There’s no harm in rekindling old friendships but what if you’re married and find yourself longing to have an ex back in your life.
Such is the dilemma of one user on theAsianparent Community who posted this anonymously: “My first boyfriend recently just added me on Facebook. And as I was scrolling through his timeliness looking at his pictures, I felt all fuzzy inside and very tempted to contact him and ask him out for coffee. He has a girlfriend now and I’m married with kids. What do you think? No harm right?”
But Chloe T. believes that the user is asking the question anonymously is indicative of a certain level of guilt, even if she doesn’t realize it.
“Don’t do it” was the advice of of Yuna L. “Memories are meant to be kept away safely; why revisit a past you know you can’t have and if you do tread down that path, it can only lead to heartbreak and pain? Just let it be.”
“Of course there is harm,” agrees Chiran D. “One thing can lead to another and things can quickly turn messy. I would advice to keep such temptations at bay unless you wish to complicate lives.”
Nita J. warns the anonymous user that it’s a dangerous idea to entertain. “Don’t invite this trouble,” she says. “It will ruin a lot of what (you) have worked hard to build. You may (consider) him as a friend and he too, but given the history you have, how will your husband and his girlfriend take it? Not good.”
Lisville B. put it simply: “If the relationship did not end well, and you feel the need for a formal closure, then meet and end it, once and for all. Other than that, there’s no need to get together at all.”
Find some tips on achieving closure and getting over an ex on the next page
Despite the negative emotions that come from getting your heart broken, there are constructive ways to deal with it. According to David Braucher, Ph. D., we have to learn to separate our “internal image” of our ex from his or her presence.
Learning to distinguish between the internal image of an ex and the actual person can lead to appreciation of our own loving feelings.
While we may feel consistently injured and angry when in the presence of an ex, in our internal world we may be able to access love and compassion for that same person. Experiencing our loving self through this internal image can be a powerful motivator during times of struggle.
Life coach and blogger Andrea Owen offers some helpful advice that helped her get over her past relationships.
1. Stop stalking him
This doesn’t mean simply unfriending or unfollowing them on social media; this means not texting him back or googling him. Don’t be too hard on yourself when you slip up. Just try harder. Pretty soon, you won’t even be thinking about him anymore.
2. Keep yourself busy
Don’t let your mind wander or wallow in “what ifs”. Be productive and avoid making contact with them, even if you want to.
3. Consider the experience a gift
Even if it didn’t end well, acknowledge it as a part of your story. Acceptance is an integral part of achieving closure.
4 Don’t allow your ex to string you along
Don’t be misled by their kind words and gestures. Don’t idealize them into becoming “the one that got away”.
5. Just accept that you may not ever be 100% over it
No two relationships are alike; accepting this fact can help you move on and it also puts less pressure on your current partner to fulfill certain unrealistic expectations.
6. Be genuinely grateful for your partner
Whether you are married or living with someone, finding contentment in who you have chosen to spend your life with is an important step on the road to achieving deep, lasting closure.
READ: Are you cheating? 10 ways you are unknowingly being unfaithful
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