Etiquette School is in session! > "Have you tried the bean dip?"

Bean dipping a break-up?

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SleepyKitty:
As someone who was in the opposite position of EmmaJ - I broke up with my s/o of 8 years - it's really difficult to talk about anything without referencing the ex. They spent all their time together. Even now, a year and half later, there's no way for me to talk about those 8 years of my life without talking about ex.

My most recent bf (now also an ex!) hated hearing me mention any past relationships - he thought that ex's should stay in the past and not be talked about. Which meant that I could not talk about a significant portion of my past without some very awkward conversational transitions. 

Just let her talk about him. No need to bean-dip or respond differently - just act like she's talking about an acquaintance or something. If she mentions that BF liked a certain TV show, just say: "Oh, me too! I love Main Character, although I think the storyline is getting a little boring lately." Or how she used to do their laundry: "Ugh, I hate laundry. I always put a movie on when I fold to help make the time pass." Respond the way you would respond any other time.

Deetee:
I do not see the problem with her talking about him. He was part of her life. She has moved on to a new part but it doesn't mean that the previous life didn't actually happen. Also just because a relationship has ended does not mean it was a terrible mistake. It's one of the ways we learn and grow.

If someone goes to university for 4 years and the switches to a job, I would expect them to discuss and reference their university experience for quite a while afterward.  If they weitch jobs, I expect them to talk about old job. I know that a job change is not as emotionally loaded as a relationship, but it still has that sense of defining who you are and shaping your experiences.

TurtleDove:

--- Quote from: SleepyKitty on November 07, 2012, 06:15:59 PM ---My most recent bf (now also an ex!) hated hearing me mention any past relationships - he thought that ex's should stay in the past and not be talked about. Which meant that I could not talk about a significant portion of my past without some very awkward conversational transitions. 

--- End quote ---

I think you can discuss your past without specifically mentioning the ex.  For example, if you went on a trip with your ex and had a great time, it would be normal to talk about the experiences with a current BF.  Same thing with practically any experience.  It depends how you present it.

This would be okay:  I've been parasailing!  I did that on vacation in the Bahamas a few years back.  I was a little nervous about the feeling of flying, but I would absolutely do it again - we should try it!

This would be weird and not okay: I went on a really romantic vacation with my ex to the Bahamas.  He was so sweet and got me a parasailing ride.  He held my hand the whole time because I was a little nervous about flying. Everytime I see a kite I think of how sweet he was on that trip!

Seraphia:
If it's just been a couple weeks, it's not surprising that the Ex is coming up so much. I'd just keep the conversation going without reference to him. If she needs to grieve, let her talk about it for a bit. It's not going to stunt her independence to take inventory of the loss. It will probably take some time before the thing that's on her mind (the breakup) stops coming out with reference to everything, but it will go away.

Bottlecaps:
Yes, let her grieve the relationship. I know when I went through a pretty bad break-up here a couple of years ago, I appreciated the people who would let me talk about him. It helped. Keeping things bottled up isn't healthy. Now if this goes on for too long, then it may not be healthy, but it's good to let her talk about it. POD to previous posters who said that maybe trying to keep the conversation going in a direction to where it hopefully won't remind her of him is a good thing. But do let her talk about him sometimes - we all get over things at our own pace, and it will take her time. I hope she's doing better now. :)

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