A few weeks ago, a friend called me in tears. The guy she was seeing for the last four months had left her for his ex. She was devastated and hated herself. All the little signs had been there:
- He was still friends with her on Facebook.
- They constantly contacted each other via Skype.
- He hid pics of them in his bed drawer.
- He spoke of her in the present tense
- He acted weird if they bumped into her.
- He refused to remove pics of them together on Facebook, or refused to be tagged in pics with my friend or change their relationship status.
The pain of seeing the one you’ve come to love and trust with someone from his past is much more hurtful than seeing him with a stranger. You feel utterly betrayed, for in all the time you were dating, his mind and heart were still attached to her. No matter how much time or effort you invested into the relationship, it was all in vain.
The problem is, most girls assume the guy they are with is in love or thinking about his ex constantly, even when he may not be. She may assume he’s comparing the kissing or sex. But male friends admit, they are rather comparing the memories and feelings they encountered than the physical.
Girls assume wrongly, because guys are not as expressive in their feelings and girls are afraid are coming across as clingy. Therefore, they begin a psychological dialogue with themselves of what means what through the little things he says or does.
Guys are expressive in subtle ways, such as he’ll call you her name by accident. He will speak of things they used to do or ask you about your past unexpectedly to ease his mind.
Some girls think by acting more sexy or constantly pleasuring him, he will forget his exes. BIG MISTAKE. A guy is a visual being and this includes his memory.
He may not admit it, but he may see her in everything. He may even use you subconsciously to forget her.
So, how do you cope with the past creeping up on the present?
The truth is, it’s utterly out of your control. You can’t change him or adjust his memories. What you can do is not let it affect you. Say confident. Stay supportive. And, communicate. The honest guy will eventually tell you where you and she stand. But, keep realistic. If he’s attached when you met, for example, are you just the other woman? And, what makes you so sure there won’t be “another woman” in the future?
Ironically, a guy’s exes contributed to who he is today. His vulnerability comes from being hurt. His vanity comes from being praised. His dress sense comes from years of influence.
For most girls, it is too much to be with someone in love with his past and they eventually walk away. But, most will wait until it’s spelt out to them: IT WAS OVER BEFORE IT BEGAN.
Research shows it takes twice as much time to get over someone as the time the couple went out. So, if they went out three years, expect a six-year recovery period. That, or be utterly sure of how it ended and whether it was a clean cut or not. Or, make the best of the time you have together. Don’t nag him, but ask him to be honest. If he can’t, it’s best to walk away with your dignity intact.
Don’t think it depends on who dumped whom. If they get back together, it probably came from a mutual decision of best partner at a different time.
And, as hard as it is to admit, seeing him happy with her will allow you to move on and find someone who appreciates you for who you really are and what you have to offer, thanks to your own past and exes.