I never really “got” the concept of hating all your exes. If everyone you dated in the past was a piece of shit, maybe the unifying factor is that you have terrible taste.
Or, like, stop dating men?
I intended the above statement as a joke, or maybe an intro/segue to some kind of stand up bit. I posted it on Facebook to gauge a reaction and, well, it got reactions. Mostly I think it was received in the spirit it was intended. Also friends chimed in with super valid comments on the complications abuse/trauma bring to the table in relationships. A friend mentioned the cycle of abuse and how it changes the way people see their own boundaries/what’s acceptable from someone you date. It can colour patterns of partner choice and cloud self-awareness. There are definitely shitty exes out there who take advantage of vulnerable people in frighteningly vampiric capacity.
Also many people are shit at dating.
I’m not saying I’m an expert by any means. I’ve done a bit and learned a lot. I’m extremely fortunate not to have dated any abusive, irreparably terrible people. For the most part, my past relationships have ended because of the realisation that we just weren’t truly compatible where it mattered. It sucked to breakup, but it was exceedingly better for both of us in the long term. We weren’t bad eggs by any means, we just weren’t good for one another. I’d wager that a lot of angry ex-haters probably fall under a similar boat without understanding it.
First and foremost, if you were dating someone in the first place, wouldn’t it be because you liked them? Who is out there dating people they don’t actually like on a fundamental level? If you don’t share interests or values, why would you be surprised and/or hurt when it doesn’t work out? I’m not knocking sharing consensual sexual engagements based on mutual attraction, but where in “we fuck good but don’t share values” is the part about realistic long term dating prospects? I don’t believe every relationship needs to be a forever one.
It’s 100% understandable to have shitty relationships that help you learn boundaries. Isn’t that the point of dating? It also makes sense that there have been some really raw past relationships that’ve burned bridges beyond the point of collapse. That said, if you point blank hate every single one of the people you’ve dated, perhaps that also says something about how you filter and choose the people you date? At some point there’s a responsibility on you to make decisions about whether or not a relationship gels with your needs/wants. If you’ve broken up with a bunch of people and learned nothing from them, it’s not entirely a potential shitty ex’s fault that you’re not considering who you are in a relationship.
The unpopular/unspoken truth of relationships is that a big part is being able to tolerate each other’s shit. Whether it’s being perennially late, dominating emotional labour, not doing their fair share of tasks, failing to consider their partner when making decisions that affect them, or whatever else it may be. We’re all flawed, we all have some modicum of baggage. We’re all just a little bit shitty; we’re human. I feel like part of a successful relationship is when people understand their partners flaws, their own baggage and accept them. They do the work of trying to find compromise while attempting to get better as time goes on.
Yes, there are 1000% shitty abusive behaviours that go beyond mere “flaws” or “baggage”. I do feel like a lot of us have blind spots, whether willingly or not, where we fail to recognise our responsibility in the degradation of a relationship and straight up don’t own our shit. Then when there’s a breakup it’s all the ex’s fault and personal culpability flies out the window.
I’m not saying it’s everyone all the time (and I feel like I know many, many considerate people who probably kick this concept in the arse), but I do think that a large proportion of people put everything on the other partner and when the ship sinks, put that blame in only one direction.
TL;DR – Check yourself before you wreck yourself.