Thursday, April 21, 2011

The Power of an Ex

I walked into a party, actually it was more of a get-together among old friends. It was one of those few times my friends made conscious effort to hangout and catch up on old times. It was very necessary for bonding and to share experiences. I saw her there, she was beautiful as usual, except she had increase a little in dress size. I attributed that to a sign of good living. She was my ex, a title received after few months of unforgettable moments ended by... Honestly, I couldn't remember what ended the relationship but I knew we were not on good terms for a while. I actually hadn't spoken to her since she decided not to return my calls. The social context of the party made it easier to approach her, besides, we were among friends that knew we were an item. She began the conversation with a smile and a gesture to introduce me to her boyfriend, a guy I didn't know. As usual my first thought was, "This guy? What the hell did you see in him then, what the hell didn't you see wrong with him?" I introduced myself and I could see a little spark in his eyes, like 'finally, I've met him'. He kept the conversation short but his stares were longer. I wasn't going to act ignorant of the reason behind his reaction, I was majoring in Psychology then. We both understood the unspoken power of an ex. I was the the Ex, an ex-ample of the person she had dated. The person he had heard so much about and hoped [silently] never meet. For some reasons I couldn't explain my interest in her resurfaced that day. Before everyone called it a night, I made sure I got her number and after two phone calls the following day she was at my place and... I didn't feel bad for making her cheat, technically it wasn't cheating because we didn't do things we hadn't done before [I know, I'm rationalising]. I remembered what I also experienced in the hands of the exes of my then current girlfriend. She would sleep over at his place and say, "Nothing happened". Yorubas would reply by saying, "Is there tribal marks on my face?" She actually expected me to believe she had a non-sexual sleep over alone with the guy that disvirgined her. *next paragraph

The fact was almost everyone had an ex [so we have to deal with it...alone], someone who was there before you, someone who if everything had worked out between them you wouldn't have been in the relationship you were in. So also the feelings you had, either love or strong like, would never had existed. The painful part was the strong feelings your partner had was once for that ex. If your partner wasn't a virgin, that makes it worse. Your mind fills in the blank and might distort reality in the process. You think about how they held each other, kiss, made love...something that should have been exclusive to you but too bad, someone beat you to it. With those thoughts jealousy and envy arise. To make it worse, take the situation where the ex was a wonderful person and had a pleasant personality [like me]. It only takes times before you begin to compare your partner's ex with yourself. Prepare for the worse if based on your standards they were 'more' than you. I remember telling one of my gf, "You must be out of your mind for dumping that guy". The guy was like a rock star version of Denzel. Then again, I say anything disregarding the consequences. A girl once told me it didn't matter if the boyfriend's ex was beautiful or not because she was always uncomfortable. If she was beautiful that obviously was a problem, if she was ugly she ended up thinking she was also ugly and probably the boyfriend liked ugly girls. People say things like referring to exes as used toys to make themselves feel better, maybe they were toys, but what they played with was your heart.

In the song 'Back for Good' by the English boy band Take That, there was an interesting line "In the twist of separation you excelled in being free, can you find a little room inside for me". The idea is simple, not everyone recovers early [or at all] when a relationship ends. In this situation, the ex could be a nuisance in your relationship as they always scheme for a comeback, and this is when you should be very worried. The ex refuses to leave your partner and when you attempt to take control of the situation, the ex makes you know "I was there before you and if I wanted to I could have him/her back". An ex could even take credit for the current status of your partner, "Where were you when we worked hard together for this same thing you enjoy?" Being the other girl/guy in a relationship is never good and we end up fighting for the number one position. Females are very competitive when it comes to this, the priority no longer becomes the guy. It turns to "If I can't have this guy then you won't".

Our partner no doubt contribute to the fear we have of their ex. When you wonder, "How come I know so much about his/her ex?" Answer, you bf/gf obviously had countless conversations about her/him with you. You would know so much to the extent that you would be able to talk about the ex to another person and they would think you knew 'em personally. This was a sign the person hasn't gotten over the ex so they keep making references to 'em because people do not keep talking about issues that are not important to them. You might be watching TV and the next thing your bf/gf say is, "I remember when [ex name]..." In situations like that kindly say, "I'm not interested." That would also make it clear that you were not interested in their past with your ex, you do not see how it defines them and your bf/gf is better off with you.

No matter what, the power of an ex would always remain. It's like a proverb, a man that found a river flowing in a thick forest would always know how to get there. All you have to do is hope your partner sees you as an improved version of the ex, let them perceive their ex as an old school black and white tube TV while you were the flat screen, HD...3D.


  1. i dnt think an ex has all this power you are attributing to him or her. There's a reason he or she is your ex cos if he/she was oh-so-perfect, you both should still be together by now lol. Exes are what they are.. EXES!! the past!! old toys lol. I wont feel insecure if i have a boyfriend and i get to meet his ex. His ex should be the one feeling inseccure like ooh.. so this is who he left me for, or what does she have that i dont. cos when u leave someone, u move on/upgrade to someone better lol

  2. If you have ever loved someone and the person put an end to the relationship you would realise the power of an ex.
    If you are in an unsatisfying relationship you would also realise the power of am ex.
    Growing up, you could end a relationship because ur bf/gf did not call u frequently. As u grow older and relationships become complex u realise 'dat guy/girl wasn't dat bad' compared to ur current one dat cheats.