How should I treat my ex? [Answers]
How will relationships with your exes affect your future relationships?
Should you date someone who maintains relationships with their exes?
(Note: Here we will not be addressing cases where you share a child with an ex.)
Ideally exes shouldn't exist
Our current Sexual Market conditions are unnatural compared to the historical norm. In the not too distant past, only 5 or 6 generations ago our ancestors were generally all married by their early 20s. Courtship was a very well structured social tool. Young people had access to the assistance of community elders. The focus was on encouraging the formation of happy, stable marriages for the raising of children. Often, the first person you “dated” was the person you ended up marrying.
Today so many people in their early 30s have been dating for nearly 2 decades. It's not unusual to have dozens of past relationships. This inevitably brings with it multiple exes and baggage that complicates our lives. How can a K-selected, redpilled person deal with their exes and how should they expect their potential dating partners to act towards exes?
You can't be “just friends”
A romantic relationship, especially one that involves sex binds people in a way that other relationships can not. Once you have sex with someone you can never be “just friends” again. It's a step that cannot be undone. So, if you are not “just friends” then what are you? That's the problem, an undefined relationship is inherently unstable.
At some point in the not too distant past you found that person sexually attractive. You may have even been in love with them. That bond and attraction doesn't just disappear because you broke up. Our heart (our emotions) can be traitorous. An old flame can easily shift back into an inferno and burn our lives down.
“But I don't have any romantic feelings for my ex. I just like to spend time with them.”
This kind of a response bring up three possibilities:
Most likely: The respondent is not being honest (probably they don't even realise they are not being honest).
Most terrifying: The respondent is far to casual about romantic relationships and commitment. This is a serious personality flaw.
Most pathetic: The respondent is being kept by their ex as a backup, “just in case”.
Whatever the reason, maintaining close relationships with exes demonstrates poor judgement and a lack of boundaries. A failed romance represents a serious past mistake that no doubt involves wasted time, resources and lots of pain. Learning specific lessons, changing your approach, growing and putting the past behind you is vital to be able to have healthy future relationships. You can't do that while in a “zombie romance” with an ex.
“I would think have an ex around is a considerable risk factor.
Either having this ex in their lives is* a continual source of unhappiness for them, in which case, why are they allowing this relation to continue.
Or it's not a continual source of unhappiness in their lives, in which case, how bonded were they to their partner in the first place?”
Maintaining relationships with exes interferes with future happiness
I really want to see each one of you find the relationship that will make you happy. Spending time communicating and maintaining a relationship with your ex isn't going to help you get what you really need. All its does is keep raw the wounds of past breakups.
A man in his 30s wisely expressed that “I don't have my exes in my life. When my past relationships ended, it hurt an awful lot. Not only did I not want to have that salt continually rubbed into my wounds, I needed time to recover.“
Our ability to cultivate relationships has physical, mental and emotional limits. You could say that we have limited “relationship energy”. In general, K-selected people prefer quality over quantity in our personal relationships. Dating and courtship take A LOT of our relationship energy and require our focus to be successful.
If you are spending time continuing a relationship with someone of the opposite sex that you have already ruled out as a potential mate then you are robbing time from your current (or potential) relationship.
Additionally all relationships require some form of commitment. When you enter into a romantic relationship you are committing yourself to one person at a time, seeking to know them well enough to see if a deeper commitment would be a good thing. Emotionally excluding and distancing yourself from other past or present romantic possibilities is vital to truly live up to the commitment.
If you seek loyalty, you must BE loyal. If you harbour romantic feelings, even unknowingly, for your exes you are not acting loyalty to your current (or potential) relationship.
“Life is lonely. It's easy to seek out those who we have history with. Sometimes the hardest thing in life is doing with right for you.
If a romantic relationship ends- it's impossible to remain "just friends", there's too much history to downgrade a relationship that way.
To keep an Ex around serves only one purpose. Comfort. But the comfort is a lie. A lie you tell yourself so that you don't have to face the reality of being alone, without the comfort of familiarity and history for a while..... this lie does nothing to help move your life forward or move on.
The reality is, if the relationship ended, and you've found someone else to be with, then you MUST recognize that the relationship with you Ex is over. This is the truth.
If you can't be honest with yourself, how can you be honest in your future relationship?”
Relationships with exes makes you undateable
Most good people are instinctively turned off of dating someone who is still close with an ex. Their instinct is not without merit. We all know it's a bad idea, an unnecessary risk and a show of bad judgement. Here is what some people have said to me about their views on relationships with exes.
Q: How would you feel about a person you are considering dating if you found out they were still in close contact with their exes? What does it tell you about them?
A: If a woman is in close contact with her exes, it tells me that she does not want a committed relationship and is hedging her reproductive options which is counter to my strategy.
A: if she's keeping him around, and he's not moved on, he's a threat to our relationship. Not only is he a reminder that I'm getting his leftovers, she's leaving the door open for him to invade romantically. She needs to close that door and not allow him to come between us.
A: Not interested. It will be awkward at best.
A: Not comfortable with it. Had a girlfriend about 6 years ago that was constantly texting exes. "We're just friends." It took me a while to realize it was probably a big shit test and I finally pushed back. Our relationship eventually ended and she tried to keep in touch with me via text and Facebook but I wasn't interested. We don't speak anymore.
A: Huge red flag imo. Especially if you've been dating awhile, I think it's disrespectful to your current partner and you're not living in the present.
A: his would indicate to me that the man has poor boundaries and little self-respect. If the man is the one who ended the relationship, once he determined that the woman is not worthy enough to continue dating, keeping her around in his life is likely to perpetuate a pseudo-attachment that will hinder the formation of any new attachments. And if the woman ended the relationship, then the man should have enough dignity not to turn himself into a beta orbiter hoping for another shot.
A: Having a close relationship (that is, regular contact, frequently spending time together, etc) is a serious red flag. It shows that you haven't fully detached yourself from that person, whom you presumably terminated a relationship with due to serious incompatibility issues. Not a whole lot of self-respect on display here. If that's not the case, and the relationship ended due to something more trivial (ie, wanting to 'find yourself'), that is a red flag on its own. To me, that shows that you view relationships and sexuality more casually, which is indicative of promiscuity or other underlying issues.
A: When you have a current partner and you're serious about them, you can not be close with your exes out of respect for your current partner.
A: I'd tell her that she would need to end it as soon as possible. Why would I ever want my partner to have (if it can be avoided) any contact whatsoever with someone she's been intimate with (not necessarily sexual)? The embers of past passion might ignite into a fully fledged fire at some point. Nope, not worth the risk. Not at all. Real disrespectful to the new partner.
A: There is no way to entirely sever the emotional connection without sufficient time apart. The problem is that in most cases, sufficient time is synonymous with the word "forever."
A: When I was still in contact with an ex it was usually because I wasn't completely over it.
A: I simply do not keep exes around. I expect the same from my woman.
A: If it is over, it's over.
Should you date someone who maintains contacts with their exes?
No, you shouldn't, and here's why.
You have limited time and resources to find a mate. Why waste them on people who have poor enough judgement to be still keeping ex's around? Look for better opportunities.
People who maintain close relationships with their exes are usually the same people that have serial relationship disasters. How can you be sure that you are not just the next disaster?
It shows a lack of empathy towards you. It's not empathetic to do anything that makes your mate feel deeply uncomfortable, insecure or jealous. Dating is a time to test your mates empathy.
It's awkward and poisonous to a new relationship to have an ex close by. As one young man said: “If they were in close contact I would find it difficult to trust either of them. I would think either the ex is skulking around waiting to see if she becomes vulnerable or she is using him as a backup. Even if I trusted my date, I wouldn't trust the ex.”
Conclusion: How do I treat my ex?
Once you definately break up with someone the wisest course of action is to sever all contact. Lose their number/email/skype etc. Unfriend them on social media. Delete photos of them. Give them back anything that reminds them of you (via a third party is possible). Don't look them up. Dont stalk them online.
If you run into them somewhere be polite, be cordial and then go your own way as soon as possible.
Do a relationship post mortem with someone who is wise enough to help you through that process. Figure out what went wrong and what you need to do to prevent making the same mistakes in the future. Do what you have to to remember what corrective actions you need to take.
The only way to deal with breakups is to process the trauma, heal the wounds, learn from the past and put it behind you. I wish you all the greatest of happiness and a future full of love and romance.