Ask a Dude: Should I Wait Around for My Ex?

Hey Dude,

I just broke up with my boyfriend of more than 6 months (who keeps count these days anyway?), and it’s been a rough time. Mostly, I think, neither one of us wanted to break up but we had been growing apart for sometime. New changes in his life prompted him to cut the cord, and we went our separate ways…kind of. In reality, as soon as things were officially over (I’m talking next day here), he and I went back to normal. We started texting nonstop again, calling a few times a day just “because this song reminded me of you,” or because “you’re going to die of laughter when you hear about my dinner mishap.”

Aside from the fact that we were no longer together absolutely NOTHING had changed… It’s as though all of the pressure of a formal relationship was suddenly off and we were that fun and exciting couple again…minus the couple.

I think you should know that we haven’t had to face the issue of hooking up yet because he lives in a land far far away (but really only like an hour and some change) so I don’t know how that little taboo will work out when we next see each other.

Now, I never wanted us to break up, I just wanted us to take some time to cool off and reconnect. So, as you can imagine after how well things have been going, I want us to be together again. Is this silly, is it time to start getting over him or should I continue to cling to the hope that it’s all going to work out?

-Ex-girlfriend

Dear ex-girlfriend,

You ripped off the labels, removed the expectations, and what do you know? All’s well that ends well. I wonder though…has anything actually ended?

There’s nothing wrong that you’ve got hope it’ll work out. Hope’s a marvelous thing. It can’t keep you warm but it can take the edge off of the cold. Hope can be a crutch, tease, or delusion but what it needs to be is a lifeboat. We have to find a way to keep afloat. Having hope makes us human. Just be careful that your hope isn’t only an air-filled balloon.

From the sounds of it, you’re enjoying the freedom of not having to be perfect all the time. 6 months is usually around the end of the honeymoon period. And then the relationship kicks into gear. OH NO! A RELATIONSHIP!  Get the escape hatches ready!

You’re probably right. NOTHING’S CHANGED. There was a reason to break up. Hence, you broke up. Those reasons don’t magically disappear when you get out of the his/hers mentality. You grew apart? Meaning? Did it come down to fundamentally different wants and needs? Because if it was, there’s little reconciling that the next morning.

In answering a question of this sort, the grand thing is to reason it backward. You used a heck of a word in your question: Normal. You said that after you broke up things went back to normal. If I were to Sherlock your letter, I might deduce an idea that being in a relationship makes you feel abnormal. Meaning that in your relationship you didn’t feel like yourself. For sake of argument (and because letters are a “speak the speech” one-at-a-time form of communication) let’s say I’m mostly right. Why don’t you think you could feel like yourself in a relationship with him but you can when you remove the title? Elementary, dear girl!

People crumble under the pressure of being in a relationship because they don’t like what they think a relationship means. Consequences. Obligations. Expectations. Inconvenience. Putting someone else’s needs before your own. Being hurt. Losing someone you care about. Fading passion. Boredom. Being trapped. Well, Hell, when you put that much weight on the bond of two individual entities, how could it not crack in half? If being together becomes more about what  you’re “supposed” to do and not about what you “want” to do, then there’s no way you’ll stay together happily.

Your medicine: Some self-analysis. Why did you break up? What is your definition of a relationship? Would anything have changed if you got back together with him tomorrow? If the answers of the first and second questions lead to the answer of the third being NO, then it’s time to hope for something else…a rebound.

It’s easier to know it, than to know why you know it.

Dude Holmes

[Isn’t he wise? Don’t you wish you could get more? You can! Check out The Dude’s other insights into the male mind right here.]

In Our Makeup Bag: WEN by Chaz Dean
In Our Makeup Bag: WEN by Chaz Dean
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