A friend from college called me yesterday asking for some relationship advice, and naturally, I always love dishing it out, more than I do taking it! So anyways, here is her problem as she related it to me.
Yesterday, she was sitting in her car listening to an old CD, when suddenly John Mayer’s, Burning Room started playing. Next thing you know, she’s reminiscing about old flames like…. Eric, Todd, Alex, and so on, (I’m sure you get the picture.) For a split second she was tempted to fast forward but instead she went with it. As the song took her down a sweet memory lane of relationships gone-by, old memories and emotions really hit her. She assured me, however, that though this kind of thing happens frequently, she is very happy and in love with the guy she is now with! But, and here lies the kicker, she said she still feels like she can’t completely let go of all those emotional connections from her past. I’m sure you can relate to some of those things you hold on to, like that occasional text from an old flame that pops up from time to time saying something like, “just heard our old song – thinking of you,” or the sweet fb post from your high-school sweetheart that shouts, “Happy Birthday Beautiful!” or the private message from a college romance that says, “You’re the only girl who ever understood me,” and then…. those secret stolen moments with the one guy who got away, like that time on New Years Eve, which was just for closure of course.
My friend made sure to clarify, at least ten times, that she no longer wanted her exes; it was just that she felt so sad about saying goodbye. With a couple of sobs, she asked me if there was any way of saying goodbye, without completely giving them up. Naturally, I had a lot to say. But let me warn you, when you get advice from me, I will always relate it to something super random. So, here it goes – my advice on what to do with a closet full of exes.
Exes are like old dresses. Some are too short, old, ugly, strange, raggedy, damaged or etc, but for some reason girls never want to give up their dresses! Seriously, think about it, how many dresses are in your closet that you just NEVER wear? I have SO MANY DRESSES that I despise but I won’t give them away. I’ll say to myself: “What if they come back in style?” or, “What if I need it one day?” or even worse, “Maybe I’ll wear it for Halloween next year.” You see, girls have this same problem with exes. We tend to keep them on the back burner just in case something changes; maybe they will become nicer, more attractive, better educated, more grown-up, etc. Our thought process is way off. It’s absolutely not the truth! Do you want to know my friend’s problem? She is having trouble cleaning out the closet. She has too many good memories of her exes and dresses and is not ready to let go. Honestly, I don’t blame her, it is super hard! But when you get married or find someone you truly love, you gotta’ climb into that dusty old closet and make some space.
Now don’t try to get around this by trying to push your exes to the back of your mind, that’s like pushing your old clothes to the back of your closet where they always end up getting in the way! To help you with this job, here goes my metaphor on exes and dresses:
Exes and Dresses Metaphor Explained:
A. The relationship seemed great in the beginning but ended abruptly.
Comparison: You go out, buy a great dress, wash it, pull it out of the dryer, and then guess what? It shrunk! Well…., that was a short love affair.
B. He is shorter than you flat-footed or in heels.
Comparison: You try on a great dress at the store, it looks beautiful on, but it’s too short. In the checkout line you have an inner battle with yourself about the purchase, but you buy it anyways because you think that you’ll wear it with flats or tights… Guess what? You either never wear it or feel very uncomfortable when you do.
Too Old: You’ve been in this relationship for a long time, but you keep looking at everything else on the market.
Comparison: You bought the perfect dress at Forever 21, it looks identical to the Tory Burch dress you always wanted. You love the dress but after awhile the material starts to lose its shine. So naturally you start to wish you would have gone with the more expensive material. I hate when this happens.
Too Ugly: You didn’t have much to choose from at the time, you got bored, and you took a chance.
Comparison: You’re really bored on a Saturday so you go to the Mall, and walk around aimlessly until you find yourself at the sale rack. Staring you right in the face is a SUPER cheap dress. It’s not perfect, and it’s a dress you’d never buy full price, but you can’t say no to a dress that cheap. So, with pride, you take your dress, that you’ll never wear, to the checkout line…. Why do we do this to ourselves?!?
Too Strange: This guy seemed like a pretty good catch, he was unique and smart. Sure, he was a kind of strange, and had a few red flags, but he made up for his shortcomings with intelligence, and a great paying job, (besides, he drove a shiny jag.) Somehow, you talked yourself into this guy. You imagine marrying him and being a stay-at-home mom and not having to worry about money ever again… Yeah, no! That will never happen. You can’t force something on that doesn’t fit!
Comparison: Think back to the back of your closet… to that gaudy dress you bought. You know the one that’s covered in sequins with a terrible cut? You probably bought it to stand out on New Year’s Eve or in a night club, but let’s be honest – you’ll never wake up wanting to wear that dress again! It’s too gaudy, uncomfortable, strange and obnoxious! (Now only imagine that being a man – God forbid you have to wake up next to that every morning!)
Raggedy: He was cute at first, but that didn’t last long.
Comparison: That’s like the nasty grunge style; it will go out of style just as fast as it came in.
Too High: This guy is cute, perfect, amazing… Then he goes off and gets high, stoned, wasted, or whatever! Now he’s terrible, unfortunate, and a loser.
Comparison: You buy a dress that looks perfect on but when you lift your arms it rides up too high. These dresses can be really embarrassing, it’s better to toss this one immediately!
The Hole: This guy is perfect, but something is missing.
Comparison: You ripped your dress and you’re too lazy to sew it back together.
The Stain: He broke your heart, it’s impossible to fix the situation and hard to forget.
Comparison: Your favorite party dress that you spilt red wine on all over.
The first time my husband (then boyfriend) said, “I love you,” I knew that he was special, and the one I couldn’t live without. It was at that moment that I knew what I had to do. I must clean out my closet. But, let’s be honest ladies, it’s hard to throw it all out and start over for just anyone – that can be expensive and for some even scary. But deep down we all know the right thing to do. So, I made this commitment to myself: I would never speak to my exes again, unless it was unavoidable and my husband knew about it. This is one of the best decisions I ever made and absolutely a must if you want a true and lasting relationship. I know my husband has been hand-tailored for me, the perfect fit, and my relationship with both him and God complete my emotional and spiritual wardrobe. So, in closing, do not let your exes pollute your mind, heart, or space.
Final note: Clean out the closet of Exes and Dresses before it’s too late!!