Why Not Me?
When we make other people’s behaviour about us, not only are we distorting our own perspective, but we are also not seeing the wood for the trees. Often, I hear from people who have gotten all territorial about their ex’s, who are wondering, Why him/her and not me? What’s wrong with me?
Women in particular, often perceive closure as something that they are owed when the man they thought would be theirs forever has taken up residence elsewhere. Let me use a basketball analogy to illustrate this. When a player becomes an unrestricted free agent, he casually tests the market interest. He knows he would be okay to stay on his current team and they’re willing to re-sign him. He will get offers but ultimately, the team thinks they know exactly what will keep him in their jersey. When a new team in a bigger market comes along, offering not only the money what he wants, but a multi-year deal and a chance to make it past May, the home team’s offer is now chump change to him. Despite the familiarity and the relationships he’s built up on that team, loyalty is now just a word.
Closure is a pseudo chess match that a woman will lose at every single time. Moreover, a woman’s opinion of herself is often self-righteous and very forgiving. In spite of her flaws, she thinks any man, especially that man, would be honored she chose him. Let’s be transparent; the weather changes and friends become strangers passing in the night. At some point, as a woman who wants to maintain some form of dignity, you have to accept defeat gracefully.
In these situations, we tend to forget that they’ve probably been with several people so there are several people who could be wondering exactly the same thing. We can get stuck on the why about those situation-ships that didn’t come to fruition due to our feelings not being reciprocated, never mind the people we actually had something with. So, it is easy to see how we can get completely carried away with this distorted thinking if we do not take control over our ego.
For example, imagine that we are ex#1 and wondering why they were with ex#2, 3 and 4 and we are feeling jealous that they are currently with #5 and agonising over what they could possibly have that we don’t. We might even take it as an additional insult that it hasn’t worked out with #2-4 and yet they haven’t come back to us, or that we’re the rainy day option that they fall back on between relationships but then they move onto the next ‘future ex’. We’re so busy giving ourselves a hard time over these ‘amazing future’ exes and this better relationship that we feel entitled to with them, that we’re only too willing to hang around.
For all we know, those same ex’s are judging themselves against us and/or wondering what’s wrong with them. We’re acting like there’s something deeply flawed within us as if to suggest that if we’d been “good enough” or even perfect enough, that they would not have even had to dabble elsewhere – we have an I Must Get It Right First Time mentality but we’re also under the impression that it’s another person that makes a person, so if we’d been able to change them or we’d been ‘good enough’ in the first place, then there wouldn’t have been the issues that we’re now conveniently forgetting.
Wondering why people choose someone else makes everything about us, when not everything is about us. It is like assuming that an ex is forever using us as a benchmark on which to make all of their dating and relationship decisions. We are only imagining that our involvement with them is at the forefront of their mind because we are likely still stuck on the hurt and perceived rejection that we’ve been beating ourselves with ever since. In fact, it is us benchmarking us.
Imagine that we’re ex#7 – if we’re feeling this way, how are 1-6 supposed to feel? Less than worthless? How many ex’s past us would it take to realise that it’s not about us? #9, #15, #20? What would it be? How much ‘proof’ do we need? Whilst we are wondering, ‘Why them and not me?’, does this mean that all of our exes should be losing sleep over each other?
People say to me, ‘What’s wrong with me? He/she broke up with me X amount of years ago and has been married X times since. I don’t get it. They didn’t want to marry me.’ HE-LLO! They’ve been married however many times since! How much does our ego really need to say that we were one of the people that someone chose to get married to? The fantasy that she should, would, and could have been the exception to the rule is just that; a fantasy. Another wondered why her shady boyfriend played around behind her back (because he’s shady) instead of staying with her (because he’s shady) and felt tortured that he was off living some imagined fairy tale with that same woman.
Sometimes we forget that we’re not the only ex. Sometimes we forget that not everything is about us. We’re too busy convincing ourselves that others are the embodiment of all that’s ‘better’ than that which we convince ourselves that we’re not, that we also forget that we can do better. I’m pretty sure that every woman has been a practice girlfriend. You let a guy, that you were attracted to and saw yourself with long-term, take up substantial time in your life. All the while he was slowly moulding himself to be the perfect catch for someone else. Eventually, the man has moved on and is trying to do everything right that he didn’t do for you with this new woman.
Any breakup that wasn’t expected and/or mutual is going to hurt. It is a jarring blow to your entire system of emotions when you find out that the same guy who wasn’t ready to settle down/just wanted let things happen is enamored with a new woman. You have to find it within you to realise that a) maybe the timing wasn’t right or maybe b) she has something you don’t and he likes it. What that “it” she possesses is isn’t your concern. Personally, I do not think that guys owe women closure. Closure is a little band-aid created by women as means to soften the blow of rejection. The moment you can get to the point where your ability to pick up the pieces and move forward doesn’t depend on someone giving the whys and hows of a love deferred, you will realise that this little closure thing doesn’t have the power to heal it; you do. Sometimes, we need to see past our nose to recognise what we’re being spared from – blessings in disguise