The gift that keeps on giving

For many, the holidays are times to celebrate family, life, love, and personal goals. However, couplefightingwhen you’re single it can be a time of anxiety. It’s a reminder that you are single; either because you are around family or because your family reminds you of the fact. So, what do most people do? Try to fill that void by entertaining the idea of getting back with an ex.

Here are some things that you can remind yourself to prevent you from returning to a failed relationship:

What you do: Although it may be difficult, try not to reminisce about the relationship. When you do that you are only extracting the moments of the relationship you want to remember that were about companionship. You are recalling only the things that created an illusion of belongingness.

What you can do instead: Weigh out the reasons that you are no longer together, when you start to think that they should be back in your life.

What you do: Although the holidays might be emotional for you, remember that most of the world knows pain. Remind yourself of those that have endured different pain e.g. those that go without water or access to food.

What you can do instead: Perhaps volunteer at a local non-profit organization or attend a charity event.

What you do: Try to avoid stalking your ex on social networks. This only stagnates your growth because it occupies your brain with thoughts about your exes’ activities and whereabouts. Instead of mentally preparing yourself for a better relationship and a more realized version of yourself.

What you can do instead: Remind yourself that they are an ex for a reason.

51 thoughts on “The gift that keeps on giving

  1. Going back to an Ex is a bad idea…. it’s like reading a book all over again…..you already know how it ends. Instead a new relationship in the course of time, hope and optimism is the order of the day.

  2. Its difficult to not look up (see: stalk) an ex on social media because you’re often still really interested in what’s going on in their life. But doing that always makes you feel worse than if you didn’t know. Its true that the holidays is a time that can feel lonely, but thinking of the money you’re saving on more gifts is another good thing to keep in mind!

    1. Thanks for your insights and recommendation! LOL I didn’t even think about the money factor! Kelly, do you really think that knowing is better than not knowing? I find that whether they look or not, if they are interested in getting back with them the information is irrelevant. Then it becomes a cycle because you didn’t work out before for a reason.

  3. It wasn’t until I decorated my Christmas tree this year that I even thought about my ex! Who knew decorating a Christmas tree could be so emotional haha. At least I know I’ll save money this holiday season without having to shop for one more person — silver lining, right there!

    1. Isn’t it amazing what things will be triggers! But, we just have to remind ourselves that it’s the feeling of companionship that we are missing and not the relationship itself! Oh yeah and saving money helps! lol

  4. That saying, “It’s better to have loved and lost, then never to have loved at all” was probably said by someone who never really felt the pangs of loneliness. When you don’t know what you are missing you don’t feel it nearly as much.

    1. Thanks so much for your insightful comments! So true! Yet, I think that most of the times we create an illusion of feeling love all the time. We only realize that after the fact. It’s the artifact of companionship that remains as the painful of reminder.

  5. Good advice. An interesting perspective as I came out of a serious relationship recently. What I took, rather personal, was to look at those things which caused the relationship to fail.

    I try to shy away from blame and instead look to see what I can do to make myself a better person. Not to be the victim and not to become self delusional about the failure not being your own fault is powerful.

    If you can honestly examine yourself and find the less desirable qualities, take account of them and work to make yourself better (also focusing on your strengths) is a great avenue to growth.

    1. Thanks for your insightful comments. Absolutely! Forgiving yourself leads to better understanding of yourself and your reasons for being in the relationship, which ultimately gets you to a better version of yourself.

  6. Thanks for this post. I was divorced last year and I’ve had the holiday blues. My ex dropped off some personal items of sentimental value with my mom, and that kind of triggered some sad feelings.

    1. I am so sorry that it triggered sad emotions. I know how hard it is, but let’s look at the positive: the experience will bring you closer to finding your true love that will work with you to actualize all your dreams.

      Love your blog! Especially the women have game post! Have a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year!

      1. Thank you for the compliment on my little corner of the blogsphere! I was married for quite a while and I expect I still have some self work to do. Blogging is therapeutic. I like to write, and they say write about what you know. Well, I learned a thing or two about relationships from my divorce and it is my hope that I can poke a little fun at the dating game and the battle of the sexes without being bitter.

        1. You are so welcome, Greg! It is very insightful and helpful to people going through the difficulties of divorce or break-up and rebuilding. It’s a delicate balance when writing therapeutically and not conveying anger, resentment, or bitterness. Kudos to you!

          Life is complicated and can perplex us at times. I find that poking fun at myself, makes me cope with it better! Have a happy and healthy 2013, Greg!

  7. I don’t comment on my ex online nor search about her. I’m not sure what this has to do with self-deception, so I’m sorry da, but this post is mostly lost on me. As a side note, with two grown children who fairly active online, I try to consider them with anything I post anywhere.

  8. The post has to do with getting back with an ex because of the loneliness people feel during the holidays. You would be surprised how many people return to their exes to avoid the feelings of loneliness,only to (re)feel lonely.

    To comment on what you have written: many people do blog about their exes, stalk them on social networks, etc. It’s part of a letting go process some go through.

    1. Thanks for putting this blog in the context of getting back with exes in the holiday loneliness; I hadn’t looked at it in that light.

      As for blogging and such about an ex, I don’t think I’ve ever come across one. Personally I think that’s kind of sad. That kind of writing can be therapeutic I suppose, but done in private and not publicly. I remember a brief news article on TV a few years ago that mentioned divorce lawyers and such monitoring such activities and using their findings accordingly…divorce is tough enough as it is.

      1. I agree Lawrence divorce is tough and people deal with it in many different ways. Some in ways that back fire, while others in ways that can help them reduce the pain. Share with us some of your more effective methods of dealing with the challenges of divorce. πŸ™‚

    1. I know πŸ˜‰ but eventually that little game turns on us πŸ™ We will inevitably see something that will piss us off, remind us of the past or put you back in that dark place you don’t want to be in. It’s about your self preservation in the long run.

      But, the ease & appeal is very seductive! I know!

  9. There are additional wrinkles here for polyamorous people (who have multiple ongoing sexual relationships). Many times it’s not that people are permanently incompatible, it’s that they’re incompatible right *now*. It’s also often that they’re incompatible in ways that won’t change as long as they’re in the current relationship. In serial monogamy, there isn’t likely to be a second chance, because to add another relationship, the current one has to end. It’s often the perspective and pain of losing the relationship that will force one or both parties to take stock and see their own contributions to the problems. It’s also very common for one person to be stuck on an issue because they can only see their side. Empathy with the other party is difficult because they’re so invested in their current position. But when one is involved with multiple people, one often find oneself in the *opposite* position in the argument in a different relationship, and suddenly the exes position become clear. I find myself saying “now I understand” instead of “my ex was an asshole!” And sometimes that means I’m willing to work to change myself when I wasn’t willing to before. I’m going through a breakup right now with someone I’d really like to have in my life forever. After a year of trauma and trying to work things out, the pain of our interacting patterns was just too emotionally exhausting for me to continue. But now that we’re separated, and with the help of another girlfriend, I’m able to see my own contributions to the problem, and maybe make more progress on them than I could under constant pressure in the old relationship. My ex has the opportunity to do the same. I don’t know where we’ll end up. A lot of what you said in the original article applies. If neither person in the relationship has changed, getting back together would just be a repeat of the same problems. That’s very good advice! But what I’ve found in the long run is that if I’m picky about only getting involved with quality people in the first place, I’d rather keep building on those relationships than start out with someone new. I’ve come to believe that working with what you’ve got is more important than finding someone “perfect,” because no one is perfect, and even if you get through the honeymoon stage and they still seem perfect, they won’t be for long. Everybody changes, and the long-term survival of a relationship has a lot more to do with the partner’s willingness to do the hard work together and on themselves to make it happen than it does to how much mutual attraction or common interest the relationship starts with. Of course a big baseline compatibility is necessary and part of what makes it worthwhile, but it’s only a starting point. Twenty years down the road, neither me nor my partner will be the same people. Especially when we’re both involved with multiple other partners!

    So in terms of getting back with an ex, the situation is more complicated. It’s not “now or never” it’s “now or later or never.” My ex and I intend to remain at least friends, and I have a good track record of maintaining friendships with exes. Maybe we’ll find a way to make the romance work, or maybe we won’t. I’m only willing to try if I really see that both of us have made the changes necessary to fix our previous problems. I can only control my part of that, and just because I want to change doesn’t mean I’ll be able to fix everything. I have no control over her. Only time will tell what happens. But I *am* glad that I have the opportunity to continue having her in my life, in whatever capacity works for both of us. Not only would I enjoy it, but staying friends with exes goes a long way toward showing us how delusional we are when we’re first in love. Being around my exes after we’re not passionately distracted anymore helps me not only see them more clearly, but also myself and the type of lies I tend to tell myself when I’m love. I can take that information and use it to become a better partner in the future. And while Another Fucking Opportunity for Growth is often painful, I prefer the constant challenge and progress it brings to my life than being stuck. And being involved with a group of amazing and sexy people is also fantastic, *most* of the time. πŸ™‚

    1. Thanks so much, Scott, for your very insightful comments. You raise so many great points. Essentially, we should all view relationships from the standpoint of converging two lives, desires, goals, and issues! Ha! You can’t get away from the difficulties of resolving your own issues because it is drawn out within the relationships because of the person and vice versa. Had they not been present in your life, you wouldn’t realize those aspects of your life and do anything to resolve it. The ideal would be to work through it together, but that takes considerable commitment from both people.

      It is very useful to know your level of disillusionment, but self-deception is the key to understanding for future relationship success. Do read back to older posts and it may help you with the current ex. We are constantly evolving, but sometimes we remain the same. Just like any lifestyle or behavioral change we strive to achieve it takes time & committed effort for the desired outcome to be achieved. Treat it like you are working out πŸ™‚

      1. You’re most welcome :). Haha, you are so right! And/or just loneliness if the re-kindling isn’t an option. One more holiday and then we get a breather, YES πŸ˜‰

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