There area many stark differences between men and women with regard to relationships. I don’t think that this is a statement worthy of any sudden gasps or astonishment. However one thing dawned on me fairly recently and I wondered whether it is just the group of rose-tinted bespectacled blokey mates and embittered, twisted womenfolk that I am acquainted with or a reflection on the general populous. It would appear that how the two sexes review our old flames and past partners differs as greatly as how we view our current beaus and romantic leads.
Most guys I know, when referring to “the ex” tend to look back on them with a fondness that is equal in magnitude to their general indifference shown at the time. In essence they remember only the good times. The happy summer walks and winter nights by the fire, how they got on with all of their mates and how much their mum loved the long-gone lady. “She didn’t mind watching the football” or “She always came to watch me play cricket”. As friends do it’s of course then our own job to remind them that the aforementioned ex was all of these things but above all a bit of a witch that we all humoured and never really liked or, in less extreme cases, she was “a bit dull”. No matter how unhappy the relationship was at the time, only the positives and hallmark moments are fresh in the mind of a man. Notably a single man I should add.
Conversely all of womankind whom I have ever known remember their own exes as “that f***ing a***hole that ruined my life for two years”. Yes he may’ve been “the one” at the time and his name was every other word that drooled from her mouth but once the six-month break-up sex has passed he is vilified and demonised regardless of the reasons for the end of the relationship (and of who dumped who).
I can’t for the life of me understand why this is. On both parts! I can honestly say that inexplicably I do the same and somehow, in my head, telling my brother “I know she was a bit of a psycho, but they were good times” doesn’t seem in the least bit strange or irrational. A “bit of a psycho”?!? Surely if this were an introduction to a woman you’d steer well clear. “Oh you must meet my friend Claire, she’s a bit of a psycho but she’s perfect for you”. Err, thanks but no thanks! It’s like saying someone’s killed, but only once, so that’s fine right? In the same way I struggle when told by a girly mate that they dated a guy for five years, even though he was a this/that/the other for all that time. Why? “Because I loved him”. Right. That makes sense then.
Hindsight is a beautiful thing but it seems the further men get from a relationship the more blurred the vision gets where as for women time lends a clarity, or rather darkly shaded perspective gladly absent from the moment. I think that maybe it helps them move on as opposed to us poor saps pondering the “what ifs” and “if I knew thens” that haunt many a manly soul.