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EX-cruciating exes
What happens when a couple breaks up? How do you go from knowing every single detail about someone to knowing nothing at all? Find out how to handle the most common, awkward and painful post-break-up situations...

Let’s face it, break-ups suck – to put it bluntly, but the after-effects are what add insult to injury.

Breaking news

Things in your relationship are going perfectly until…“Babe, I don’t think this is working anymore”, and the love song constantly playing in the background of your life suddenly cuts out.

Wow, not what you were expecting when you got up this morning, right? What do you even say to that?

There are many ways in which one can respond to that statement, 99,9% of those responses are not very ‘stable’, ‘sane’ or ‘graceful’ approaches to the matter. Enough said. This is where it all begins:

Role-playing

Initially, no one ever knows how to act around their ex. And there will come a time when you unexpectedly bump into each other. Uh-oh! Should you be friendly? Should you ignore him? A million questions run through your mind at once, and if you’re anything like me, you end up downing one too many tequilas which only adds to the drama – trust me.

After a few very awkward (and some potentially very public) encounters, you kind of get the idea of where you and your ex-lover stand. This doesn’t make dealing with reality any easier though.

Even if you do go back to being friends, can you really forget everything that ever happened between the two of you?

Now you see me, now you don’t… see anything BUT me

For some reason, fate thinks it’s funny to throw painful reminders of your ex in your path every second of every day – especially when the wounds are still fresh.

Everywhere you go you’re reminded of what was, what is no more and what will never be again. Every depressing song, every romantic movie… EVERYTHING! He’s just there.

The solution is easy: try completely new things. Never liked sports? Never thought of joining a book club? Now is the time to do so…

I just called to say…

Ex-boyfriends have a sixth sense for these things – you’re on top of the world and you’ve just about forgotten about them when your phone goes off and who is it? Him, of course – and now you’re back to square one.

Men love to check up on their exes. Even if he broke your heart, he will still find it hard to let go, and going cold turkey is hard. It’s selfish of him to contact you, but most times his intentions are good. Try not to let yourself wonder why he is calling you and whether it means he wants to get back together. You’re better off telling him politely but firmly that you would rather he didn’t contact you.

It is what it is

No matter how many hours you spend reminiscing, flirting or catching up, the fact remains he’s your ex. If you aren’t over him and you’re still vulnerable to his words, you absolutely cannot be friends.

Stay away until you are sure you can handle being around him. Don’t try to be Superwoman because believe me, your ex is your kryptonite.

The ugly truth

Dealing with an ex can be frustrating, awkward and just plain heart-breaking, but it only makes you stronger, and it does get easier with time. As much as he might have hurt you, as much as you may still love him, as much as you may miss him – always remember that things happen for a reason and if you were meant to be, you would have been or you’ll find your way back to each other.

Carrie Bradshaw observed that “old lovers, ex-boyfriends, or anyone with whom you have unresolved issues, you are bound to run into again and again until you resolve them.”

The good in goodbye

When the dust settles, you’ll realise everything that you’ve learnt and how much stronger you are. So while it might take a bit of adjusting, your ex won’t always be a pain in the butt. He only has power over you as long as you allow him to possess it.

Like the colour in a pair of jeans, exes fade with time. The faster you move forward, the faster you’ll leave him behind.

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