It is more than rare to bag yourself a beau with no baggage. Seriously, everyone has an ex. If not an official ex-boyfriend or girlfriend, then someone they used to hook up with, send dirty snapchats to or chase naked around their parent’s garden aged six.
It is vital not to get too caught up in his or her exes. Whilst spending an evening 168 weeks deep into their Instagram might be normal, persistently mentioning them and wasting your time worrying about them is not. Period. Take it from someone who knows. I am worryingly jealous as a girlfriend. Seriously, if my man so much as looks in the direction of the female cashier when he’s paying for his petrol, he runs considerable risk of ending up under the wheel, as opposed to behind it.
As a result of my borderline psychological issues, I am always obsessed with the ex. Dating someone new becomes a tormented game of comparison, with hours spent pouring over old pictures of the once happy couple and weighing out our opposing assets. Whilst it’s pretty normal to ponder over questions such as; ‘will I make him as happy as she did?’, ‘should I cook for him like she once did’ and ‘am I better at blowing him that she is?’, comparing yourself, in any situation, is unhealthy. As I have harped on about a multitude of times, there will only ever be one of you, and you should milk that for all it’s worth. Think about it – if your significant other didn’t think you were worth being with, if s/he didn’t think you were smart, funny or pretty enough, then they wouldn’t want to be with you.
I don’t believe in ‘The One’. Sure enough, there are partners best suited to you at different points in your life, but it is rare for one person to be consistent throughout. And that is why relationships take work. And, why almost no one has one girlfriend or boyfriend for the entirety of their life.
Breaking up is a natural part of human life. We are not penguins, nothing in our anatomy or mental health promotes seeking only one partner for the duration of our existence. Monogamy isn’t natural. But I’m not making an excuse for cheating. Making a commitment to a partner and resisting attraction to other men and women is a basic relationship. Swearing yourself off anyone else who isn’t your SO is what makes you an official couple. And while being monogamous might not be natural, it sure is important for a healthy partnership. If you feel a passion, attraction or love for someone stronger than that you hold for your boyfriend or girlfriend, it is time to re-evaluate whether or not you should remain in your relationship.
There are hundreds of reasons that two people might chose to end their relationship. And as a result, we have exes. And an ex is just that – the result of a relationship that has come to an end, for a reason. Your current beau and his ex weren’t Romeo and Juliet. Nothing was keeping them apart, they just weren’t right for each other at the time. Take comfort in the fact that if your fella wasn’t ready to move on after his ex, the two of you simply wouldn’t exist. And despite wishing that you were the first or only woman he’d ever fallen for, you can’t change his past.
My boyfriend won’t forget his ex; and neither will I. I sleep in the bed that she once shared with him. Her furniture scatters his house and there are stacks of photo frames, pictures of the two of them, gathering dust in the corner of a room, waiting to be changed to newer, happier memories of the two of us. She moves in similar friendship circles, and both her ex and I are brutally aware that seeing her is something looming in the very near future. But I have made my peace, and really, no longer give a shit. It is in my best interest to forget she ever dated my chap. To me, now, she is an acquaintance – someone I know only through other friends and see but once in a while. I know right, I’m a proper grown up now.
In truth, I have no leg to stand on regarding prior relationships integrating with those currently had. Living in such a small town unfortunately means that regardless of which local haunt my boyfriend and I choose to spend our time, we always run into someone I’ve dated beforehand. Or shagged; there are a lot of those floating around Oxfordshire. Nonetheless, whilst it may bother him, my SO never lets my past burden the future we have together.
In all honesty, you should be grateful to your SO’s previous lover. They almost definitely contributed in moulding he or she into the person they are now – and the person you fell in love with.