Sex and the city: I want to give my ex another chance, even though she hasn't changed

I had a painful breakup as my ex was insensitive and self-obsessed. Recently she proposed meeting up again as she had not got a closure. Some of my well-wishers who saw my pain are warning me against meeting her.

Other friends are saying that I should give her another chance as she may have changed for the better by realising her errors in the relationship. I want to give her a chance but am wary of nothing having changed in her. If so, then I would merely subject myself to the same pain that I took so long to get over. What should I do?

Ans: There is a clear choice you have to make here. You have two distinctly separate options. To meet her or to not meet her. To be fair, giving her closure falls under the category of ‘social courtesies’ which some would dub as the ‘humane’ thing to do. Let’s take this concept and contrast it with the reason (whatever it is) for why you will decide to call it quits on the relationship.

You describe her as insensitive and self-obsessed. If that is true, then that means that she puts her needs before your needs and perhaps for that matter – everyone else’s needs. This means that it is entirely possible that her need for closure stems from her desire to perhaps assess how you’re doing or also just make sure that she gets what she wants from you (which stays undefined at this point).

In my practice, I also see cases where exes meet up with their partners to gloat or show their ex-partner how well they are doing without them as a form of leverage. Sometimes exes propose to meet to assess the possibility of a re-kindling of a relationship. You must go prepared (based on your knowledge of her) for all the above-mentioned possibilities. Whatever happens, remember why you will decide the end the relationship.

If it helps, jot down the reasons as a list so that you can read and re-read it and keep your rationale above any residue feelings that might push you to feel tethered and attached to her in her presence. Whatever you do, make sure you carry yourself with dignity. Any neediness on your part will be picked up and it will show you as someone who’s clearly struggling with his emotions.

For love to success, it is important for our spouse/partner to respect us. A breakup entails the cessation of all interaction so ‘social courtesies’ are no longer drawn into question. You are under no social obligation to meet her and neither is it required for you to be of any service to her if that comes at the cost of your own peace of mind. If making a pro-vs-cons list of meeting up with her help, I suggest you do it.

See which list is longer. You need to assess how this is going to play out in your mind and only once you have made a fair assessment would it be advisable to proceed. There is nothing cutesy or footloose about a meeting with an ex-partner. Several emotions are likely to re-surface. Refrain from turning the meeting into a blame-game since that can get ugly and unnecessarily dramatic.

However, if meeting her will give you emotional closure or make you feel like you have better let go of any remaining feelings that you may have for her, then by all means – meeting up isn’t such a bad idea. However, what you choose to do entirely depends on how you are feeling internally.

Putting up a ‘tough guy act’ can drain you further so be real with yourself. Also, it would be a good idea to keep a cap on the ‘meet up time’ so that even if you choose to see each other, you are fully aware of the ‘timeline’ and the ‘agenda’ of the meeting. In this case, keep it formal and topic-based so that the situation feels adequately in control for you. Good luck.