Standards and Exes

After a breakup, it’s normal to feel sorry about yourself.

The day of the break, I spent a healthy half an hour crying my eyes out and repeating to myself, “WHY CAN’T THEY LOVE ME?! AM I REALLY THAT UNLOVEABLE?! WHAT THE HECK IS WRONG WITH ME?!”

Regardless of them saying it’s not you, it’s them… you know that in some ways, it’s still you and you blame yourself for it.

I’ve been thinking a lot these past couple of days…

My ex is a terrific guy. Everyone who knows him thinks I found a great catch. He’s tall, attractive, and very active and outgoing, smart, a great conversationalist and knows the ins and outs of life. He’s one of the nice guys who fit most women’s standards.

But as my good girl-friend wisely asked, “Your ex fits in all your standards but why can’t you make it?”

“He doesn’t love me and couldn’t defend our relationship from other people,” I replied.

“What do you think makes a relationship work?” she continued asking.

“Love and commitment,” I answered. “Both men were not committed enough to stay and work it out. They bailed after they didn’t feel like it anymore.”

“It’s okay for you to have standards,”
she consoled. “But it doesn’t mean it’ll work when you find a guy who fits in all standards.”

I think chemistry is important,” she continued. “He has to find something unique from you that he likes a lot and vice-versa. This way, you can put up with each other for a long time, because you don’t find that in other people.”

“What your ex saw from you is what other people saw,” she explains. “He may have liked your happy, shining personality, but that unique factor doesn’t disappear that easily. Ultimately, he didn’t find that unique factor from you. That’s why he said there is no spark. What he saw from you is what other people see, so nothing special to him.”

“Put your standards away and make friends,” she suggested. “Physical attractiveness, interesting conversations are not what makes a relationship work.”

“So what is it that we need?”
I asked.

“You need to find out for yourself,” she answered. “Everyone wants company, but other than that, what do you want from your partner? Everyone may want a tall, interesting and outgoing guy. For them, that’s perfect. But he may be a player or a selfish ass. So forget about the artificial things. Standards don’t work. You have to figure something out more than standards.”


I’ve come to terms that it’s very unlikely my ex and I will not get back together again mainly because we do not share the same views about love. A lot of people suggest that I quit cold turkey and stop seeing him or have anything to do with him.

However, my ex says, “If we are to be friends long-term, communication is key.”

*think, think*

My friend Mike tells me that sometimes, couples who break up no longer remain friends because seeing each other brings out painful memories. That’s why, some of his ex doesn’t want to see him anymore.

My ex says otherwise, “I know it can be done. You’ve shared so many intimate things together, it’s likely no one knows you more than your ex. It’s difficult, but requires hard work, time and maturity.”

All of my girl-pals recommend me to just stay away “for a couple of months” at least. Most of them are no longer friends with their exes.

It makes me wonder, after spending so many happy days and intimately connecting together, it’s ironic that people are no longer friends with their exes. Given this, you’re thankful for the memories, but ultimately you’re wasting your time with that person because you don’t have a future anymore, as lovers or as mere friends.

I am trying to be logical about this though — Sometimes, when people hook up, it’s because they see something special about that person. Ultimately, everyone is looking for that One person to share their life with. However, more often than not, things don’t work out and you realize that that person you’re with isn’t the one you’re looking for.

So do you give up whatever relationship you may have, just because they’re not meant to be partners for life?

Take my ex for an example. He’s a great guy.

I know you’re sick of me saying this, but he is.

But does he have what it takes to be my life-long mate? Can he ultimately give me what I am looking for?

I used to think so. But these past few weeks, after seeing another side of him, I’m coming to realize that we’re not as compatible as I’ve thought.

Sure, we share the same personality (we always joke that I’m a girl-version of him and vice-versa) and very similar interests, but foundation-wise, we don’t have what it takes to make a long-term relationship work. Both of us look at love and commitment differently, and neither of us is likely to change our beliefs on the subject.

So yes, maybe as lovers or as a potential mate, we don’t have what it takes.

But as friends, we expect less from our friends.

So can it work? Can exes be friends?

After thinking about this for a couple of days, I’ve already told him what I wanted. Now, it’s his move.

Hope he doesn’t screw it up.

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