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There’s a particular sort of “get your ex back” advice that encourages people to start fashioning themselves as “alpha,” “high value,” or some other bizarre over-compensatory delusion of grandeur. This advice basically amounts to the classic “fake it until you make it” advice.
You take an insecure and needy person, tell them to pretend they’re, say, an outgoing “alpha male/female,” and then they’ll be more likely to run around and behave along those manners.
Ideally, this person will receive some positive reference experiences with their ex to solidify their belief around being “alpha” and, as a result, personify the said identity even further.
Although the “fake it until you make it” advice works in many situations, my gripe with it is not the method itself but rather the absurd idealizations people tie to it.
Rather than envisioning themselves as calm, in-control, principled, charming, or assertive; they are instead encouraged to be an “alpha” or “high value” — all nebulous and arbitrary concepts at their core.
For instance, if you’re a quirky 30-year-old overweight game designer, and I get you to pretend you’re suddenly one of those hotshot, poser alphas you keep seeing in your Instagram feed selling shitty fitness supplements or NFTs, things would likely get awkward.
Even if you’d manage to embody your idealization, it’s nothing but a superficial and shallow endpoint — a lifestyle and identity devoid of any real meaning. Thus, I doubt that embodying this idealization would make you any happier. And if you’re not any happier, you likely also aren’t any more attractive. Hence you’ll have fewer chances of getting your ex back.
And while you may get your ex to like you more because you’re acting out on your idealization, you will ultimately only suppress your emotional issues in the process of acting out on that idealization. You know, the emotional issues you should be dealing with if you ever want to have a healthy relationship.
If you take an insecure and codependent nerd, call him Bob, who pretends to be James Bond — the ultimate alpha male — and gets his ex back due to his performance; in the end, you still have an insecure and codependent nerd.
The only difference is that now he’s got back with an ex who will just dump him in the future because he has done no real identity-level work — he hasn’t overcome his emotional issues, he hasn’t raised his self-esteem, nothing. He just got his ex back by playing pretend.
But then again, fate is even crueler to those who fail to embody their idealization. And most people do fail. No matter how long you try, you cannot keep up the farce in your head that you’re a badass and confident “alpha” or “high value” male/female when you have nothing substantial to show for it — no references that signal your brain, “Hey, fuckface! This is an instance of confidence. You have 420 of them. It looks like you’re way more badass than you’d thought.”
And when your little performance comes crashing down (and it always will), it only reaffirms your original deep-seated belief that you’re not good enough, that you have to fake being someone else for your ex — or anyone — to like you, and that you’ll never be loved or appreciated. I mean, those are things that make people perform in the first place.
Ultimately, don’t fake who you are and try to live up to some stupid ideal. It will only backfire. It always does. Invest and work on yourself for you. Be who you want to be, not what you think your ex wants you to be.
Sure, getting your ex back can be a powerful motivator for personal growth, but ultimately, the changes to your life need to be enacted by you for no one but you. Paradoxically, it’s only when you quit worrying about impressing your ex and instead focus on impressing yourself that you begin to impress your ex.
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