Ok, brain. Let’s put our ex on a big, bulky, hulking pedestal that stretches beyond the clouds. They’ll be wearing an Instagram-worthy purple mantle, a diamond-encrusted crown, and there’s going to be dozens of black-tuxedo-wearing servants encircling them, eagerly awaiting their next command.
Oh, and I’ll be there too! Kissing my exes feet as the metrosexual portrait artist from France — Pierre — tries to capture their smug expression.
I don’t know, brain. It feels like something is missing. Oh yeah! Let’s put our ex next to Arnold Schwarzenegger, Elon Musk, and Jesus. They’re probably even better than those guys. Thanks, brain!
Sorry for the over-the-top example, but it was necessary.
There are so many people out there who idealize their ex in a very similar way than what I described. They put their personal worth far above theirs. They talk about them like they’re God. And worst of all, they stuff their mind with bullshit like, “my ex was the only one for me, I’m never going to find someone better, or I’m not capable of finding and keeping anyone better.”
This entire mentality of “my ex is so fucking special” is nothing but a sad delusion, a set of limiting beliefs built on the backbone of insecurity, low self-esteem, and flawed societal programming. Society just loves to distill the idea of “till death tears us apart” in our minds, after all.
Let me go on a tangent here and unpack this last point because it is probably somewhat relevant to your situation.
The idea of “till death tears us apart” is outdated and even dangerous. It implies that relationship success is based on its length. This is the wrong way to go about it. You should base relationship success on its quality. Never length.
Take my grandparents, for example. They were married for over 50 years, yet their relationship was a raging dumpster-fire for the last 20 — full of resentment, jealousy, and codependency. The only smidgen of love between them came to life when we found out my grandfather had cancer and only months to live.
Ok, back to the whole “your ex is not special” thing…
Your ex is not special. Like you, me, and everyone else on this abandoned space ball of shit, they have their own imperfections, limiting beliefs, bad habits, weird hangups, and lousy or even toxic qualities. Oh, and they also fart, shit, and screw things up all the time — just like everyone else.
Your. Ex. Is. Not. Special.
Don’t believe me? Think I’m full of shit? Want to punch me in the face?
(Do it, pussy.)
Well, try this exercise and find out how un-special your ex really is.
To start, take out a sheet of paper and list the reasons why you think your ex deserves all your brownie-points. When you’re done, start objectively questioning those reasons, and write them down next to your questions. In the end, add a verdict to every reason you wrote. Here’s how this looks in practice:
Reason: My ex is special because they loved me in a way no other person can.
Questioning: Do I know this to be a fact? Have I been with or dated every other person? Am I really basing my thoughts on reality, or am I making generalizations, looking through rose-colored glasses, or are in denial?
Verdict: This is not true. It’s not a fact. I haven’t been romantically involved with every other person. And I am making a colossal generalization.
Let’s do one more.
Reason: my ex is special because they have the most unique set of qualities I’ve ever seen. (i.e., they’re quirky, fun, adventurous, affectionate, etc… )
Questioning: So you’re saying that no other person that you can attract and build a relationship with has the same set of qualities as your ex?
Verdict: This is not true. I haven’t even met half of the world; how the hell could I know? I’m probably eating too much glue again.
As a side note, be sure you’re writing these things instead of just thinking about them. Writing about our emotions, beliefs, and thoughts makes it way easier for us to consider them rationally, objectively, and thus with more accuracy.
Once you’ve finished your reason/questioning/verdict list, keep it somewhere near you. Let it be a reminder in moments of weakness, like when you want to break no-contact, that you can always find someone better and more suitable than your ex — that your ex was not all that special.
Similar to how your ex is not special, your relationship with them is also nothing special. The world is abundant with relationships. Therefore, all of them are replaceable. You can always find someone else to spend the rest of your life with.
I mean, think about it. With over 7.4 billion people in the world, 50% of those being the opposite gender, finding a new partner isn’t all that hard.
And don’t give me the whole spiel about not being good-looking or smart or charismatic enough. The overarching reason people feel stuck in their love lives is because of their minds. Or, to be more specific, the icky things inside their minds: low self-worth and emotional intelligence, limiting beliefs, insecurities, and so forth. That’s what keeps people single.
Since I’m riffing on your ex and the relationship you had with them, let me give you the same treatment. I think it’s fair. So here goes.
No matter how much you’re suffering, there are millions, if not billions, of other people who are going through the same shit. Hell, most of them probably have it way worse. Your suffering is not all that unique.
Before you accuse me of being a party pooper, know this: the fact that other people are suffering for the same things you are is great news.
If there are billions of other brokenhearted people out there, all of which are experiencing and thinking the same things as you right now, then you’re never really suffering alone. You can always find a friend somewhere in the trenches—someone with who you can discuss your shared pain, someone to who you can vent, someone with who you can relate.
One could even coat the entire world with this “no-one-is-special” mentality. Because none of us are special; none of us have any importance in the grand scheme of things other than the importance we made up ourselves.
That’s right, fucker. Your self-importance is merely a product of your imagination. Even your life purpose is a product of your imagination. You don’t find it, as most people believe, you create it. We are nothing but specks of space dust randomly tossed into an empty existence and condemned to make something of ourselves despite the absurdity of our life.
Many would consider this a morbid idea, but I actually find it jam-packed with hope and optimism.
Because of our fundamentally non-existent importance, we can stop taking our breakup, ourselves, and our life so damn seriously. The mentality also frees us from obsessing over things that don’t really matter. And that takes a lot of pressure off our shoulders.
I can write an article where I call my reader a fucker or a pussy and not lose hope in my writing career because I know that hardly anyone will care. And you can suffer through a breakup and still remain hopeful of the future because you know that in a few years, when you look back at this whole shit-show, you’ll laugh about it. Like we all do.
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