Breaking up with someone is difficult at the best of times; the pain, anguish and uncertainty of what the future holds can be overwhelming. It’s common to hear platitudes such as time heals, or just take some time and space for yourself. These are all well and good, but what happens however if you still live near your ex, in the same small town, or even in the same house? What do you do, when every time you try to heal you bump into the past?
Small town love
If you live in a small town then the likelihood of bumping into your ex on a weekly or even daily basis is going to be high. The unpredictability of such meetings will vary in intensity, depending of course on the circumstances of your breakup. If it wasn’t an amicable one, then it’s extremely important that you actively try to manage your side of the emotions. This means anything from therapy for your broken heart, to sensitivity if they’re the one who wanted to remain together.
It’s not unheard of to actually have the discussion with an ex about how best to engage with each other in public. You can mutually decide to be cordial, or you can take a stand and ignore them if that works best for you. The key is to be sure about your motives and to be wary of following their lead, especially if it’s not what you’re comfortable with. Over time as you both move on, the way you interact will naturally evolve.
Under one roof
Occasionally couples who split need to remain in shared residence until either the finances are worked out, or new digs are found. It’s extremely important to set boundaries in circumstances like this, so that both parties know exactly what’s expected. Considerations should always include sleeping arrangements, joint bills, food expenses and daily chores such as housekeeping.
Clearly, if this is a long term arrangement, more delicate matters will need to be addressed, such as what happens if either of you meet a new partner. The last thing you want is to wake up and find you ex’s new girlfriend cooking breakfast in your kitchen.
Children and assets
Children and the stability of their environment is a huge motivator for staying close to one another after the breakdown of a relationship. This only truly works when the proximity you choose isn’t detrimental to the pair of you healing and moving on as individuals.
The idea of keeping an arrangement fluidand flexible sounds lovely and new age, but the reality is you need to be apair of extremely well adjusted adults to pull it off. Boundaries after breakupshelp us to navigate our new position in life and in relation to each other.
Likewise in business, think about how long you can genuinely remain connected to a partner you no longer feel the same about. Personal animosity makes for a terrible professional working atmosphere and is unlikely to improve your output.
We all know someone who’s had an unhealthy interest in the social media profile of an ex. These days it’s incredibly easy to waste hours not just pondering what an old flame is doing, but actually following it in real time via their social media feed. It’s a slippery slope.
If you’re still digitally connected with your ex there are a range of options you can employ, from unfriending or unfollowing completely, to muting them on your feed and controlling what they’re able to see on yours. As always, assess your intentions for whatever choice you make, keep it positive and refrain from making this decision a bigger issue than it needs to be.