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A small musing...

....on how long it actually takes one to be completely rational in one's feelings towards an ex-significant other. I believe I've achieved "mostly rational" after several years. However, I had hoped that by now I would have moved on towards "completely rational". Though perhaps this isn't always possible where intense feelings were concerned?

This musing was sparked by the soon-to-happen wedding of an ex, on the subject of being invited or not. From a rational perspective, it's completely sensible that I wouldn't be invited since I wasn't all that close to him afterwards and I might assume the bride wouldn't be pleased to have her groom's ex-girls hanging about.
The non-invite status was not actually bothersome until two other people I know (and am fairly close to) were invited, one of whom is planning to go.

Rationally, it should not matter one whit that they were invited. By rights, they should have been. He was and is close to them both.

Irrationally, the non-invite status is irksome. Which makes little sense since I'm not even sure if I would go had I, in fact, been invited.

Gah. Stupid illogical emotional responses.

So now, the survey portion of our venting entry: How long has it taken to you to return to being completely rational about an ex, after dating? Does it matter who the split was initiated by? What circumstances affect your current rationality when dealing with him/her/them?


( 12 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 19th, 2004 08:32 am (UTC)
How long has it taken to you to return to being completely rational about an ex, after dating?

Depends on the guy. 99% of the guys I've dated, I left and never looked back. But there's one that, after almost ten years and countless levels of intimacy in between (ranging from dating to "couldn't tell you if he's dead or alive"), I am still nowhere near rational about. If I see him or hug him or even hear his voice on his voicemail, I get the Jolt of Happy. Every time, even when perhaps it would be better to be able to let go. (You know that song that goes, "you're my favorite mistake"? That's it to a T.)

I don't think I'd be real calm and collected if I heard he was getting married. :-S

Fortunately, my plan of feeding arsenic to all his girlfriends seems to be working. Hope he doesn't catch on.

Does it matter who the split was initiated by?

Jun. 20th, 2004 10:17 pm (UTC)
Fortunately, my plan of feeding arsenic to all his girlfriends seems to be working. Hope he doesn't catch on.

[grin] This is why you are delightful. Hurrah for sinister plots!

Does it matter who the split was initiated by?


That's odd, only because logically the rejectee ought to be more prone to Burning Torch of Unending Love (TM), etc. But then emotional responses are not made of logic, after all.
Jun. 21st, 2004 06:39 am (UTC)
logically the rejectee ought to be more prone to Burning Torch of Unending Love (TM)

Logically, yes. *g*
Jun. 19th, 2004 09:36 am (UTC)
Worst case one year; subsequent cases under a week.

[recognised irony] I don't see the point in being irrational.
Jun. 20th, 2004 10:18 pm (UTC)
[recognised irony] I don't see the point in being irrational.

[grin] Exactly - which is why I am quite vexed that I retain not-insignificant irrationality regarding said ex.
(Deleted comment)
(Deleted comment)
Jun. 20th, 2004 10:20 pm (UTC)
But have you ever actually been unsuccessful in blocking out the noise? That's much of the vexation that I'm experiencing now (and indeed experienced for several months post-breakup).
(Deleted comment)
Jun. 19th, 2004 10:09 am (UTC)
and Damn, but I need to type slower. Sorry aobut the typos that make the original undecipherable. Below is the edited-to-be-read-by-humans version:

The ones I've been not-very-close to, it took a year or two to get to mostly-normal. After ~8 years (in the longest case), 100% normalcy has not precisely been reached. For instance, I have aversions to things an ex-GF was fanatic about that remain with me today, even though I have no contact with her, and never had a problem with said thigns that she was fanatic about until after she went nutz about them.

In Noblessa's case, there are people she broke up with 10-15 years ago that still haven't quite gotten over her. Several people still think that the broken-up-with parties are still in love with her. *defiantely* not returned-to-normal at all.

From what I've seen, getting broken up with makes it worse and last longer than being the one to initiate the break-up, since if you decide to break up with someone you've already gone much further towards severing your emotional ties. If you're on the recieving end, it's kind of like having the far end of your bungee cord cut--you have nothing holding you up, and a *LOT* of recoil snapping back at you, hard.

Remember that emotions have just about nothing to do with rationality. It's not rational to have much of any feelings about somoene you aren't involved with and don't (usually) care about any more. But humans are *incredibly* good at being idiots when it comes to base-line doesn't-bother-to-go-through-higher-functions-of-the-brain reactions to things. Don't let it bother you that you're feeling this way... but at the same time, don't ignore it. Talk about it, to the friends who won't tell you you're a freak becasue of wehat you're feeling. Love from the ones you *do* care about, and who care about you, is one of the best therapies for this that I know.

Jun. 20th, 2004 10:26 pm (UTC)
[hug] Thanks. :)

Regarding the not feeling bad about being irrational - it seems to follow this cycle:

1) Feel irrational.
2) Recognize irrationality.
3) Feel irritated with self for feeling irrational.
4) Realize this is not necessarily controllable.
5) Feel irked for being irritated by irrationality.
6) Lather, Rinse, Repeat.

I realize, of course, that the cycle of irk is actually quite amusing, when viewed objectively.

But in the meantime, I shall accept that I am human (Tsk, me) and focus on things besides the wedding invitation. Besides, there are many other people with far greater problems than wedding invitation irk. Thus, I shall cope. ;)
Jun. 19th, 2004 12:10 pm (UTC)
Irrational Behaviors and more
Same here. I get both types of feelings about the ex. It's been 2 months since my first serious "breakup" that totally devastated me, and I still go between "moving on mode" (with periodic remorse about the good times) and "fuck her" mode (because I still don't fully understand nor trust the explanations provided thus far, and the fact that 80% of the emotion/angst expressed in this spur-of-the-moment "I need time apart" breakup was mine - she showed little if any emotion.) I mean, unless I stalk her (which I won't), I don't know if what she's told me (eg, "there's nobody else" and other items pertaining to her surprise breakup with me) is the truth or not. So I have to take her word for it. THAT is the hard part -- the whole matter of trust. While I never had reason to doubt her while we were together, the furtive way this whole thing happend makes me reconsider that implicit trust I had in her when we were together.

We agreed to try and be friends -- yet there were times when her AIM window pop'd up resulting in bouts between those two mental states above. In the few chats we had, I "typed through clenched teeth" - short indifferent answers and not being too forthcoming with chatting about things like we used to - but trying not to be cold and hostile, either....as I told her, I was taking 'baby steps' in dealing with her post-breakup because I didn't see the need/have the desire to engage in chat about our daily lives like we did during our relationship. I admitted that I just didn't quite yet know how to deal with her now (eg, do I cut her out of my life totally or take things slowly?) This was a mix of both rational and irrational behaviors - but I'm trying to take things slowly and civily because I do want to be friends with her after I get over what's happened. (Noble goal, eh?)

I can admit one TOTALLY irrational behavior is the fear of "what's she saying / possibly saying about me behind my back to my friends" -- leading to "gee, will my good friend XXXXXX tell me something that my ex said when they meet/talk, or will s/he play dumb and let me embarass myself?" Again, it's a matter of trust -- I have to trust my good friends to do the right thing....and while I sincerely trust them, it's an irrational response to what happened, and I really, really hate it.

IMO there's a ton of irrational behaviour post breakup. If the breakup is clear-cut, as in "my girlfriend found someone else and dumped me" it's easier for the guy to move on because there's a clear case in his mind about what happened. If the breakup is quasi-amicable it makes things much more difficult because there are many unanswered questions. While my ex acts like nothing happened (irrational?) I still have a hard time accepting some of the things she told me (eg, "there's nothing wrong with you", "there's noone else, really", and "I want to do [new] things but can't tell you about them") -- leading to periodic bouts of irrational thoughts, feelings, insomnia, etc as I fully come to terms.

Right now, "friends" - perhaps "good friends" - is probably the best I can hope for, but even though she's said that she values my friendship, I need time to devolve into that role (from boyfriend) and be more than a "responsible acquaintance" who's there for her in an emergency, which is where I told her I am right now.

But I've moved on pretty well. I did muster enough courage to start dating again - it's been fun, therapeudic, and promising! Deep down, I believe that life is too short and that I'll be damned if someone's newfound (yet totally understandable if not clearly-explained) desire to "find themselves" (while dumping me out of the blue) is going to be a perpetual thorn in my mental side. I'm the one that needs to be in-control of my life, and not lingering memories, angst, anger, guilt, remorse, questions, or bitterness. Hence, I move on the best ways I can. Yet, FWIW as a quasi-friend of hers at the moment, I do wish her the best in whatever (and/or whoever) she's doing these days. As I tell folks, logically I understand everything that's happened; unfortunately, for the reasons above, emotionally, it's a bit harder. C'est Amore. C'est Life.

Time will tell how things turn out with the ex, but I'm working on it.
Jun. 19th, 2004 06:18 pm (UTC)
There are several factors at play, but I think some of the crucial ones for me are whether I feel like I was rejected by the party in question, and whether I still care/find them worthwhile or not. Most of my ex's are either friends or people I never see. In all cases but one for the past fifteen years, I wouldn't react to them in ways that I wouldn't to other friends or to other people I never saw. Vague interest, or congrats when appropriate.

However, the elephant in the room for me is someone that I didn't even date, technically. But if he were to get married and invite others of our mutual friends but not me? Raze the grounds and salt the earth. I recognize that this is an entirely inappropriate response, and even were I invited to a hypothetical wedding of his, I might not go. Or go, and kick him in a sensitive area in the reception line. Or go, and object dramatically at the right moment. Or.... yeah.

I think the reason that I still feel so strongly about it is that I feel that in some un-understandable way I wasn't "good enough" for him to be in love with. And that kicks off all sorts of angsty feelings, ending in comforting thoughts of things like his flayed hide on my living room couch. Though love itself is a fairly irrational emotion, and who you choose to love and who loves you don't obey the dictates of sweet reason, it's still very galling when the two don't match up, and I think that feeds a lot of peoples' engines of angst.
Jun. 20th, 2004 10:29 pm (UTC)
Indeed - logic tells me that the rejectee, so to speak, ought to be more prone to such bursts of irrationality. And yet, part of me says, "Well - you are rational. Logic your way out of it. And if that fails, remember that there are far worse things than not being invited to an ex's wedding." [wry grin]
Jun. 21st, 2004 12:20 am (UTC)
i couldn't go alone, nor without you
irrationally, i felt the same way when he couldn't invite you, but then i realized that, uh, he doesn't exactly know who the fuck you are, now does he.
never did, never did, never could
(truly, i have never seen you as the dominatrix in your street clothes....you, whom he feared would get violent)

give me a break!!!

you are, once again, missing he who you projected he was until the mooing stopped

and, i suppose it's time for me to stop stalking and be me
smooch, my precious

( 12 comments — Leave a comment )


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Jalen Strix

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