be able to define it for yourself first, right? I might need some help here, define away guys! What’s your idea of respect and self-respect? Or tell me about that time you were obsessed with someone’s ex. I want to hear it all!

3 Comments leave one →
  1. March 8, 2012 4:28 pm

    Sounds like you made the right move, dumping Mr. Obsessed With Exes.

    I agree with you about not censoring yourself while in a relationship, but there’s always that fine line of things you should share with your partner and things you should keep to yourself, better left unsaid type of stuff. Walking that line can be tricky!

  2. March 8, 2012 6:29 pm

    So do you ever wonder if this dude talks about you the way he does his other exes and what he says?

  3. March 8, 2012 6:43 pm

    @Adamsdaughter: It is a tricky line. Talking about exes in a sentimental (wishful) way is usually to be avoided though when you’re dating someone, I think.

    @Bill: I do and I have. Actually, I’ve heard some of the things he’s said about me, after the fact, from other people (the good stuff anyway, I don’t know what bad things he says) and like I said in the post, I hope his current gf (if he has one) has self-esteem made of iron, or that he’s let go of the past and enjoys what he has now.

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