It was Diana Ross who sparked the worldwide sensation I will survive song (originally by Gloria Gaynor, 1978), in which she tells her ex “I should have changed the stupid locks” after finding him standing there, presumably in her house, begging to reconcile.
She no doubt told him off and made it clear that she has moved on and has no intentions of reconciliation. What Ross was singing about was not a new phenomena, however.
Have you noticed how, after breaking your heart and leaving you devastated and scrambling to pick up the pieces, your exes seem to crawl back from the woodwork at one point when you have finally healed and moved on?
The sad truth is that not everyone has the willpower like Ross to tell them to take a hike, and most of us find ourselves letting the enemy back in.
But have you ever wondered why exes do that?
Why do they seek you out when you have finally moved on?
Did they genuinely have an epiphany about how they made a life-altering mistake by letting you go and are remorseful and want to make it up to you, or could they have a hidden agenda for worming their way back into your life?
How can you tell if an ex has a hidden agenda or made a mistake by letting you go?
Relationship expert Lethabo Ntsasa helps us mull this issue.
Ntsasa says it is important to evaluate the nature of why you broke up in the first place, as there are some exes you should never allow to even make contact with you.
“The nature of the break-up is very important; there are some exes who after ridding yourself of you should never look back, namely:
– An ex who was abusive. An ex who used to beat you to a pulp has no business trying to wiggle their way back into your life. It is extremely hard for some people to break the chains of abuse, so once you rid yourself of the abuser, stay as far away as possible.
– An ex who was a liar. We are talking about an ex who had no concept of the truth and constantly lied to you about everything.
– An ex who was a serial cheater. Yes, it is possible to forgive cheating, if it happened once. But more than that shows that they have no respect for monogamy, and will never be faithful to you. Run.
Next, Ntsasa says one must evaluate their current situation when an ex wants to come back.
“Yes, some exes are the love of your life. Sometimes, a break-up provides both partners with an opportunity to evaluate the important role that the other partner plays in their life, and sometimes people just realise that they cannot live without each other. That is the ideal scenario.
“However, one should be sceptical about letting back an ex into their life if you are currently in a solid relationship. They may try to wiggle their way back into your life for the sole purpose of ruining what you currently have.”
– POSSESSIVE EXES: Some exes believe that if I cannot have you, no one else can.
– DISGRUNTLED EXES: They may still be hurt by how things fell apart, and may try to interfere in your current relationship just to get even.
How to tell if an ex has an agenda
Ntsasa says these are some of the ways you can tell if an ex is up to no good:
– They called “just to say hi”
Why are they calling to say hi? Hi for what?
In my experience, there is no “hi” without an agenda. This is just a way for them to put a foot in, and if given a warm reception, will see it as being given permission to maintain regular contact. There’s nothing wrong with an ex trying to get you back, but they should be upfront about their intentions.
– They were benefiting financially from being with you
Some people go crazy when their cash cow runs away, and they will do anything to get it back. If you were generous and spending on your partner while you were together, 90% of the time they’ll want you back because they miss being spoiled.
– You elevated their social status
You may have been moving in the right social circles, and taking them along. On their own, they may find it difficult to infiltrate the lavish parties or score invites to important events without you on their arm, and may want you back for that reason.
– You helped their career
Be it using your contacts to score them an interview, updating their CV for them or calling in for a favour from a friend to get them hired – chances are they miss that, and realize that hacking it on their own out there is difficult.