Breakups Suck, Especially When Your Ex Doesn’t Respect the Boundaries

BreakupRelationships end. It’s a fact of romantic life, an emotional hazard, a consequence of dabbling in amore. And alas, at some point in time, you’re 99 percent likely to feel the wratched effects of having a broken heart.

You’ll go through whatever rituals and mini-pity parties you need to wade through to get over it and then, when you’re finally, finally done running through boxes of Kleenex and putting your slow song soundtrack on constant repeat, you’ll come out stronger.

But it almost goes without saying that you won’t want your ex all up in your space for a long, long time.

And if you do have an accidental encounter, it’ll be awkward — as demonstrated by Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher’s little post-breakup run-in at a restaurant a few weeks ago. You can part ways with the man, but who gets custody of all of your old haunts? Your favorite bar? Your laundry spot? Your movie theater? Your apartment complex? 

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And if you do have an accidental encounter, it’ll be awkward — as demonstrated by Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher’s little post-breakup run-in at a restaurant a few weeks ago. You can part ways with the man, but who gets custody of all of your old haunts? Your favorite bar? Your laundry spot? Your movie theater? Your apartment complex?

I cringed when I read one blogger’s account of an ex moving in right next door to her. How, in all five boroughs of New York City, does an old flame end up in your mickey flickey neighborhood, let alone living right next door? Ay, caramba.

I’m not sure how you come to an agreement about who gets to be where and at what time in order to alleviate the possibility of running into your used-to-be. But she does make one very valid, very important, very learned-from-personal-experience observation: establishing physical boundaries doesn’t keep you from thinking about him and going through all kinds of self-designed obstacle courses to avoid him really only prolongs the inevitable that you will run into him.

You think he might show up at Friday’s so guess what? You don’t go to Friday’s. He might be at a mutual friend’s going away party, so you let Hallmark bid your pal adieu instead of saying it face-to-face. You know his routine well enough to be almost positive he’ll ride a certain train, so you let two or three pass in hopes of missing the very one he’s riding on.

Meanwhile, homeboy is going on with his life, free and clear. No calculations, considerations, or hoop-jumping involved. He just goes where he wants to go when he wants to get there.

It seems that, in trying to dodge the possibility of having to lay eyes on the man who can make your heart swoon and ache in a singular beat, redesigning your life to avoid him only drags out the annoying habit of thinking about him longer than you should.

Have you ever bumped into an ex when the breakup was still awkwardly fresh?


Image via grahamc99/Flickr

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