Something I’ve learned by looking at previous boyfriends from then to now–there’s no better version of him, FOR ME, that has risen out of our ashes after we broke up or cut ties. I’m here to tell you in all cases of my exes 20, 10, 30 or 5 years later leaving them has been the best decision I’ve ever made.
So listen… Recall what I said in Life, Live, Love Lesson #1 about taking ownership. Fifty years of life and taking ownership has finally become very easy for me to do these days.
My exes had me. And I had them. And we chose each other for however long we were involved. A guy who chose to be with the person, I’ve done a lot of work not to be anymore would’ve had commitment issues, stemming from a mother who he couldn’t count on for safe emotional support. And vice versa, he would’ve had to have been akin to my barely-there father who I couldn’t count on to adore me, respect me and show me I deserved devotion and love.
So here’s the clincher. Most of my exes are still that guy, who’s never done his work to stop needing to choose women like the woman I used to be.
I remember years ago when I entered a new unit (military). There were these two guys who were in that unit but leaving within that first week of my arrival. Both of them liked me right away. One was tall, handsome, wore glasses and he had this sexy little dimple in his chin. Like, sexy Clark Kent. He was only days away from leaving our unit to go be an MP. He asked me out on a date, bought me flowers, treated me so sweet and admiring, you know. He really liked me, and I couldn’t even kiss him. But the other guy, who was his friend, had a girlfriend but kept flirting with me. He was good-looking too, the same height as the good guy, somewhere above 6’4″, and always showing me that I had to chase him if I wanted any of his affection. He was never going to buy me flowers. He was never catchable, and deep down I knew it but he was my comfortable uncomfortable so I kept wanting him. Oh to win the love of my father…
Guess which one was similar to my daddy issues. Guess which one I let go of. 😔
I’m not demonizing my exes at all. But it wasn’t only until I started writing romance did I learn I had SO MUCH to learn about true love and real partnership. I do believe my earlier books reflect that–LOVE in the USA and Parched.
Funny… I never was supposed to continue on either series after the first books. Readers were throwing mud at me for not having a real HEA or relationships that were made intimate beyond any interaction other than sex. I had no idea what they were talking about. I even defended my position, often feeling bitter toward the average romance reader. However, I had done a lot of evolving since then–A LOT. I had always opened my mind and heart to learn something new about myself so that I can become happier. So I asked God if I was missing something, then let me know because right now I don’t see it, even if I felt it. Then, into my life walked my last boyfriend. He was the most intense relationship I’ve ever had. And our unique issues stemming back to what I said earlier his mommy issues my daddy issues made us stay together. What brought us together wasn’t physical attraction though. I was interested in his friend physically, who was more my type. The night we met I only came out because my cousin wanted to go hang at this place and meet someone so badly. Then we got there. The food was terrible. The guys weren’t my brand, at least that’s how I was behaving. And there was cigarette smoking everywhere, and I hate cigarette smoke. I wanted to go back to the resort and finish writing my book. But then, my ex, who wasn’t my ex then, nearly broke his neck, looking at my cousin. And she wanted to meet someone so bad that I decided to stay after pointing him out to her. He saw us. We moved to a booth, and then he and his friend came over to join us. How shocked I was when he shook my hand and sat beside me! He so cock-blocked his friend! LOL! But five years later, I’m glad he had. His friend and I would’ve been over in probably a week. But my ex, he and I connected on a deeper level the night we met. I’m a deep thinker and so is he, and that was evident that night. On Christmas night we had a first real date and it was just as deep. Funny, because I met someone else earlier that day, Christmas day, who was physically more my type, at least back then–you know that devil may care bad boy with shaggy hair and a killer smirk. LOL! But on our first date night, my ex and I had sex after he said he wasn’t interested in having a girlfriend. My response was OK, let’s do it because I wasn’t thinking of you as a boyfriend either. But indeed from that first night, we were together for three years as a couple and we’re still friends. But we liked each other enough to make those three years work as much as we could.
One thing women know, those who have dated through their twenties and are over thirty and still dating, is that after 35 sex is very low on man’s list of reasons why he’s chosen to be with a woman long-term. That’s why I scoff at all these male heroes who are in romance novels screwing twenty-one-year-old women with nothing to offer but youth and a virginal vagina and a belief that both are her superpowers. I love how they all just take a slap at having real ambition. Oh, I graduated college with hopes of being an accountant but I don’t anymore because my special vag and youth landed me Mark Zuckerberg if he looked like a younger version of Brad Pitt. Um, sorry, the guy, who’s solely attracted to that chick has issues that he should take up with a therapist. So basically, my vagina had no more power than any other vagina. A 20-year-old vagina looks the same as a 40-year-old vagina–especially if you wax it. Anyway, the point is that for the first time my looks and sex appeal had no bearings on our relationship. He was challenged in that department. I simply liked him because of his ability to go deep. That turns me on! He’s attractive though. Even my mom said he was cute! Women break their necks looking at him. He just has that thing. But physically, he’s not my type. I’m not one of those many women, who break their neck looking at him, even today–even though I do find him attractive. And it probably is because I was more attracted to him in other ways. I don’t know… (Shrug)
But remember what I said earlier? The sort of men I choose? He had/has his mommy issues, and his are quite severe. I won’t write what they are but dayum… I will run far, far, FAR away from those issues if I catch wind of them in any future lover. I saw them early on but I stayed because they were as I said, my comfortable uncomfortable.
And he has proven that there is no better version of him in relation to his mommy issues who has risen out of the ashes of why I had to break up with him. The parts of him I liked are why we’re still friends. The part of him his mommy issues made him will take the strength of Hercules to conquer. It took and is taking the strength of Hercules to conquer my daddy issues. Remember that stuff is set in the brain. It’s part of my muscle memory, my self-esteem. I will forever use my tools to conquer that part of me, but every day, the old me is fading and giving way to a healthier, newly grown-up me.
Listen, one of my exes, he prefers living in isolation with cats these days. Another is so bitter, OMG, and so stuck and afraid of life. One of them is still chasing tail–gets the tail–uses the tail–loses interest in the tail–and the tail is hurt because she didn’t know that he’s not the kind of guy who’s going to make a commitment. Sigh…
So you see, I didn’t want to write this post about this particular lesson by eluding to the claim that I believe that my exes were losers because they aren’t losers. They’re great guys, who just happen to be just as human as I am. But indeed, there is rarely a better version of an ex, unless by some rare possibility they’d done a lot of work on themselves, and that is rare. And my claim that it is rare for an individual to seek help to get all of their pathologies resolved is something you can take to the bank and cash. And that is why there is rarely a better version of an ex-lover rising out of the ashes of that former relationship that went South.
On another note that guy I shunned to choose my ex, I thought about calling him many times after I broke up with my ex, you know the guy with the shaggy hair and dangerous smirk, but my picker was so off back then–and it’s so ON now. I’m pretty sure… Yeah… I should leave him in the past.
So in conclusion: My 50 Years Old: Live, Life, Love Lesson #2 is — Your ex? Do not fret, there’s no other woman living the life with him you thought you so desperately wanted to have with him. What you had was all either of you had to give, and in the end, it concluded just as it should’ve. My therapist and I talked about another ex-boyfriend I tried to go dig out of the ashes. Talk about former glory… Sigh… I mean, this guy had two cellphones. Kept calling me baby after I said, please stop referring to me as, baby. OMG, it was awful. He was immature, still. Stuck. Bitter. And seemed to hate women, at least those who are ambitious. Listen, even if your love life is in the tank, don’t give those guys from the past a second thought–look forward to who you’ll meet in the future, and prepare yourself to find something new, something healthier. Do your work in order to make that possible. Do your work and it will be possible.