The Power Of The Ex

A few weeks back, my friend Douglas started seeing this chick on the regular and basically started a booty call relationship with her. Although there wasn’t any commitment, they started to get attached to one another. For those of you that have already read my Booty Call Guidelines, Douglas was her franchise player and she was his as well. But then something funny happened about two weeks ago: her ex-boyfriend popped up. Douglas realized that he was spending less time with her and that gifts were no longer coming in as they had prior to the return of her former squeeze. She had progressively begun to downgrade him from franchise player to superstar with another possible downgrade looming. Douglas understood what was happening; so he met up with her and flashed her the peace sign (slang for dumped her). He did not want to have to figuratively battle her ex-boyfriend. He opted to cut his losses and get out while the lady was stuck reevaluating how she truly felt about her former flame. Douglas understood what some of us struggle to grasp: sometimes it’s just too tough to compete with the power of the ex.

Unless your former boyfriend/girlfriend cheated on you or abused you physically and/or mentally, you still hold some fond memories of your former lover. A lot of people will convince themselves that once they have left a relationship, there is no going back and there are no such things as unresolved feelings; but the truth is that no one immediately gets over a person with whom they spent a fair share of their life with. Consequently, your former flame does indeed have some type of power over you. Don’t believe me? If you broke up with him/her less than a month ago; you probably think that you can still get your ex to sleep with you again. There is a sense of familiarity that a new person cannot provide while you (yes, you the person reading this) on the other hand, possess the confidence in your abilities to adequately push the proper buttons to get things moving once again with your ex.

Hell, how often have you heard stories about people in new relationships that creep with their exes? Happens more often than we care to admit. So what is it that Douglas feared when the old dude popped up?

No matter how good your chemistry with a person is, it cannot beat out love. So if the person you’re seeing is in love with somebody else, you will come in second. Furthermore, there is a decent chance that you will get kicked to the curb afterwards; which might not be that bad if you didn’t develop any attachment or feelings, but if you did, that might sting for a while.

You ex might have put you through some hardships and what not, but they were still initially picked for a reason. That person understood how to treat you right, make you happy and also made you believe that they might potentially be the one. So is it really that much of a stretch for us to think that your ex could seduce you just by bringing up good old memories?

If you have been with the same individual for a long time, you eventually view that person as your benchmark.  So after breaking up with that person, you try to find someone who has similar qualities to those of your former lover, but minus the flaws.  This might become tricky if the new person does not measure up with the old one. Indeed, for those of you that have seen My Best Friend’s Girl, you know exactly what I’m talking about. Dane Cook plays the role of a dude that gets paid to take out guys’ ex-girlfriends and act like a complete douche with them just so the women realize that there are men that are far worse than their exes. Indeed, the movie demonstrates that when women break up with guys, it is because they need to move on to a better man. However, Cook’s character makes them realize that such a thing might not be in the cards for them. When you apply this to real life, an ex who creeps back up into the picture places the new person into one of two categories:
-Better than the ex
-Worse than the ex.

If you end up being better than the ex, more power to you. But what if you are worse? Your phone could potentially stop ringing.

Back in late May, my cousin Philly got married to his longtime girlfriend in a beautiful ceremony . At the reception, his parents danced to some Kompas (it’s the dance form associated with Haitian music) and it was a beautiful display of chemistry. I got the feeling that had the lights gone out, they still would have continued to dance and match each other move for move. They knew and completed each others movements flawlessly. You can chalk that down to spending 30 years of your life with the same person and you would be right; but you still need for both parties to display great chemistry for this to happen. And if you had great chemistry with your ex, it doesn’t just go away because of a break up. The ability to be mentally and physically intertwined with one another is a rare occurrence that may take a long time to dissipate.

Magic Trick
Heath Ledger as the JokerImage via Wikipedia
In the movie The Dark Knight, there’s a scene in which the Joker (played by Heath Ledger) enters a room filled with the biggest and toughest gangsters of Gotham City. As he enters the area, he places a pencil on the table and says: “let me show you a magic trick”. As the pencil is placed vertically on the table, one of the gangster’s bodyguards walks towards the Joker and our colorful villain grabs the goon by the back of the head and slams his face into the pencil on the table and says: “ta-dah”. You see, unlike the scene previously described, relationships do not always end with a sense of closure. Consequently, we sometimes feel the need to interact with our former partner just to put the finishing touches on the break up.

However, when break ups occur, there’s usually one party that still believes that things could have worked out and thus still has some type of hope of fixing things. As individuals, we cannot always gauge if the person we are seeing was the one that still wanted for things to work out or if they ever got that sense of closure. As a result, we may at times get  a bit nervous whenever the ex pops up.

The One
You all know what I mean. We all have that one person that got away. The one person that made you walk on cloud nine and drove you crazy. The one person that perhaps had some flaws but was great to you. This person would take you out Saturday, show you off to their friends on Sunday, take you back home, give you the best sex of your life on Monday, massage your back on Tuesday while watching your favorite television show with you, take you and your parents out to eat on Wednesday and let you decide what to do on Thursday and Friday. Even though we rarely want to admit it, the one can at times play Jedi mind tricks on us and convince us to do things we would not normally agree to.

In a nutshell, these are some of the reasons why exes are viewed as potentially dangerous to a new relationship. Keep in mind, I didn’t even touch on the fact that your former partner might actually want you back; which can complicate things even further. Indeed, they might attempt to get back with you for the sake of love or simply because they enjoy the challenge that comes from taking you away from the new person that you’re currently seeing.

As you can see, there are various reasons for which people might be tempted to actually spend some time with their ex-boyfriend/girlfriend. So although our pride rarely allows for us to admit that we might possibly want to go back to our previous partner (not necessarily for a relationship), the fact is that that your most recent ex might hold some type of temporary hold on you. Indeed, that hold might last weeks, months or even years after the relationship concludes; and in essence, it’s the reason why some people prefer not to compete with an individual capable of swaying their person of interest. That my friends, is called the power of the ex. 

Questions or Comments? Feel free to leave them in the comments section or you can send me an email by clicking here. You can also find me on Twitter, under the name ShyneIV.

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Tam said...

I have to say well written. I personally have found myself in that situation and it's not fun at all. You are a great blogger :} xx

Anonymous said...

Great topic of discussion! Sometimes an ex is the only one person who knows you better than your current partner, and that can cause alot of memories, alot of feelings of wanting your ex back too. I agree with the fact that "the power of the ex" is sometimes more powerful than you really know. Keep up the good writing Shyne.

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