Nothing causes me more anguish and terror then having the lesbian ex-girlfriend discussion. It would be wonderful if we could just enter relationships where there is no past, like some sci-fi movie where your memory is erased and there is no baggage that is brought forward.
There is something especially disturbing about lesbians and their past relationships, we tend to have difficulty letting go or moving forward. Often, we repeat past mistakes and question what we have and whether it is better than the last experience. Filled with doubt and distrust we compare, self-sabotage, and become ever more jaded.
There are two conundrums when dealing with ex girlfriends, firstly your dealing with all of your past whether your ex-girlfriends are still in your life or the pain the have left behind. Secondly her past and present women, I don’t know about anyone else, but I often feel like I am being punished for her past ghosts.
We all want to be able to keep what is ours regardless of the risk and ask of our new loves to give up all their past “ALL OF IT.” I am just as guilty, I have to say it is not easy for anyone to date me as I have had really amazing beautiful women in my life and although it did not workout romantically many remain dear friends that I love and cherish. I know many have suffered knowing this even if I worked the battlefield of balancing what I needed and how to be accommodating without losing myself.
Recently I came to realization, one that I have known for a long time but only now accepted- you cannot please everyone. You will not make everyone happy, it is an impossible task. It is not where happiness lies, balance is found within oneself of what we need and want. In my past I was so frightened of hurting others that I kept my relationship secret and the women that loved me let me. I know this most likely made them feel unwanted and less than, but I thought that the love I felt and showed would be enough and I could still keep everyone else happy- but no one wants to be a secret!
As I enter a new relationship I am finding myself questioning my ways and closing doors I have left open for far too long. I look at her and I want her to feel everything I see in her and also know that she is not my little secret that I am proud and in wonder of her. I cannot make everyone happy and it’s honestly exhausting and if ex-girlfriends’ and friends cannot be happy for the steps we take forward are they really individuals we need in a support circle.
I have also decided that I cannot be punished and worried about her ghosts. I know I am not those women, that I am me and that everyday I work on who I am and my intentions in this world. A commitment-phob by nature I would use this as an excuse to run, the ex history. I would tell them that I just could not get over their past, nor did I want to be confronted by it, which also gave me permission not to make myself fully vulnerable and do whatever I wanted.
When you love someone, there is a no guarantee. All you have is what comes in the package and if everything is to workout there needs to be an acceptance of all that has come before you, because after all that is part of whom she is.
In the end there is no diplomatic way of taking care of ex-girlfriends and unfortunately it will require letting go a selfish needs and looking at changing core beliefs. I am no stranger to this process and still in the early learning phases. When we choose to stay friends we ex-girlfriends’ we leave very little room for anyone new coming in, and perhaps unconsciously not sure how we feel about are current partner. As painful as it is space is needed to heal wounds and make room for new beginnings. How can we look forward if our vision is stuck on the rearview mirror? We will keep crashing and burning in our past.
I do believe that there are some ex-girlfriend relationships that can be healthy, but that comes with time and space in out togetherness. There are also relationships that when they come to an end that’s where they should stay and be put to rest, especially if they were abusive or not healthy to begin with.
Here are so tips to deal with the EX factor:
- Don’t compare your new love with the past ones. It really is not fair and doesn’t allow for a good start. Everyone is different and really if you want to know why you attract certain individuals look at yourself and your parents. You won’t find the answer in your partner, but in your own past and understanding of relationships and modeling.
- Don’t find yourself in compromising situations. If there are ex’s that you know are dangerous for you stay away. We all have that person that when we are close all the walls come down and we begin to make excuse to get closer and forget the most basic of relationship breakers. Know you weakness and then adjust for them and keeping your new relationship intact.
- Friends are individuals we can call on for support, without inappropriate issues arising. We need to be able to confide in friends, and ex girlfriends are often not able to be friends as the agendas are very different then that of a friend. So basically “Don’t shit where you eat.”
- You cannot fully invest and be present if your energy is going into past relationships and attempting a friendship with them.
- Talk to your ex, be frank that you’re in a new relationship and need space. Stop pussy footing around waiting for the right time and show respect not only for your needs, but all involved even if it means a little pain. Pain is not a bad thing; it’s just a signal of change and adjustment. You can say “You’re an amazing person, but I have entered a new relationship and am very happy. I want to give it a fair chance so I am going to say good-bye, but I wish you all the best.” Keep it short, to the point, and sweet.
- De-friend them on Facebook. Take away temptation and so you’re not all in their business and they are not in yours. It sucks but its part of letting go. Don’t worry you’ll both make new friends soon enough.
- Remove their number from your phone. This is one of the first things I do, because I am impulsive and I always want a happy ending, but that’s unrealistic so like a good addiction specialist that I am, I remove all triggers for relationship relapse!
- Grief the loss. You lost someone you loved and a friend. It’s okay to grieve and be sad. A part of you has left with them and now you have to say good-bye.
- Stop mentioning the ex. Its part of history and you are leaving in the present.
- Focus on yourself and what you have learnt. If we go through all this we might as well learn something from it and be better for it-not more jaded, right?
New relationships are hard; they require a lot of work at first after all your two strangers drawn together and for all the reasons in the universe. Nothing is forever gone and if you want a friendship later on with an ex, leave that in a box to deal with later, but for a while in the beginning focus on your new love and the power that brought you together.
Alex Karydi~The Lesbian Guru