A Gentleman's Guide

DECEMBER | 2018

DECEMBER | 2018 | LOVE & RELATIONSHIPS

EXCOMMUNICATION

MICHAEL B. WILLIAMS

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The holidays are in full swing and as our focus shifts to family, friends and other interpersonal relationships, we might find ourselves reflecting on the status of our current relationships and on whether or not we should consider reaching out to Beauxs of relationships past during the holiday season. Maybe we’re already in contact with him and are trying to decide whether or not its time to end the communication with our past to focus on our present. But what, if anything, does communicating with our former Beaux say about the state of our relationship with our current Beaux? Let’s take a closer look at this.

Many might agree that it's common to maintain communication with a former Beaux outside of being involved in a current relationship, but what happens when we do it while actively involved in a current relationship? Does it automatically classify us as being trash if we stay in touch with an ex in the presence ( or absence) of our current Beaux? The short answer it that it depends. Before we fully work to answer this question, lets talk about why someone would venture down that road of decision making in the first place.

One of the contributing factors to either maintaining or re establishing communication with a former Beaux while being involved with a current, is the lens through which we view the status of our relationship. If we placed the different types of romantic relationships on a spectrum that ranged from casual dating to marriage, we might come to a better understanding as to why someone might be inclined to make such a choice. We know the difference between casual dating, dating exclusively and full blown committal, so when it comes to asking whether or not communication with an ex is appropriate, we must first consider where our relationship with our ex lies on the spectrum. So again, it depends. When we casually date, all bets are off up until the point where we, along with our Beaux, make the call to date exclusively. The same can be said as it pertains to making the transition from dating exclusively to marriage, and even this depends on the type of relationship we and our Beaux agree upon (because what we won’t do is act as if we don’t know the ‘open’ couple).

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Another consideration we should give pause to is the length and type of relationship as well as what we (and our Beauxs) consider an “ex” to be. Is an ex someone from our past who we’ve engaged in casual sex with, or is it someone we loosely dated for a few months? Is an ex someone we met off jackd with the intent on dating but was friendzoned instead, or it is someone we shared a quick kiss on the New Year’s eve when Mariah Carey acted a fool on them people’s stage? Again, it depends! And while we’re not here to judge, let it be known that some of these examples do not constitute someone being an ex.

For the sake of time let’s just say that communicating with our ex doesn’t really present a problem until we carry that communication into another relationship without identifying the feelings that prompt us to do so. What’s important to understand is the motivation for wanting to maintain in contact with our ex is what makes the difference, and nothing fuels motivation better than feeling.

If we left our last relationship as the result of a mutual decision, we might feel more positive about it as the decision was mutual and it ended on a good note. This leaves room for us to remain connected with our past while pursuing our future. If the feeling is that our current Beaux is nothing more than a placeholder and we’re keeping him around as a backup while we patiently wait for our ex to come around, then we’re in trouble. We need to ask ourselves why we’re wasting time with our current Beaux if we’re not that into him to begin with. Additionally if, we’re using our ex as a backup it will undermine our current relationship because it will seem as if we’ve already have one foot out the door.

Maybe we’re got some unresolved issues or are unwilling to sever the connection we have to his friends, family or (because some of us have been there) his finances. Maybe our feelings are purely sexual and our new Beaux doesn’t rock the same way our previous one did, and while we’re not necessarily trying to get that old thing back, we might be keeping him around to see whether or not we’ll slip up and let him slide in.

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Beauxs who still have feelings about previous exes might be more inclined to continue to stay in contact with them regardless of the origin of those feelings. Contact may not be deliberate as business relationships, familial ties, or a mutually established circle of friends can also make communication necessary. In today’s economy, living arrangements may play a role as some Beauxs still live with their exes...because the rent is too damn high. The reasons  often overlap and that is where the complication lies but they are also indicators of whether the interaction has the potential to hurt the current relationship. There are plenty of Beauxs who move into new relationships and are still friends with their exes. It is possible, but in doing so, we must consider how that contact affects our relationship and the impact it will have on our current relationship.

This brings us back to the initial question,  which is what happens when our ex is still in the picture? If we’re genuinely friends with our exes with no mixed feelings, it shouldn’t affect our current relationship assuming our current Beaux is not the jealous type! However, if we’re communicating with our ex because we want something more or they want something more; we’re probably not making the best decision and it can spell disaster in the end.

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Everyone is different, but ultimately it depends on what you want. If the communication with your ex comes with no ulterior motives and presents no threat to you current relationship then go for it But if it does present a problem then its up to you to make a choice. Is your friendship with your ex worth your relationship with your current Beaux? If so, then why? Is it because you want that old thing back, or is it because the two of you look upon your past and laugh at how foolish you were? Is there a way balance can be maintained and if not, where do you go from there?

Staying connected to an ex doesn’t make you trash, but keeping that communication a secret from a current Beaux does. For a lot of us, our exes represent specific periods in our lives, and we might develop bonds with them that outlast the relationship. So when it comes to the case of the ex, and the problems that may arise when communicating with them while being actively engaged in another relationship, it depends. It depends on your intention, on whether or not there are feelings and whether or not there is a possibility that the old flame will prevent a new spark from flourishing.


Jeremy Carter