What happens when you breakup with someone? I’ve imagined it’s a surgically clean process where some words are exchanged by both parties, they go their separate ways and exchange social pleasantries when they see each other in the future.
I’m asking because I’ve never had a clean breakup in life. For the most part, I’m in contact with a majority of my ex-boyfriends. This is probably because my breakups were as clean as my legs which haven’t been waxed for the last 6 months.
“Break up to make up, that’s all we do
First you love me then you hate me. That’s a game for fools”
Break up to Make up – The Stylistics
It should be considered healthy to have a plutonic relationship with your ex, right? It’s cool to be cordial instead of plotting to poison them by causing death by diarrhoea.
The Jamaican and I had a revolving door romance for about 10 years. The backdrop of this relationship was vicious arguing, a couple of physical altercations, some destruction of property, a few grey hairs, and a side of lost dignity. But after each tumultuous breakup, came the ever-so-sweet makeup after seeing each other in the club or an exchange of text messages that started with “hey you”. Reunions didn’t last long before the fuckery would start again – him cheating, him lying, me crying and begging.
The Bajan (who wasn’t technically my boyfriend) lied like the best Persian rugs. We went through two years of incessant and ridiculous lies (no, I am not sleeping with that girl, she’s my cousin), my car getting impounded because he drove it without a license. We’d breakup over one of his 8,423,090 lies and get back together just for me to cook his dinner and lunch.
Then there was the Trini who was overbearing and bossy. Nothing was right unless he did it. He was self-centred, vain and callous. He dumped me whenever the whim hit him. I’d take him back because I couldn’t breathe without him (I was 18 and daft).
This breakup-makeup is a vicious cycle. It dilutes the purity that should come from an amicable, clinically unsoiled uncoupling. It muddies the waters and leaves the door open for some unclear relationship behaviour. Behaviour that couples engage in, that stirs emotion in you. You’ve put no label on the new rules of engagement so anything goes. He can sleep with anyone he wants to, he can walk past you in the street and pretend like he doesn’t know you. And you can hurt. Being in contact may be a comfort to you but for him it could be a form of control, an ego stroke, a reminder he can keep you on a leash and in sight.
I’ve had about 5 boyfriends in my adult life and I am still in touch with 3 of them. I give them advice, share a few laughs with them, torture them with memories of yesteryear. But why haven’t I closed the door on these friendships? One of my ex’s is worth his weight in gold, and I would walk through fire for him. One of them is kind and respectful. The rest of them are of questionable character making me ponder on a crude saying “You don’t eat your vomit.” Don’t look back, don’t regress, just move on. Cleanly.
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