3 Steps to Letting Go of the Ghost of Boyfriends Past

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I promise not to date relationship-challenged sycophants who take pleasure in ripping you to shreds and breaking your heart into a million pieces. Men who wear gold chains and drive red cars in the Isuzu, and Honda family. Lest I forget men who are vertically challenged (who for the sake of love you over looked that oversight), men who buy cheap shoes and expect you to play “wifey”….. and basically give you the benefits of an ant.

Do I sound bitter? Maybe. This is the remix of boyfriends past. Intent on not repeating mistakes I deemed it necessary to list some of the red flags, (in my mind), that possibly led to the demise of my respective relationships.

In reality, once I went through my bout of denial, blaming gold chains and the colors of cars for what was not to be. Closure took a new definition.

We’ve been there; the end of a road-kill situation type relationship, trying to understand where it went wrong and how we can move past it. Because there comes a time that listening to Boyz II Men’s ‘End of the Road’, 45 times in a day is not enough to give you the answers you feel you need to close the chapter of a relationship gone wrong. So we go in search of answers to questions. It’s that point that ambiguity is the ugly step sister that needs to be dealt with, and dealt with proper.

There isn’t one set path or road to it. It’s something we require to give us permission to move on in life. The degree of closure needed is dependent on the context of the good relationship gone badly. Sometimes an apology is enough and in some cases it’s just the knife stuck in a wound that keeps twisting.

It’s at those points that you opt for those revenge fantasies where you’re like Oprah with your Steadman, Michael Ealy, and Idris Elba all-in-one looking husband (feel free to insert your own Mcdreamy here) and said ex is a janitor in the building you own. That kind of suffering where he has the front seat to your life story aptly named” I’m doing better without your sorry ass”.

I digress.

There are myriad of theories on how to get closure with most of them requiring for your ex, or whoever hurt you to be present. Well, I am here to tell you that it isn’t a necessity because sometimes even after having the ‘closure discussion’ you might need closure on the discussion itself.  So for those who don’t have the luxury or goodwill to have or contact their ex respectively, welcome to the new definition.

Closure = Lessons Learned.

You have heard the adage where it’s believed that forgiveness is more about you than the person who hurt you, well the same applies here: Closure is more for you than anyone else. You’re the one who needs the door closed and whilst sometimes you both need to shut the door at the same time, the thing is here you’re both on opposite ends.

Accepting this new definition is no walk in the park. It requires some thought, truth, and a certain degree of action on your part. Here is how:

1.      Pro and Con it out. Everyone has their strengths and weaknesses. In this step you identify what you loved and didn’t love so much about your former boo. For instance, you could say for the Pro section you loved their smile, and for the Con maybe you didn’t like the way they answered phone calls during dinner. You’ll see why in a minute.
 
2.      Check Yourself. This step requires a bit of soul searching and honesty. In this exercise you’ll be identifying possible behaviors that hurt more than they did help in your former relationship. For example, hypothetically maybe you were too needy or you gave too much of yourself and thus lost your identity in the process. Again, honesty is a necessity and denial should be addressed. The point of this is to remove you from being the victim and accepting that for the most part it does take two to tango. It is essential that you don’t use this opportunity to heap all the blame on yourself and throw a pity part for one.
 
3.      Translation. This is the last piece of the puzzle. This is where you get to combine Step 1 and 2 and convert them into the lessons you’ve learned.

It should look like this:

 Step1:

Pro Con
Made me Laugh Spent more time with his friends than he did with me.
   

Step 2:

 Check Yourself: I put him before everything and lost sight of my dreams and goals.

Step 3:

Translation:

1. I want someone with a sense of humor(PRO)
 2. I want someone who is attentive and is interested in spending quality time with me(CON).
 3. It is important for me to balance achieving my goals and dreams and maintain a relationship i.e. my purpose in life is much more than being in a relationship.

In essence the positives and negatives are both considered as lessons learned. Understandably, you can’t possibly list everything or reduce someone you once loved to a list. I recommend selecting what stands out to you most because therein your values are also revealed. The point of this exercise is to get you moving forward.  Being able to evaluate your relationship prepares you. It allows for you to see patterns and behaviors that need to be changed before transitioning into another relationship. When all is said and done you take off the proverbial victim’s hat and suit up to take control of your life.

I came across one of my former boyfriend’s most recent pictures on Facebook and noticed his hair looked different. He got what we call a “jheri curl”. Now realizing that he would be using  jheri curl juice to maintain the farce on his head, I got down on my knees and thanked God for delivering me from greasy pillow case stains and the like. The jheri curl was closure enough for me.

Photo creditzazzle.com
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Nina V. Noelle is the first girl but second child who often gets lost in books and wishes she could ride a bike. She works her day job in the hospitality industry and by night she writes . A hopeful romantic she believes in happy endings and believes in the healing power of cake.

30 Comments on 3 Steps to Letting Go of the Ghost of Boyfriends Past
  • Partyrider October 18, 2012 at 11:52 am

    Oh wow..amazing.very witty and fun piece.
    I dare say your personality shines through your writing.brilliant piece! Very well done.
    And all the points made are true!! Please write for BN more often :)

  • gloria October 18, 2012 at 12:47 pm

    lovely piece….wow!!! just what i needeed

  • Onyinye October 18, 2012 at 12:59 pm

    Wonderful one there…Do u realy need a closure to leave a fucker? #justasking#

  • jojononz October 18, 2012 at 1:23 pm

    So so so funny you had me rolling on the floor,Nicely written.will love to read more piece from you.

  • bim October 18, 2012 at 1:41 pm

    Lol@ the jheri curl was enough closure for me! Nothing makes u say thank God I dodged that bullet like seeing an ex looking bad.

  • Audrey October 18, 2012 at 1:44 pm

    LOL at the jheri curl ex. thank yo so much for this,I’m struggling with closure.I’m glad I read this.I’ve been battling with myself If I should call him and have a last discussion maybe I’ll understand why. But I realise it’s foolish,no discussion will ever do it for me. Either I get more questions or I get even more heart broken. Here’s to moving on Audrey……to better things
    Thanks again

    • Thatgidigirl October 18, 2012 at 3:36 pm

      @ Audrey, don’t call him jare. I called mine and he treated me like a charity case, telling me how I’m very pretty and he’s sure lots of other guys wld kill to date me (huh?). Anyway, I was more bothered about ending up bitter than being hurt especially since he had moved on and was getting married to a pretty fast rising career woman (I know right?). So this is what I did, everytime he crossed my mind, I said a prayer for him. I guess it worked cos I don’t think of him anymore, certainly not in an evil way. Plus I now appreiate why he’s an ex…..dude had serious self esteem issues and was taking it out on me.

      • Seun October 19, 2012 at 12:40 am

        I agree, don’t call him. Allow yourself the dignity, to at least heal. No need rehashing the past. @Thatgidigirl, ask yourself, why he left you for a girl with a fast career, and work on yourself too, or find a guy at your level. Thats not an excuse please. Some men, just love women, who are achievers, for some it inspires them to achieve more, cos they have a helpmate, who will push them too to succeed, cos she understands what it means. For other men, it helps cover their inadequacies. My ex was like that. he was okay dating the executive, and boasting about her, while he sat his ass down at one job for yeeeeears. When I dumped his ass (I wasn’t seeing anyone o) I got labelled the bitch. I got successful, I forgot my roots. Duh, people change, when their life circumstances change. I tried to get him off his ass, but he enjoyed the comfort my job brings. Thats why I looooove this article. Look within, and find where you too went wrong. If you are dating an ambitious person, for example and you are a slacker or Miss comfort zone. Girl please, you are asking for yourself to be dumped for Miss Assistant Manager. When the music of life is playing, everyone finds their level.

  • Virgo October 18, 2012 at 1:52 pm

    hehehhehe, interesting indeed, closure came for me when i convinced myself that the player player could get me infected and that he was no good for me, just imagine dating a guy and knowing he has like 10 other girls(no exaggeration) . Thank goodness i did walk, now i am happier, it had to end for me to see the light(lols) actually met some1 far far far better :)

  • ij October 18, 2012 at 2:16 pm

    I got down on my knees and thanked God for delivering me from greasy pillow case stains and the like

    now that really cracked my up, to God be the glory really

  • ij October 18, 2012 at 2:17 pm

    pele oh!! meant to say cracked ME up

  • sweetlipz October 18, 2012 at 3:25 pm

    “jheri curl” lol! that is enough closure for any lady. thanks for this piece.

  • Nonnie October 18, 2012 at 5:39 pm

    hahaha!! I Love this write up. Truth be told, I just found closure after reading it…and yes!! i listened to “End of the Road” more than 45 times.lol

  • Traditionalbay October 18, 2012 at 5:42 pm

    I thought i had met a perfect man, but each time i come home from school then, i’ll hear stuff about him flirting. until i caught him redhanded in the very act. i zoomed off without looking back. 2yrs later i found my dream man. ex married shortly after too….unfortunately he lost his wife four yrs ago and he died February this year. (singing – Here i am to worship, here i am to bow down, here i am to say…………to God be the glory!!!!!!!

  • Pd October 18, 2012 at 10:58 pm

    Closure came for me yesterday….he gave his jeans sagging frd my bb pin…..n sent me a text to decline him ehennnn….choi……c me c depreciation ooo….phewwwww….i cuss him life comot…..alaraka oshi…..

  • muchacha October 19, 2012 at 12:51 pm

    Very easy but necessary steps! The one thing I know for sure is someday, we will definitely get to the part where we kneel down in gratitude to God 4 saving us 4rm a disastrous future.

  • ihu October 19, 2012 at 2:28 pm

    Closure for me has come in series.Didn’t even realize it till I read this lovely write up.Some months after my wedding,I happened upon the pix of my ex with his wife.As soon as I saw the picture of his wife,I forgave him of all the remaining hurt I did not know still existed in my heart.Seeing that picture of his choice of a life partner made me realize that I did not know him as well as I thought.Contrary to my assumptions,we were not on the same frequency or wave length. I was more in love with my ideas and impressions of him than who he really was and telling my self that truth released me forever.
    Thanx for this piece,I had a good laugh.

  • Hadassah October 19, 2012 at 3:28 pm

    Very nice and practical steps… thanks for this brillant write-up, It really helped me today

  • lucky girl October 22, 2012 at 5:24 pm

    @Seun my dear u are sooooo right. i left my bf of because he refused to be serious about becoming sumtin in life . he was com fortable with bragging about my achievements and even told me once that he would like it if i made more money than I did coz he wasnt ready to stress himself in life. he would put the chair in recline while i drive him around town, he had no car and didnt even know how to drive. did i mention that this boy was in his 30s and was from an enlightened home? When I left him all his friends called me all sorts of names saying i left him for money. I saw him recently and the first thing he did was to go through my wallet looking at all my credit cards and priority pass / costomer loyalty cards. When he was satisfied that i ws still on the rise, he said we shoulod try again. Omo it was hard coz i actually loved him deeply and wanted him to be the best he could be. i found it almost impossible to move on coz i would still be thinkin about him and how he needs to sit up and wat else i could do to inspire him to better, he to add to it he was neva mean to me, he was the sweetest most gentle and romantic guy u would ever meet ( or so i thought till i met my boo) but i knew that being him would be short changing myself. any way thank God am now dating an awesome achiever, bloke, philantropist and genius. he is everything my ex wasnt and 100times more . I draw inspiration from him and I love him much more than I thought I would ever love anyone. we are not rich yet but we are well on our way. as for my ex I no longer worry about him, i know he ll be fine and would be happy and blessed what ever befalls him. i found closure to that relationship in my new man and i can confidently and comfortably say am over him and all that we had :)

  • hav plenty October 22, 2012 at 5:25 pm

    very nice steps indeed.just the kind of piece we need to keep us focused.

  • Igbe October 22, 2012 at 9:34 pm

    a friend of mine wrote this on her blog. thought i should share. http://idaraumosen.blogspot.com/2012/10/how-i-used-my-ex-no-regrets.html

  • idara October 23, 2012 at 8:12 pm

    This is indeed a nice and expository write up where adequate research and time has been devoted to. I write on related topics, you could click on the links if you so desire.

    http://idaraumosen.blogspot.com/2012/10/how-i-used-my-ex-no-regrets.html

  • Onyeka October 25, 2012 at 9:45 pm

    It still worries mi wen individual(men &women) get angry @ an ex. Dat 2 mi is a tot waist of emotions. I remember talking with a couple of ladies nd I said I hv neva cried ova an ex nd dey looked @ mi tinking ,i was lieing or neva in love nd I put it 2 dem dat d reason why a breakup is not 2 much of a deal 2 me is cos I concentrate on d good dat relationship brought my way, on d fact dat I Cud love sumone.I dnt waste my Time thinking abt hw d relationship didn’t work, cos in d end I had a relationshipdat has become part of my life’s testimonies nd has brought mi 2 d place I am 2dai.meaning I didn’t fail. This is my mindset,I maintain my stand as one which all things as 2 work 4 my gud in all circumstances.and with d many comments hv read it has all ended in d same story, u met sum1 way beta Dan ur ex.

  • sweerymoi October 29, 2012 at 1:51 pm

    What sort of closure do you need wen the guy never hurt u and vice versa but u guys can never be together for a particular reason.my dears that kain closure na long thing.

    My point is, not all ex boyfriends are bastards so no matter how much u feel u av moved on somethings still reminds u of them.And that is the worst break up because there is nobody to hate. i get the only consolation is the fact that you have done the right thing.

  • iamfascinating November 21, 2012 at 6:54 am

    hate is such a wasted emotion and bitterness is poison. Wish all well.
    easy detox steps @ http://www.thestunninglady.blogspot.com

  • beebah November 28, 2012 at 9:16 am

    I like this article but itz not easy! I recently had a heartbreak, whn I found out that my boyfiend waz getting married. The most annoying part of it is dat he is someone from d neighbourhood and I see him everyday, infact his new house is jst a walking distance from my parents house, I just don’t know how to tacle dis issue. Seeing him, his wife, his house, his car? I wnt to. Move on….! Please advice me

    • Oko awon Alhaja December 7, 2012 at 4:04 pm

      Change neighbourhoods.

      Oko awon Alhaja

  • bidibang February 9, 2013 at 8:24 am

    the truth of the matter is this…it is only God can make you get over someone…i know that God helped me like litterally numbed me that i was schocked when i looked back that i did not even cry i was heartless….i dont care how much we try to get over someone especially when we have had sex with that person it is impossible i dont care if you hook up with someone for a day when you see that person again your heart will skip a beat because sex is a blood covenant in the spirit realm…so it takes serious prayers and renouncing of ungodly soul ties we have committed ourselves into knowingly…i am so grateful to GOD ALMIGHTY from saving me from shame bcos my relationcrap was a recipe for disaster!! the heart is so deceptive and the thing called love is strong.

  • bidibang February 9, 2013 at 8:28 am

    ladies be careful PRAY PRAY PRAY life is serious and we are the weaker vessels at the end of the day men dont have nothing to loose….a man can marry as many times he wants after he useless’ a woman and move on to the next if he has money but a woman with a child or a past cannot pass her gate when she tries to move on.

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