By Nikita Haynie
If you’re anything like me every blue moon you have an ex or two resurface, hitting you with a “hey stranger” or “How you’ve been?”. My absolute favorite any birthday or holiday they are magically thinking about you and wanted to send well wishes. Exes teach us valuable lessons we wouldn’t otherwise learn if we weren’t in connection. I believe relationships can end cordially and for some (not me) can even set forth on the path of being friends with an ex. Before I get into it, full disclaimer:
“I do believe in the power of change and transformation. I believe we all are in process and ultimately become better versions of ourselves when we are taking ownership of our own self-work.”
However this isn’t what I’m referencing when it comes to exes for the purposes of this post. I am referencing exes who don’t know when to leave well enough alone. The exes when they see you living your best life without them feel compelled to slide in your inbox. Before you ponder the possibility of rekindling an old flame consider my categories on exes who can’t let go.
Ex #1: The I don’t want you, I want ACCESS to you. Beware of humans who want access to you, without having to do real work to hold space in your life, these are dangerous people. These are people you can’t trust and likely the access to you is about the complacency of their own life eating them alive, so they want to frolic in the goodness of yours at their leisure when it’s convenient. It’s not about supporting or celebrating your accomplishments, it’s about their need for attention. It’s a distraction don’t give them access sis, access denied.
Ex #2: Shoulda. Coulda. Woulda. You had a good thing going but the relationship ended for reasons unknown or suddenly there was a shift, only for the ex to learn what they thought wanted in place of the relationship didn’t measure up. Forgiveness is real and sometimes yes you can break up and after time and growth there can be reconciliation after real self -discovery. However patterns don’t lie and sometimes old habits don’t die hard. Sometimes it’s you’re doing good and the idea of what could’ve been is a thrill for an ex whose seeking the next adrenaline hit of memory lane. You shoulda realized what you had when you had it, so coulda been happy, but now you sitting on woulda lane. That’s they bad sis.
Ex #3: We Can Be Friends. Friendship requires reciprocity and a genuine desire to be friends. An ex who consistently wants your friendship but doesn’t have an understanding of what it means to be a friend. Typically when an ex wants to “work on building a friendship”, it’s because they don’t want to be perceived as the bad guy and also keep a potential “open door” if it doesn’t work out on the dating scene. You know a tree by the fruit it bears and we all know when an ex genuinely wants to be a friend vs a friend with “benefits”.
Ex #4: Any occasion is an occasion to reach out, even if I’m boo’d up, engaged, or married. It can be St. Patrick’s Day, National Margarita Day, your birthday, Friday the 13th. Any unsolicited reason for a blast from the past to hit your inbox or DM with “I was just thinking about you”, “Happy Holidays, I thought about you”, or “insert whatever cliche outreach scam of your choice.” Scam? Yes a scam, it’s fraudulent. It’s a ploy, a trap, a rabbit hole to skip down memory lane and boost the ego of the sending party whom more than likely has been stalking your social media platforms and can’t fathom you are living your best life without them. I believe in checking on people when they drop in your spirit but if the only time you’re checking in is around a holiday, birthday or random special occasion (*insert side eye*).
To the trolling and lurking exes, here’s a newsflash: If you ever wonder is your ex doing alright. The answer is YES. She’s doing well, she’s living and thriving. She’s blessed and highly favored. Keep the urge to send a happy birthday, happy new year, happy mother’s day text, email, smoke signal to yourself. She’s gucci. Furthermore if your current partner isn’t aware of the correspondence, delete delete delete. Don’t hit send.
Black women have a supernatural intuition when dealing with exes use it wisely. People are lessons and once you learn the lesson there’s no need to repeat. There are cases when rekindling with an ex can end in happiness and love. If you’re single, sure the attention is flattering but all attention isn’t good or needed. Entertaining an ex you know doesn’t have pure intentions is a distraction from your blessings. Don’t give life to dead situations. Continue to thrive in your black girl magic and if any of your exes fall into the aforementioned categories: KEEP IT PUSHING. You don’t have to settle for the familiarity of an ex, especially when proof is in their actions or lack thereof. Any human desiring your affections, time and energy need to put forth reciprocal effort. Flex sis, they didn’t deserve you anyway!
Nikita Haynie is the Assistant Editor for the Pedestal Project, LLC. Nikita is a writer, author, and educator. She is a creative that writes content intersecting faith, black womanhood, and culture. Proud optimist. Follow her on Instagram: @thenikitahaynie. Check her out at NikitaHaynie.com