Many moons ago, I bumped into an ex who made a point of letting me know that he was “over” me. To be clear, I hadn’t asked, and he dropped it into the conversation as if he’d kept a juicy secret under wraps and couldn’t hold it for even a second longer. I knew there and then that his assertion wasn’t true, which was evidenced a couple of hours later when he tried it on. Side eye.

Of course, I also knew that it wasn’t true because I know what it’s like to say that you’re over someone or that you’re unbothered by their actions or to tell them that you’re ignoring them.

Me feeling as if I had to go out of the way to tell someone, for instance, that I wasn’t talking to them, was attention-seeking. I just want you to know that I’m ignoring you. You know, just in case you were totally unaware or in doubt about it.

It’s this mistaken idea that these pronouncements give you power. Side note: they don’t.

I couldn’t just slink off and go about my life; I wanted them to be bothered. That part of me that likes to be in control–yep, ego–didn’t see the point in ignoring someone if they weren’t going to jump through hoops to chase me or make amends. Why do you think so many of us struggle with the likes of No Contact or unfriending someone? It’s as if we humans need a bit of pomp and ceremony to go with our hurt feelings. If people don’t know or don’t act suitably wounded by us distancing, we internalise it as them rejecting us.

There is no need to call your ex and say “I’m over you”. Really what you’re saying is “I’m almost over you but I want to give you one last chance to opt in on this great deal. Going once. Going twice. Wait. Let me start counting again.”

Sometimes it’s “I’m not really over you at all, and I’m hoping that saying I am will make you realise you’re not over me too.” And you feel wounded to the core when they just accept it. Or, they re-emphasise that they can’t be and give you what you want. Or, even worse, they reciprocate and then pull the same rinky-dink behaviour that broke the relationship in the first place.

And sometimes it’s “Just so we’re all clear, I don’t want a frickin relationship with you. I can’t believe I even fell for you, and I’m still angry about your assholery. But I don’t want you sitting around thinking I’m pining for your arse, because I’m not. So take that!” And in the moment, it does feel good to say this. Possibly. But it can also become an opening to game-playing and them trying to make a power grab.

If you’re concerned with winning, being right or power, that’s your ego at work, not the real you. They’ll know they’re history when they are history and you’re off living your life. No announcement needed, just actions that match your intention to move forward with love, care, trust and respect.

FavoriteLoadingAdd to favorites