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Let’s pretend you’re dating your ex. Or that you’re at least going out with them. Imagine coming home one day, exhausted from work. You throw yourself on your bed, pick up your phone, and call your ex, only to utter the following.
“My boss is a fucking lunatic for making me work extra hours for his project. Everyone else on my team is useless and lazy. Why does this happen to me? Why do I have to end up with these idiots?”
Just when your ex tries to respond (probably about how you should never call them again), you cut them off and continue with your pity party.
“I’m always the unfortunate one. What the fuck can I do. My mom and dad never loved me, and proving myself to my coworkers is all I know. I still want to prove myself, but it’s just so damn hard. Why don’t you say anything? Don’t you care about me? I just feel so alone and empty. I don’t know what to do. I wish you were here and cared.”
This is a rather extreme example, but it perfectly illustrates my point: being a whiny, moping, cry-your-heart-out downer is an abysmally unattractive attitude. It’s a gateway to toxic vulnerability and treating your ex as your personal therapist.
But your ex is not your therapist — even if being a therapist is their profession — nor should they be. Hell, they don’t even want to be one. They hate the whole thing. The only exceptions are codependents and other similarly damaged people who you shouldn’t be in a relationship with in the first place.
So if you keep being a whiny downer, day in and day out, week after week, month after month, and not do anything about your problems (not even take responsibility for them), your ex will start feeling uncomfortable and unsafe around you. They’ll lose any respect and trust they harbor toward you. Their attraction will go down the shitter. And, as a result, you’ll never get them back. They will give up on you.
So how do you avoid being a downer and making your ex your therapist? For one, getting into actual therapy helps. Investing in yourself and actually resolving your life-problems helps. Getting better at dating helps. But other than that, just don’t complain, mope, and whine. Focus on connecting and having fun when you’re out and about with your ex.
Now, I’m not saying, don’t ever show emotions. I’m just saying there is a clear line between having a one-hour monologue about how unfair and crappy your life is and, say, admitting your job sucks when your ex asks you about it. Do the latter, avoid the former.
Vulnerability is power, to be aware of your shortcomings, flaws and faults, but to not be hijacked by them. To accept them, but to not be attached to them and using them to become a victim so you don’t have to take any personal responsibility to shape and change your life.
And if you do, for example, admit your job sucks, be sure to add that you’re working toward finding a better one. Same story for admitting your diet, social, or hell, even your love life sucks. Admit first, then add how you’re improving your situation. And then actually work on improving it — on overcoming your problems.
Your ex doesn’t want someone excessively emotional and timid; someone who is too weak to stand up for themselves and go for what they want. Your ex wants someone with emotional stability who takes control of their life — someone who knows what they want and isn’t afraid to go after it.
So be bold and start working toward becoming that person. Get your head right, and you just might make things work with your ex — or anyone.
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