I’m probably the last person to give out dating advice, but after a long rave with Cate last night, I gotta express.

The upshot:

Me: Cut the ties. Cut them quick and clean. It’s the only way to move on.

Cate: But that’s just mean …. and hurtful. And, you may need them later.

So, you guessed it. I’m a burn-all-bridges kind of gal. The more they protest, the more gasoline goes round the foundations. It’s just not worth it to linger. I attribute this tough love clarity to my Pluto rising, and maybe Moon (emotions and nurturing) on Uranus (freedom and rebellion). That’s my astrology. It does have an effect.

Contrast that with Cate. Libra. All about the love. She hangs on to the past. Keeps exes like favorite clothes. They don’t fit anymore, are faded and frayed, but check her wardrobe. They’re still hanging in there. Healthy? Maybe, but maybe not.

Tom’s a bit the same, at least with me. He’s a Cancer sun sign, and the one ex whose friendship didn’t decompose on schedule, along with the use-by date. He’s what you call the exception, for me. To him though, I’m the norm.

The psychology of the lingering ex is interesting. Most people, it turns out, cling to the past for generally bullshit, unhealthy reasons like these:

  1. Guilt – you break up with them but say, ‘We’ll still be friends.” It’s to cushion the blow, because you feel sorry for them, right? This isn’t a smart move. Don’t think for a moment it’s good for either of you, but especially not them. It drags things out, incubates contempt and ends up just as ugly, or worse, than if you’d been clean and clear at the start.
  2. Your secret desire is they will some day transform into the partner of your dreams, and you can live happily ever after.  Forget it. Not going to happen. Pop that bubble before you delude yourself even further. You either love them, faults and all, or you don’t. Remember, they’re freaking humans. That means chances are your dynamic will never change, no matter how many hours you put into couples counseling.
  3. They won’t leave you alone. This is not their fault. It’s yours. Grow a couple and stand the hell up for yourself. Otherwise, it’s just needy and pathetic.
  4. You might want them back. This is as bad as #3. If it’s a no, then it’s a no. If you aren’t sure, then it’s a no as well. Boundaries. In the end, you don’t want someone who hung around until you called them back anyway. It’s just not sexy/powerful of them. At all.
  5. Second thoughts. This is even worse that #4 because it means you don’t know your own intentions. You broke up for a reason. Remember it. See #2
  6. Habit. You’re so used to them, aren’t you? Who do you hang out with now? The answer here is simple. Break the habit, cold turkey. Spend some time on your own and evolve some self-awareness.
  7. You might still be in love. If you don’t know, you aren’t. Move on.

Some people consult the tarot, a psychic, or astrologer to tell them what they should do. They ask, “Is this a good relationship?” Wrong question. Instead, try, “What is this relationship good for?” The answer will be much more instructional, and honest.

There are exceptions, like I said. Tom and I are solid and almost never screw up the boundary thing. Just that one time, so far.

It’s a work in progress …

In summary, Cut the ties. Cut them quick and clean. It’s the only way to move on.

Let me know how you see it.