Monday, September 14, 2009

How's this ultimatum?

In the relationship world, ultimatums are generally a "no."

The idea of "or else" has tremendous potential to force emotions, or heighten existing tension between a couple.

But I don't think ultimatums are always bad. At times, an ultimatum can be a wake-up call reminding someone of the severity of his/her partner's feelings.

That said, tell me what you think of this one:

Stop talking to your ex, or I'll break up with you.

I overheard it recently, and some outsiders interpreted the line as controlling. Irrational. Insecure.

But is it really that bad?

It's one thing when you HAVE to maintain contact with an ex -- say, you have kids together or you're in the middle of a divorce.

Outside those situations, is there really a good reason to maintain regular contact with an ex when you're in a new relationship?

My answer is an emphatic "no." In fact, talking to an ex is one of my biggest pet peeves in a relationship.

That's because no matter how much you claim to have moved on, the relationship between exes never seems to be equal. There's always one person with lingering feelings.

So I can't be too harsh on the "stop talking to your ex, or I'll break up with you" ultimatum.

Because if your partner can't choose you over a monthly conversation with a girl who cheated on him 10 years ago, it might be time to move on.