To ponder

When we were out last night, it was proposed that you can't really get over an ex-boyfriend or girlfriend unless you hate them. Some of us disagreed and it was suggested that maybe this is a male-only phenomenon - that girls are able to be over people without hating them, but men are only over someone if they do hate them.

What do you think?

srah - Sunday, 2 May 2004 - 2:10 PM
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Comments (24)

gravatar Matthew the Young - May 3, 2004 - 3:29 AM -

First, (this is for guys and girls) i think it has to do with who gets broken up with, and who does the breaking -- the former either hates the person for breaking up with them or still has this longing for them (and then either forces themself to hate the person or endure the emotional pining), while the latter has already made more of a self-affirming decision to move on (although there still could be indecisiveness). Unless its perfectly mutual, which i believe is rare, there is still this imbalance in feelings (while i say this is for guys and girls, it is still a guy's interpretation...)

Secondly, and this is the guy/girl difference, it may have to do with how guys and girls interpret differently what can be called 'friendship' and what is considered 'dating' behavior, and what each party expects/wants out of each of those categories. It's the classic question from "When Harry Met Sally": can men and women really just be friends? Sally says yes, Harry says no. For this 'just friendship' to work, there needs to be alot of common ground* established and reinforced, if confusion and frustration are to be avoided.

Just my 2 cents -- sorry for the long post...
* (502, sorry, i know)

gravatar Jez - May 3, 2004 - 7:39 AM -

I don't hate any of my ex-girlfriends. Having said that, I don't particularly want to see any of them again.

Maybe I should have hated one or two of my exes, rather than spend far too long as a non-functioning gibbering wreck.

gravatar Mer - May 3, 2004 - 9:35 AM -

I think that the difference you're thinking of is not male/female but boys/men.

But, what's "over," anyway?

gravatar katie - May 3, 2004 - 10:00 AM -

I find it a lot easier to break up with them if I start hating them first. :D

But seriously. I've never been able to be friends with an ex. Too awkward. Especially when attractions to other parties getting involved. And in my case it's always been that there was no common ground any more, so we didn't really have any reason to be friends either.

I hate being pined after. So I hate the piners. And I hate pining, so I usually encourage a healthy hate in myself if I discover that I am pining - makes it easier to stop pining!

gravatar Smuj - May 3, 2004 - 10:11 AM -

I'm assuming we're talking about being on the receiving side of a break-up, because the initiator probably wouldn't have ended the relationship if she wasn't "over" that person already, right? Right.

The opposite of love isn't hate, it's indifference. Only time and distance will allow that person to mean less and less to you. If you allow your ex- to occupy you emotionally (with love or hate), you're not going to "get over" him. You're only going to keep reminding yourself of what's missing.

Don't hate. Move on. Maintain your distance. Spend time with other friends. Keep yourself occupied. That's the best way to really get over someone.

(This is not to say that I haven't found myself turning into a hateful bastard after a breakup. I just don't think it helps all that much, even if it does feel like the right thing to do.)

gravatar Malia - May 3, 2004 - 11:28 AM -

I don't hate most of my exes. We aren't BFFs, though. I'm kind of indifferent. Perhaps that's because I usually do the dumping. In the cases when I've been dumped 1) he's gay and we'd be friends if we lived anywhere near each other and 2) I'm forcing myself to hate him because even though he's a complete jackass, I'm addicted and would be groveling at his door without some self restraint.

In any event, I think it's healthy to hate them for a little while but eventually, you should be able to *feel* nothing when you think of them.

gravatar jday - May 3, 2004 - 1:03 PM -

Most of my exes are now friends, in a weird "I live 500 miles away from you and so I never see you anymore, but let's e-mail" way. Not that I subscribe to this theory, but the Cherry Poppin' Daddies say, "the best way to get over someone is to get under someone else". An interesting thought. Or not- it's Monday. Who is really interesting on Monday?

gravatar katie - May 3, 2004 - 2:25 PM -

I think Malia said it best.

A healthy case of hate will get you through that awful adjustment period in between breaking up and being totally indifferent. Also, hating your former serious squeeze makes it a lot easier to justify breaking up with the successive rebounds!

gravatar Matthew the Young - May 3, 2004 - 2:48 PM -

I agree -- the end goal shouldn't be to hate the person, but to feel indifferent. How you get to that indifference is the challenge -- i really like Smuj's response for that... (although Katie/Malia's is maybe more realistic... or easier)

gravatar katie - May 3, 2004 - 4:18 PM -

I prefer to exercise my solution at the same time as Smuj's.

gravatar Rachel - May 3, 2004 - 4:48 PM -

Well here's my thoughts:
I can't hate someone I've ever loved. When I start to feel hatred it's generally just me hating something about myself in that relationship. Even though we've broken up, I still shared experiences and a part of my life with them, and to hate them would be to hate myself, which I cannot afford to do. I've tried pining and indifference and distraction, but none of that ever made me feel okay until I learned how to love them in a new way for who they are now.

gravatar srah - May 3, 2004 - 6:16 PM -

I like that one! I am sad that I was at work and couldn't react to each idea as it came in. :(

gravatar katie - May 4, 2004 - 8:31 AM -

Your mission, if you choose to accept it (which you won't), is to react now to all those ideas, in essay form. 500 words, double-spaced, for EACH idea. You may begin.

gravatar Matthew the Young - May 4, 2004 - 12:10 PM -

...with *specific* references to the assigned readings, and full, correct citations...

And you may kindly review the attachment i sent you, covering some of the most important concepts that were covered in last year's essay... ;)

gravatar Urs - May 4, 2004 - 12:56 PM -

...in APA style...

gravatar Mr B------ - May 4, 2004 - 12:57 PM -

It's a bit late, but I took my time because this is a bit of a sad thing to think about. I don't know what it means to be over someone. Does it mean that it no longer hurts when you see them or that when you think of them, you can't feel anything? I've never stopped caring about someone that I've loved, because fundamentally, no matter what they do or what we go through, they still have those same qualities that made me want to know them in the first place. I don't think I ever want to be someone that is able to stop caring about people. That's how I can know that I'm a functioning human being :)

gravatar katie - May 4, 2004 - 1:32 PM -

Hehe. I stopped caring about my last ex the day I learned he had cheated on me. Let the hate flow! Give in to the Dark Side! Hee hee.

gravatar cari - May 4, 2004 - 1:59 PM -

Yeah...I'm going through this crap myself. It's really the indifference part thats the killer. But I don't think you can hate someone unless they actually did something really bad...only how they made you feel for the breakup. I think once you fall for someone you give them some of yourself and you can't get that back. And since they have that part of you...you continue to care even if you don't actually stay friends.

Theres a big difference between hate and staying friends or keeping in contact. Sometimes it's just too hard if you aren't over somebody...and eases the pain. Then again I'm just a bitter person getting over a relationship but I don't think I could ever hate the boys I've been with, just no longer in love or attracted to them.

gravatar Jez - May 4, 2004 - 6:48 PM -

May I point you in the direction of a good book I purchased at the weekend: Alain de Botton - The Consolations of Philosophy, which has a chapter addressing the question you're asking.

gravatar katie - May 5, 2004 - 8:51 AM -

May I point you in the direction of a similarly titled but likely unrelated book I refer to all the time in my academic life:
Boethius - The Consolation of Philosophy, which was written some time between 520 and 526 CE, was the second most recopied book of the Middle Ages after the Bible, and was a huge influence on William Chaucer, author of the Caterbury Tales.

gravatar kent - May 6, 2004 - 1:14 PM -

In my experiance,continuing after a close relaitionship comes to an end,is a matter of wether or not you take the neurotic path of annalizing every cause and effect within the relationship or manage to somehow keep a focused rational mindset. After trying the first option twice and deciding that its not the one for maintaining my sanity,
sometimes it can seem that to "hate" the one you`ve left is to set yourself "free" to continue your own life,but would that acctualy be real hatred ?
anyway Im waffleing ,geuss everyone is different ,and Ive got some meditation to do. stay cool

gravatar kent - May 6, 2004 - 1:15 PM -

In my experiance,continuing after a close relaitionship comes to an end,is a matter of wether or not you take the neurotic path of annalizing every cause and effect within the relationship or manage to somehow keep a focused rational mindset. After trying the first option twice and deciding that its not the one for maintaining my sanity,
sometimes it can seem that to "hate" the one you`ve left is to set yourself "free" to continue your own life,but would that acctualy be real hatred ?
anyway Im waffleing ,geuss everyone is different ,and Ive got some meditation to do. stay cool

gravatar kent - May 6, 2004 - 1:15 PM -

In my experiance,continuing after a close relaitionship comes to an end,is a matter of wether or not you take the neurotic path of annalizing every cause and effect within the relationship or manage to somehow keep a focused rational mindset. After trying the first option twice and deciding that its not the one for maintaining my sanity,
sometimes it can seem that to "hate" the one you`ve left is to set yourself "free" to continue your own life,but would that acctualy be real hatred ?
anyway Im waffleing ,geuss everyone is different ,and Ive got some meditation to do. stay cool

gravatar kent - May 6, 2004 - 1:15 PM -

In my experiance,continuing after a close relaitionship comes to an end,is a matter of wether or not you take the neurotic path of annalizing every cause and effect within the relationship or manage to somehow keep a focused rational mindset. After trying the first option twice and deciding that its not the one for maintaining my sanity,
sometimes it can seem that to "hate" the one you`ve left is to set yourself "free" to continue your own life,but would that acctualy be real hatred ?
anyway Im waffleing ,geuss everyone is different ,and Ive got some meditation to do. stay cool

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