Would you fall for your ex if you met today?

I know this question requires you to imagine you had the Men in Black memory eraser applied to you. Then you could forget all his lying, cheating, hurtfulness, selfishness, and/or slovenliness.

So imagine that you just met your now-ex — at a party, work, school, gym, with friends, in the hot tub — whatever would be plausible now at your current ages and location. You see him. Would you be drawn to talk to him?

Imagine you did talk to him, whether drawn to his physical look now or not. You start chatting and end up spending some time together. Would you want to get to know him better, even without romantic intentions or not? Would you like the man you’re getting to know?

This is a stretch, I know, to put aside all the reams of information you know about him now. But if you didn’t know the negative side, would you be drawn to get to know the man he now presents to the world?

I’ve had little contact with my ex in the past 9 years. We occasionally correspond, mostly by email and birthday cards, and have only seen each other 2 or 3 times in that span. I saw a picture of him recently and he’s not a bad looking 71-year-old. I’m guessing he’d still make me laugh as I would him. I think we’d enjoy talking about philosophy, life and spirituality.

If I were to meet him today, I’d think he was a nice and interesting man. Even if he wasn’t remarried, I doubt I’d think of him romantically. But I would welcome the opportunity to spend more time together and I could see myself becoming fond of him, but just as a friend.

Why wouldn’t I be drawn to him romantically? Mostly, because I’d see that we wanted different things from life. I’d think that he was a nice guy, but he definitely didn’t have the confidence or drive that I now want in a mate.

Why didn’t I see this nearly 30 years ago when we first met? He had some drive then and I thought he’d be able to execute his dreams, especially with me by his side helping and encouraging. I believe he did accomplish more and quicker with me as his wife than without me. But he just didn’t have what it took to be a self-starter and now I see that’s important to me. I am willing to emotionally support my mate, but not to continually prop him up.

When we were breaking up, my ex said, “If I met you now, I wouldn’t fall in love with you.” Cruel, I know. But he believed in being honest. It broke my heart, but yet, after recovering from the hurt, I realized I wouldn’t fall in love with him if we were to meet at that time, either.

My guess is that now in midlife you’re looking for something different in a man than you were when you met your ex. You’ve grown and matured and have a much better sense of what you want and need to make you happy. You may have mellowed on some criteria and become a sticker on others.


3 responses to “Would you fall for your ex if you met today?”

  1. Grace Pamer Avatar

    Hmm that is a tough one. I’m trying to suspend animation but it’s difficult to think without the baggage. That said if you go way back to the beginning and assume they are just older the fundamentals of character would still no doubt be the same and that would be an attraction. Maybe the shared interests would have changed but I don’t think fundamental character ever does (well except following major trauma). So I’d like to think we’d have a laugh together and as such would rather keep that element of the past in the past as my hubby of today is my comedy and love and I wouldn’t change that for the world.

    Excellent post lovely lady. I’ll tweet it out shortly.


  2. Maya Avatar

    I doubt that will happen. Maybe we’ll just laugh at our old selves together or maybe just get updated with each other.

  3. SDL Avatar

    THIS is exactly what I thought before reading beyond the first line!
    “My guess is that now in midlife you’re looking for something different in a man than you were when you met your ex. You’ve grown and matured and have a much better sense of what you want and need to make you happy. You may have mellowed on some criteria and become a stickler on others.”

    You nailed it, my dear 🙂

    My sense of self worth is so much higher, and my personal growth experiences have caused me to raise my standards considerably as well.

    But I also relaxed immensely about who I would open the door of possibility to- and took a different path, and that, that has made all the difference! 😉

    Neither of my Ex-Hubbys, nor the Boy I gave a shot to earlier in my single life, would come even remotely close to passing muster any more…
    And rather disturbingly there’s been a wave of attempts that way very recently, so I can say this with absolute certainty!

    I might find things to talk about, or have a few interests in common, or even be charmed into socializing for a bit, but nothing beyond polite convo or a general friend would be likely.

    Ironically, however, my guy now has some interesting basic parallels to my first Husband-
    but he’s got the good bits of hard working, practical, good hygiene and fit, with lots of common interests…

    And none of the bad that would repel me now-

    Just a bit of his own issues: trouble seeing past current crisis’ to solutions, gets frustrated with things not going how he wants with work and BabyMama, then stresses out…
    But he’s also is open to supportive knowledge or advice, and because of that openness I have been able to help, and he has said I’m his candle in the dark and a life saver with great sincerity.

    He adds to that the incredibly important common values and attitudes, funny, social and talkative, committed father, honest always with me, passionate about life AND me, openly appreciative, and respectful.

    Sad to say, almost none of those would have even been THOUGHT of by the younger less-experienced and thoroughly un-confident me…