A friend of mine and I were talking about this recently largely because I was (and still am) convinced that his long term ex girlfriend still controls a large portion of his heart and this is making it extremely difficult for any other girl have the chance at a successful relationship with him without feeling uneasy about how much of a connection still exists between him and his ex. He was adamant about my opinion, claiming that she had no such hold on him any longer and went ahead to let me know that they had only just re-assured each-other of their now good friendship (insert rolling eyes emoji here).
This conversation got me thinking about how sometimes we wake up and suddenly realize that some ex boyfriend or girlfriend still has our heart and that's why we have been unsuccessful at whatever romantic relationships we have tried to have since breaking up with them. I believe that in our 20s we date a lot and this time in our lives teaches us about who we are and what we want from our romantic relationships. For some, they are lucky enough to find their soul mates and go ahead to get married and live happily ever after. As for the rest of us, we go on into our 30s leaving a good piece of our hearts back in our 20s with that one ex "that got away". After this happens, it usually takes a special kind of person to introduce us to a new and different kind of love that not only allows us move forward and free ourselves from the ghosts of girlfriends or boyfriends past but also one that permits us to accept this new love as all that has been missing for us since.
Some of the time, we don't even realize that an ex still has our hearts until something significant forces us to acknowledge that this could be the reason for our inability to allow anyone else in. We unconsciously convince ourselves that anyone new has too many issues or doesn't know what they want or a host of other excuses we tell ourselves to keep us from committing or exploring a possible new love. Like some friendships from your 20s that didn't make the upgrade to your 30s, the same thing needs to happen with relationships because we need to be careful about not dragging the past into our present or future. The kind of love you need or deserve may be staring you in the face but because your emotions (and ultimately capacity to love) is still stuck in your past, you are unable to see it. If your heart were truly open and available, you could just find that the love from your 20s was possibly meant to fulfill a purpose either in your life or in the life of the other person and if it has ended, then you need to allow yourself move on. It has been known to happen that 2 people were just meant to be together even if years pass and they have been with other people or even gone ahead to get married and have families. It is indeed plausible that you had to drift apart in order to come back together and if that is what is preventing you from moving on from an ex, then I suppose only time will tell but I think it is also important to recognize if you are being emotionally manipulated. If an ex knows they have a hold over your heart still, this could be a way to manipulate your emotions and willingness to move on by doing things like calling at odd hours or whenever they feel like it, still having expectations and making demands of you and even sometimes purposely not taking your calls because they know you don't like being ignored (which is something I think my friend's ex does just to keep him calling her).
So if you have found that perhaps there is an ex from your past whose memory you are still holding on to subconsciously that is not allowing you move forward with your life, it may be time to let that go. If the relationship ended on bad terms, I suggest freeing yourself from that toxicity and give yourself permission to find a love that is worthy of you and your heart. If YOU are the ex that is refusing to let go and manipulating the emotions of your past mate, do the right thing and allow that person move on. Your relationship ended for a reason and you should accept that; whether you choose not to move on with your own life should not affect your ex's decision to do so.
I've had this experience in my own life and when it became clear that the person I was with kept making a conscious decision to remain in his past, I walked myself out of his present and his future.This is what I hope my friend will realize and will allow himself find love again.
Have you been in this situation before or know anyone who is in it now? What would your advice be?
Thanks for stopping by.