Let’s Talk About Ex, Baby!
There is the family that you are born to and can’t do anything about. There are friends you choose of your own will and from whom you grow away. And there are those your heart beats for (or more likely your hormones delude you with) and from whom you rip your life away. Ah….the world of ex-boyfriends and girlfriends.
I have come a good, long way. When I was a kid, I had a naive dream of meeting my one and only true love and settling down with him in a fairytale life. Well, there have been more than one, hardly any of them true and none I suspect, were love. I don’t think it is a bad thing anymore, no matter how it sounds. Each one of them has been an experience, a learning about myself and about life. How many would-be feminists realize that they’re almost worse than the men they battle? How often does a strong person realize how weak he is? Or a weak person, how strong she is?
There are the jarring experiences, the ones where if you never saw the person again, it wouldn’t be a day too soon for you. I was in a relationship with someone who was not at all good to me, in every way that it is possible to be so. But he had great friends. I shared their love of books and could spend hours talking about them. I suspect I actually got along better with them, than he did. Looking back, I think I had more fun hanging out with his crowd than him. We did not part on good terms and I don’t think I will ever feel happy about the fact that he was once in my life. After the pain of break-up subsided, I was sadder that I had to let go of a number of nice people because they were his friends first.
Friendships apart, a person who has shared something with you romantically, has known you in a way that others just haven’t. Everyone who has ever been through a break-up knows just what a mix-up of emotions it leaves behind. But of course! How can you suddenly become indifferent to someone you have been really close to? It is hardest to forgive people you have loved; it is also toughest to forget them.
The other day, one of my friends told me that a guy I had once gone out with, had got married. I wasn’t sure how to react for a minute. I wasn’t jealous…not even the faintest bit. He wasn’t Dr.Evil but he was just a little desperate. The slimy way. I couldn’t get away from him fast enough. But some girl thought he was good enough to spend her life with. Really, really weird feeling to imagine your rather undesirable once-admirer as the husband of some woman.
Time is a healer and once the initial fireworks subside and you are able to look at the bigger picture of life, it may even be a good thing to catch up with a person who has known you so intimately and then hasn’t been around for awhile. It gives you perspective. People who have been a part of your life for a long time may not always be able to tell you the truth about yourself. But someone who has known you for at least awhile closely, and now doesn’t fear losing you, just might.
There is closure too. Sometimes you don’t even realize how much baggage you are carrying until you meet the person who gave you all that garbage to tote around in the first place. Then you realize that you may as well put both him and your memories back where they belong….in the past. Occasionally, very occasionally you might realize that there are more ways than one, that a person can be a part of you life. That is rare. But you never know. You just might get lucky. In a different way from when you were dating.
My first-ever boyfriend is friends with me today. We meet for a coffee every few months, catch up on each others’ lives and laugh over silly things. Today I can say that he is a great guy. Well, I’m a great girl too. It’s just that we’re great as friends and not anything else. It’s taken years for us to get to this place and I’m glad we did. It is a long way to stop feeling bad and then another arduous journey to where you can actually feel good about the other person. I can’t say that this is possible with every single ‘ex-‘, which is why this friendship is remarkable.
My heart is a scrap-book of mixed memories.
This is an updated version of an earlier post. A version of this also appears on Yahoo! Real Beauty.
This a very interesting article. :). Why the fuck dint that fairy tale come true and gosh im gng to be 30.
@Karan: Ah, well…the fairytale, what can I say? Much sympathy. But I can say that life gets better this side of 30! All the best and do keep commenting!
ok – before i comment – just a small thing i want to say.
consider this – theres this big ball (as big as the earth) in front of you and you can only see only one half of the big ball – lets say yellow. for you the balls colour is yellow. now consider someone else on the other side – who can see the other half and its red – for her / him the ball is red. neither is wrong, but they will fight to death in order to determine this superiority on the issue. Point being – that we all have our own points of views and sometimes neither is wrong or neither is right. And i appreciate your point of view, hopefully you’ll appreciate mine.
now coming back to the point. i thank you for the sympathy. however – i hate being sympathised with – am supposed to be a strong Punjabi boy and it hurts my rather large male ego :). So I’m going to ignore that you wrote that line.
and now about life / women. well this is my point of view – we live like rock stars till we are in school believing that we have been designed specially by god to come and do this fantastic makeover to the world around us. we are 14 and its all rock n rolla, kicking butt in sports, studies and just having a good time. We have always noticed this other specie called women around, but never given it too much thought. But by 14 these women are starting to seriously occupy the male mind. and suddenly you’re like man – i haven’t noticed you around. so they become the reason for you to smile each day. however you do not know at that point that this same specie may be the reason for your destruction in the future. cause thanks to the movies you’re in this fantasy – that you’re gng to finish school, get that killer MBA and find that perfect woman and be happy for the rest of your life. By 30 and a few women down, you come to a realization that Hollywood / bollywood suckered you in. so you’re en route to achieving most other things in life that you had dreamt about, but you’re reaching a stage where you’re like fuck “what is this specie god, I cant live with them and I cant live without them”?
And Now to the point of it getting better post 30, is that the society around me and more importantly myself am getting tuned to the fact that i wont be getting hitched by the time I’m 28(cause i crossed that river 2 years ago). So yes it sure will get better post 30, cause i find it difficult to spend the next 30 years with 1 specimen of the specie that i haven’t really understood in the last 16 years. And I’m glad the psychological 28 number is getting further.
Disclaimer – I apologise I was born male and hence have written against the female specie. I am sure if I was a female i would have voiced my concern over the male specie. And yes “I spent most of my life in a boys boarding school”.
@Karan: Well, you don’t really need to apologize for being male. I don’t think you’ve written against women as much as detailed the average Indian boy’s mindset towards them, at least in his formative years. I do believe that our society is flawed in the way it brings up boys. The excessive pampering, the writing off of all mistakes, the reinforcement of bad behavior towards women, the ego-massage over what’s essentially inability to take care of oneself…I can only see these as damaging to the psyche. No wonder then, we find the average man is bewildered and reacts in what seems like childish ways to the world and to women. All that’s different now is that more and more women are unwilling to go on with the farce and react with a ‘So?’ which can’t be easy on the ‘I’m God’ mentality. You’re not going to have an easy time of it so all I can say is, all the best!
@IdeaSmith: I totally agree with you on this one. You have a way with words that is so interesting!! I really enjoyed reading a few of your blog entries. Will soon read the other ones too.
@ktpartone: Thank you very much! I hope you’ll comment on the others too. A comment is like that magical goodie that always makes a blogger’s day, right? 😀
Gosh….came across your twitter handle which lead me to this blog….hooked to it now..and this article fully captures my thoughts….I know exactly what you mean when you say “naive dream of meeting my one and only true love and settling down with him in a fairytale life”… I was exactly like that until that dream was crushed by someone….its been more than seven years since we broke up, but he does pop into my head once in a while and I wonder how he is doing…
great writing…love your blog..following you on twitter now 🙂
@Priya: Thengyu muchly and a warm welcome to XX Factor! This blog is a conversation, an open forum so I do hope I’ll be hearing more from you in the future posts!
There is no such thing as a self made man, we are all made up of thousands of others. I think every woman I have come across as a gf,friend, relative, teacher, mentor etc has made me understand women a little bit better. 🙂
@Venkatesh Sridhar: And likewise for a woman & the men in her life, I guess. Thank you for commenting & welcome to XX Factor!