Questions we pose in our mind are a tricky thing. Tricky because we (translation: I) might start to over think them, if we don’t yet have an actual answer.
Personally, I like to have answers for everything in order to get clarity in a scenario, but I do not like asking for those answers. Part of the reason is because I’m not always ready to hear the answer, so instead I decide to keep my mouth shut, which usually leads to my over thinking, which sometimes isn’t so healthy…
When someone finally musters up the courage to ask away, they need to be prepared to hear just about any answer, positive or negative, conclusive or open ended, direct or indirect, truthful or not. Here’s the problem, people might just be looking to hear one particular answer. And chances are if we’ve been juggling around possible answers in our head, once we hear the “real” answer we might doubt, disbelieve, and/or reject it if it wasn’t the one we were expecting or hoping for.
Is it always necessary to dig for an answer? I think no. We can afford to leave some things unknown and leave some things unsaid. However, there are times when we need an answer in order to move forward with something or to let our minds rest in peace, it’s just a matter of determining when this is the case.
Have you ever dated someone who exposed you to a new place that had some sort of significance for the two of you and then you stopped seeing each other? The problem is you liked that particular place and wish to continue going, but in a way it feels a little wrong to still go without them… just a little bit. After all, if it weren’t for them, you might not have learned about or discovered this place.
Depending on the type of break-up (amicable, doubtful, non-existent, or unpleasant), you’ll know whether running into this ex is manageable for you (or not) and whether it would be awkward (or not). If amicable (i.e. remained friendly and on speaking terms), then there would be no problem having to see this person again. If unpleasant (i.e. it was nasty and you hate each other), then presumably the last thing you would want is to have to see this person again. In those two cases, it’s easy to make a decision. However, if the break-up was doubtful (i.e. you weren’t sure if you should break up) or non-existent (i.e. one of you just disappeared on the other), then running into them would be somewhat tense and awkward but not the worst thing in the world. So, should you take the risk of running into them and continue going to this location?
Some things to consider:
- How much did both of you like the place?
If you or they liked it, then certainly either of you will want to go again. If neither of you liked it, then avoiding it will be fairly easy.
- What kind of place is it?
A one-of-a-kind, a difficult-to-find, or an off-the-wall place complicates things. In my opinion, the more unique the place is the more memorable and/or notable it is for a certain aspect, which was probably the reason why you two went in the first place. A city staple, a franchise-type business, or a well known site may still have some significance, but it’s probably too common and/or popular to make it that much more individually significant.
- Where is the place located? Size of it?
A place closer to you is good. A place closer to them is not so good. A place in between both of you or away from both of you is open to interpretation. Size matters too, a larger location is better than a smaller space as it gives you more area to disperse in (e.g. Pier 39 in San Francisco vs. a small intimate restaurant).
- Why are you going? Length of visit?
Going because you have to for whatever reason that may be (e.g. errand related, school related, work related, etc) cannot be avoided. However, going because you want to (e.g. date related, fun related, tour related, etc) can be avoided, and may be a smarter route to take. Whichever the case, the amount of time you spend there will also matter; the quicker you get out, the better.
- Who are you going with?
If you’re going alone, there’s not much to worry about. If you’re going with friends, then that seems safe enough. But going with a new date? That would make a potential run-in extremely uncomfortable.
Each of our individual circumstances will give these questions different answers and values. What’s most important is to know whether you can handle seeing this person and to have an idea on how the encounter could transpire. And of course, not every place you ever went to with your ex will have to be evaluated. Here I’m strictly referring to those places that: saw you two share nice moments, hold some level of significance for both of you, and became one of your go-to-spots.
Why am I writing about this? I recently went to a place that I like a lot (an ice cream sandwich shop called C.R.E.A.M.) that someone I dated last year took me to. It was the first time I had gone since ending things with this person (about 3 months ago), and I only went because I was in the area that day and had been desiring one of their sandwiches. While I was there, of course, I remembered the times we had previously gone together and it just felt weird to be there again. Naturally, there is an association between the person and the place, even if you have moved on. So it got me thinking on whether I should still be going there, hence this post.