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Stay Talking About My Ex

November 20th, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

Since I started this blog, I have written over 77 posts. Almost all of them have to do with me and women — what I think of them, what they think of me, what I’ve done with them, what they’ve done to me. Out of those 77 posts, one was entirely about my ex-girlfriend (in case you missed it, here: The One Who Got Away) but occasionally, she’s played a minor role in other posts.

No one is more conscious of when I mention of my ex and how often, more than me, and not just because I’m the author of each post, and thus each reference to her is my doing and my doing alone. I bring this up because I am well aware of the fact that though my ex and I broke up close to two years ago, I have not stopped talking about her since. As a matter of fact, if I were to combine the time I spent talking about her when she was my girlfriend with the amount of time she became my ex, I think it would add up to somewhere in the neighborhood of three-and-a-half years of talking about a woman.

Damn that’s a long time to talk about a person I don’t even talk to anymore. And here I go, as the title implies, talking about her. Again.

Like most people who get out of a bad break up and know it’s time to move on, I did so posthaste. As a result, all the women who came into my life in the immediate aftermath of my relationship’s end would eventually ask me if I was over my ex, and of course I would scoff at the suggestion that I wasn’t. But after months in denial, I finally had enough courage to at least be real with myself. I wasn’t over my ex for longer than I care to admit, but the mythical man code says, “Never let them see you sweat especially when “them” is women.” So I followed the code, and when asked, still never admitted I was struggling with moving on, even if they gave me the side eye when I told them different.

But my hats off to the women who saw right through me. They were observant like a mug of my mug, which told the truth my lips weren’t willing to tell. I was still all hurt inside and stuff. One girl I was dating named it the number one reason we weren’t going to be moving into anything serious anytime soon.

Fair enough.

But when I bring up my ex to women in my life these days and am asked if I am over her, (the question always carries a slight implication I am not), I shut down the notion immediately. Yet the question remains: If I am over her like I say I am, why do I still bring her up from time to time?

Fair enough.

When I used to bring up my ex, my voice told on me; it’d get heavy, deep, and drip with drama. More often than not, one casual mention of my ex would spool into a story about her, which would then weave itself into some larger narrative on our relationship and break-up. It was sad, really.

Now when I bring up my ex, or when I make mention of her in a post, the tone is a lot different, even if the frequency with which I bring her up isn’t. The way I speak of her now depends entirely on the conversation, and most times, those conversations are just me reminiscing on a good time from my past. When the conversation is a lot more serious, and I’m talking with someone about regrets or mistakes made in the past, of course she will come up then too.

The most telling difference between talk of my ex now versus then is the fact that she shares a lot more space in my conversations with exes who came before her. When I was still struggling to get over her, one would think she was not only my last ex-girlfriend, she was the only one I ever had. Nowadays, it’s all about topic. If we’re talking about living with a girlfriend, I’ll bring my ex-girlfriend up, but if we’re talking about going on vacation with a girlfriend, another ex might come up.

It’s safe to say of all the relationships I have been in, my last one was a main event compared to the ones prior, and that’s not to say it was better, it was just bigger. In every way. She was also the most recent of my ex-girlfriends. So when you put those two factors together, of course she’s going to be brought up more than the others, but that has more to do with circumstance than feelings. So if folks want to insist I talk about her still because I haven’t yet come to terms with our break-up, I say, Let them talk or let them listen.

Talks of my ex now are largely positive, straightforward, and most importantly, comfortable. The women who hear me bring up her name now, need not trip over any mention. The only reason I talk about her now is because, honestly, she changed the game. There was the man and boyfriend I was before my ex came into my life, and there’s the man I am now.

For better or worse, those two guys are a lot different. And since her, I’m even more different than I was when we broke up because now I am over her. I know the title implies otherwise, but trust me, I’m fine.

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  • Roni

    I feel you on this. I still talk about my last ex and I have been married for 9 years and have had two kids since our break up. The lips of my friends still slide over into a smirk whenever I do and even I sometimes feel it’s a bit weird that he comes up so often because I AM over him. Still, you’re right, there is the “me” that I was before him and who I was after I came out of that relationship. He has a lot to do with who and where I am today, even if he is no longer here today and I’m grateful to him for that … so he deserves a special mention here or there. And so does your ex (so long as you are truly over her). ;^)

  • BoomShots

    If men shared this part of themselves more often with each other without fear of being clowned, I believe a lot more women would be thankful. This post reverberated with me because I have lived it. I never got pass it until I confronted her and offered to give her everything she had wanted from me in our prior relationship. Even though it was like 5 years later, she said no and I was finally released. It was as if I was under a curse, one that I had to re-visit, submit myself in order to get redeemed.

    For most of the women in that 5 years spans, I had nothing to offer but my most sincere apologies. In retrospect they had no chance at real happiness with me because I was stuck. One lady I spent 2+ years with on and off, I did apologize to in person, once I recognized that my behavior towards her had less to do with who she was and more about me and my failure to get past lost love.

    The worse part is that my friends and family loved her and so it was hard to dmonize the memories of her so I could move on. I too still talk about exes but she is still has an unimpeachable spot in my memories. Nay a negative word is ever mentioned about her. I doubt her former fiancee who followed me can say the same. Its his curse to carry now, HA, HA!!

    Some past loves will haunt you for a long time and until you can get past the emotional memories you may be stuck in a relationship limbo. I don’t think women have some intuition about whether a man is still hung up on his ex. I think women’s intuition is have a man they are interested in reference them before all other women…even Moms.

  • http://dearniel.blogspot.com uhn huh

    I SO want to believe you…but- no dice. What’s wrong with not being over her? Some relationships take a LONG time to accept and truly be done with- there’s nothing wrong with that. It kinda sounds like you wouldn’t even know if you were over her or not- no offense… was there a point of closer? I doubt you can be over someone for real without it… I’m not trying to discredit how you feel/think but, maybe you should re-evaluate- you wrote ALOT just then… I’m just sayin “actions speak loudly”- Ya feel me?

  • http://www.metanotherfrog.com Skye Blue

    Part of me sees what you’re saying and even relates on some level. But the last few words, ‘trust me, i’m fine’ made all your previous statements re being over her and the shift in how you talk about her seem weak – much weaker than they actually are. That’s because every time I hear the words ‘Trust me, I’m ______,’ I start to think that the person speaking is trying convince themselves more than they are trying to convince me.

    Having said that, like ‘uhn huh’ said above, some relationships take a long time to be truly done with. And if the relationship with her was ‘the main event’ as you say, you’ll probably be talking/thinking about her for the rest of your life – the same way most people would dwell on any other life changing event.

    Admittedly, if that is the case, it may not be comfortable for the women of your future, but if they choose to be with you perhaps they’ll have to accept that as part of the package?

  • Dana

    I’m happy you decided to discuss this topic, because I definitely was wondering what was up with all the references to the ex. However, since you don’t interact with your commenters and I don’t know you personally, I thought it would be out of line to ask. Havivng said that, it does seem that you are indeed NOT over your ex….and that’s okay. Maybe you are feeling like you should be, hence the post.

    It is what it is. You have the option to share (or not) whatever you choose to about your personal life and as a woman, I value your insight on topics as they pertain to relationships. But…privately, in your own heart and head, if you are still dealing with regret, love or loss from your last serious relationship then at least admit to and try to deal with it. You may be sabotaging and/or pushing away a really great woman because of this. Go at your own pace. There is no book of love.

  • LeManie ;)

    It’s funny how we have to “get over” exes. But the truth is, big loves are serious experiences. They become a part of us. Nobody tells you to get over college, or get over childhood … no, those years represent a lot of learning. We don’t drop those — we build on em.

    Just because you’re an adult doesn’t mean you stop talking about things that happened in your younger days. Nothing wrong with reminiscing … maybe just bad if you’re trying to re-live it.

  • Danielle D

    I feel you. My ex was like my real first Boyfriend and my first of many things. We broke up this time last year, matter of fact I am the one who really ended things. When I started talking to my current Boyfriend, we both found ourselves in conversations about our exes and how they pissed us off during the relationships and how we were somewhat messed up from those situations. Me and my current BF have been talk now for almost 6 months and every now and then I still mention my ex but not because I still have feelings for him, more so because I was emotionally abused by him and so being with someone who treats me right damn near amazes me so he might say or do something nice, kind, or sweet and I will be like really and I will think “my ex would have been like” sometimes thoughts stay thoughts and sometimes thoughts come out. I feel bad at times cause I don’t want to mention these things anymore. So I have been trying to make a vowed with myself to stop speaking of these things.

  • http://dearniel.blogspot.com uhn huh

    I’m no therapist/psychologist(and such) but I do know I’ve been emotionally abused in a previous relationship before and the truth is talking about it (for me anyway) is just like purging it out of the system… it’s hard to accept you dealt with isht like that, so part of you talking about it just may be you subconsciously dealing with the fact that it happened to you- hell it’s traumatic… Keeping it inside will have a worse effect I’m sure… get that isht up-off of you- nah mean!?! It’s been several years for me and if it wasn’t for the fact I did talk about it and just got really truthful with myself like “dang that dude really did me grimy”- I’d prolly still be with that fool… So don’t feel bad- ya man/friends/fam should understand as long as you’re communicating and being open about it. After a while- you won’t really need to hold anything in cause there won’t be anything left to say… you got it all out and won’t even feel the urge to talk about it like that anymore… but, that’s how I see it

  • Vanessa

    Reading this post made me think of one thing….GET OVER YOUR EX!!!!

  • Anonymous

    I definitely feel you on this. The first guy I ever had strong feelings for would come up in quite a few of my conversations & reminiscences well after I’d gotten over “us,” and it was always annoying to have to deny accusations of still being absolutely smitten.