A case of the ex (this is not a book review)

I used to read a lot but these days, I’ve lost time (and perhaps a bit of interest) to do so. I’ve finished 1/10 so I’ve got seven months to finish nine more. I didn’t want anything too intense for my first book so I chose Jane Moore’s The Second Wives Club. It wasn’t life-changing – quite predictable and oftentimes unrealistic. It had, however, a universal theme that everyone else can possibly relate to – the impacts of an ex.

Admit it – unless your partner was a member of the NB/GSB (No Boyfriend/Girlfriend Since Birth) Club – you’ve done your research about your partners’ exes. You’ve searched for them on social networking sites, stalked their current photos and checked whether your partner’s had any recent convos with them. Don’t worry – this isn’t psycho-boyfriend/girlfriend behaviour (unless you do this every single day). Anyone who’s never thought about his partner’s ex may either be too full of himself or is the world’s epitome of perfect.

I mean, I’ve been stalked by my partner’s exes. And my exes’ partners. Luckily I have techie friends who confirm this, and ways around IP and VPN-ed locations.

I think it’s not so much insecurity that drives you to do this, but more of curiosity. Curious whether you have any similarities (confirming your partner has a type?), curious whether they’ve moved on as well (and give you peace of mind that they won’t cause any disruption to your relationship) and perhaps – and I guess this is the important bit – curious as to how/why your partner fell in love with the person. You prolly want to understand why your partner gave his/her heart out to this person before giving it all to you.

It’s okay to be curious because if curiosity killed the cat, it also saved the rabbit. However, when it comes to exes, there’s a couple of things we should remember. 

  • You should never compare yourself to the ex.
    ‘S/he’s better than I am in everything!!’ is such a downer. Not to anyone else but to yourself. You can’t blame exes for looking the way they do or for being Nobel Prize winners, nor can you blame your partner for liking them in the first place. If you keep on doing this, you’ll probably end up blaming yourself for feeling too inadequate. Which is a big lie. Because whatever happened in her/his past, your partner liked you for a reason, and s/he’s with you now.
  • They will always have a past.
    You can never change the fact that your partner loved someone before you and you trying to erase that period in your life is as impossible as slicing water. Unless you have a means of time-travelling or unless your partner loves you so much s/he’s willing to go through lobotomy you can’t change this.You’ve gotta accept that at some point ages before you happened, they did.  
  • Past is really (or actually, should be) past.
    So instead of bunking on the nitty gritty of yesteryear, focus on your where your relationship is going instead of silly what if’s and hypothetical situations. If you keep on asking your partner ‘What if s/he did this or what if you guys did that’ one of you will end up in the dog house because you’ll probably hear something you don’t want to hear. Even if you say you’re cool with it. Let it go like dust in the wind and cut ties.

It’s healthy to talk about previous relationships because that’s purely part of getting to know someone fully. By doing so you get to understand how your partner thinks and why s/he is what s/he is. Understanding the past is all part of building a good foundation in a relationship and building on the key element of trust. After all, no matter how we say we’ve moved on from the past relationships and even if we’ve picked up the pieces of our broken hearts altogether, we’ve all got scars.

But they do heal 😉

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