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Can't Let Go: Why Hanging On To Your Ex Keeps You In The Grey Area

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With my sister, I wrote the article titled “It Ended For A Reason: 4 Reasons To Avoid The Post-Breakup Grey Area” while I was post-breakup (not in a grey area).

As chance would have it, the article ended up being published on Elite Daily months later, the same time my previously “not grey” ex happened to be sleeping over.

Ironic? I think not.

I am a spiritual person who truly believes everything happens for a reason, even the little things. Therefore, I took the publishing of my article as a big sign.

Deep down, I knew what I was doing was wrong. Hell, my article was proof enough the rational part of my brain is very against the grey area! But, I did it anyway. Why?

It wasn't until days later — when the grey area officially ended — that I sought counsel from one my best guy friends, who had been there through the whole miserable post-breakup process.

Besides hammering it into my head I needed to be done with my ex, he articulated exactly what had gotten me (a girl who knows better) into this mess in the first place.

I chose to be in the grey area with my ex because I didn't want to let our relationship go. I didn't want it to end and neither did he; we kept coming back to each other in failed attempts to make it work because our breakup was something neither of us truly wanted.

Ending the grey area with him was probably one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. I was so tempted to believe we really could give it a second shot.

When you love someone, you always believe there’s a chance. But, I couldn't ignore the fact our post-breakup mess had given us a whole new list of things to be upset about, and it wasn't getting better.

The absolute worst part about the grey area is every time you try and end it, it feels like you’re breaking up all over again.

I finally had the opportunity to revisit this relationship I hadn’t been able to get out of my head for months, and I said no because I knew it wasn’t the right time.

It was difficult to understand that in order for me to let go, move on and not get sucked into this grey area, I needed to want my relationship to be over.

It's something that three months post breakup, I’m embarrassed to say I still don't want.

However, I do want to stop getting hurt, I want to stop being sad, I want to stop being disappointed and I want to learn how to be happy without the prospect of a future with my ex. In order to get those things, I need to move on.

So, indirectly I want this relationship to officially be a part of my past.

The reason why so many of us take the grey area route is because we do not want our relationships to end. What usually happens next is we hurt each other enough to get to a point where we’re finally over it.

Isn't it extremely sad that in order for us to want to move on from someone, we have to feel completely hurt and betrayed?

As stated in my last article, the grey area is a tricky little bitch, and that’s the truth. It created hostility and anger in a relationship that was once a beautiful thing, which I will always regret.

If I could have done it all over again, I would have avoided the grey area completely. I would have dealt with the grief from the end of an amazing relationship I wasn’t ready to let go.

There would have been no hurt feelings or confusion, and it would have been water under the bridge. I know everyone is different, but I truly, 100 percent stand by my original article.

I understand how hard it is to take your own advice, especially when it comes to love.