When an ex who didn’t treat us with love, care, trust and respect starts saying ‘all the right things’, it’s all-too-easy to be nostalgic. Next thing, we’re plotting our fairy-tale ending and possibly sacking off new relationships, opportunities or the personal growth we’ve experienced since the end of the relationship. We have a Better-The-Devil-You-Know attitude, and in this week’s episode of The Baggage Reclaim Sessions, I delve into why this mentality sells us short and sets us up for another go-round on the disappointment cycle.

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Nuggets From The Episode

  • An ex can use ‘history’, so how long we’ve known them, shared experiences, etc., as shorthand for “I know you. We treat it as a shortcut for “Ooh, I don’t have to do what I’d have to do with someone I don’t know well enough yet. We can skip the getting-to-know.” We think they know us so well.
  • “You’ve always been there for me no matter what.”; “I know that you’ve always kept the door open for me.”; You’ve been so loving and kind no matter what I did to you.” We often bask in the glow of these sentiments, but they’re not compliments! When they flick through their Mental Rolodex in search of the person who will let them wheedle their way back in, that’s us.
  • If what we’re doing to love someone means that we can’t love ourselves at the same time, this isn’t love. It’s pain and suffering. 

Once they have confirmation that the door is still open, they feel free to go because the door is still open. 

  • The Better-The-Devil-You-Know mentality says Isn’t it better to take a chance with the person I know even if they’re not that great rather than taking a chance on the future I don’t know?
  • Is it possible for us to experience the nostalgia and also be where we are at the same time? Can we be nostalgic without deluding us in the process?
  • Are we breaking any commitments to us? Had we resolved to be done with our ex, and how and why are we backtracking? If we do proceed, can we handle the emotional consequences if this turns out to be what we deep down already suspect (another go-round on the disappointment cycle)?
  • Why me, and why now? What is it that this person is used to me being?
  • Some crumbs isn’t better than no crumbs. No crumbs means you’re open to something much better whereas some crumbs means you’re open to, well, more crumbs. 
  • We settle for crumbs because of the mentality of “Something is better than nothing”. But what is the “something”? And actually, what is the “nothing”?

Links mentioned

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