Question: Yangki, cutting off all contact in order to protect and to take care of yourself is not bad. I haven’t contacted my ex for 7 weeks and I feel great about myself. He is acting all hurt and upset because I have cut all contact with him and finally looking after myself. I’m very proud of the progress I have made. Sometimes it’s okay and normal to be selfish. You can’t love and care about someone else if you don’t love and care of yourself first.
Yangki’s Answer: I agree with you that you should at all cost take care of yourself first and foremost. I also agree with you that you can’t truly love someone else if you don’t love yourself first.
However, there are two ways to love yourself.
- Only care about what you want or you think is good for you even if it hurts someone else or hurts a relationship with someone else. That’s what selfishness is about.
- Take care of you, and be mindful of how it affects the relationships that you want in your life.
If you don’t want a relationship with your ex, then by all means be as ‘selfish’ as you want. It may give you some joy to see your ex acting ‘all hurt and upset’, but that little moment of joy is not worth the long-term damage to the foundation of your relationship. Later, after taking care of “what’s good for me”, you will have a hard time trying to put “us” back together.
But if you still want a relationship with your ex, I suggest doing #2. What’s good for ME and “what’s good for US is not mutually exclusive. You don’t have to stop taking care of ‘us” in order to take care of “me”. You can do both.
Take good care of yourself. You need it and deserve it, but make sure whatever is left of the relationship is taken care of too, if you want your ex back.