It’s been weeks, months even since your break up. Maybe she left you for another man, maybe he wasn’t right for you and you broke it off, maybe it fell apart after a major argument and devolved into petty recriminations – it doesn’t matter. What matters is that you have a head full of memories that include some favourite places you enjoyed together.Only one day. you’re driving, or walking, running somewhere and you catch yourself in the middle of one of these memories. Maybe you see a road sign to a place you once used to spend your free time as a couple, perhaps you haven’t been back since and desperately want to go back. Perhaps now you are with somebody else and want to show them a place that’s so important to you.
It’s unreasonable for your ex, for yourself, or your new partner to expect never to visit places you went with an ex. If you did, think of all the beauty spots, restaurants, towns, cities, theme parks, holiday destinations, hotels, boat trips, rail journeys, photo opportunities etc that would be out of bounds to you for the rest of your life. There would be massive areas of the map we’d never permit ourselves to visit again! It’s unreasonable for your ex to get upset that you’re taking your new partner there, especially if they were the one whose actions led to the destruction of the relationship.
You or your ex may wish to keep your memories sacred, but it’s the memories, and not the place, that should be sacred, cherished and remembered. After all, they are part of the past and your new relationship is the present and the future. The places you loved with your ex are probably still there now and will be there for many years. It’s unreasonable to think you will never see that place again or not to allow yourself to visit that place again out of a misplaced sense of loyalty.
Following the end of my marriage, I felt a desperate urge to visit some places we had visited together. This was mostly to try to enjoy those places in their own right, especially in areas where my family and friends live and hers do not. There was in most of those cases a very strong chance that I would visit them again, either as a couple when I met somebody new or on my own. This was especially true of the area where certain family members used to have the holiday home which also happened to be quite close to my university city.
It became important to me that I understand that these places were no longer “us” places, but “me” places – places I enjoy, places I love chilling out at, places I enjoy taking pictures and visiting regularly to compare how much they have changed over the years. I needed them to be “me” places so that I may one day comfortably introduce a new partner to that place and not have memories of the past encroach and feel I am doing something wrong or betraying memories of past events.
Never let a broken relationship dictate where you may or may not visit. Knowing that you may never visit that place again with your ex may make you cry or smile, or both – but it is still there. Visiting these places when you are ready to may even end up being a significant part of your healing process.