SML V5C17 The Things We Learn from Our Exes

Li Ming nodded slowly, feeling that he indeed understood a bit better what Zhao Chen meant. “I think I see what you’re getting at. Basically, what you’re looking for is a balance between both and making sure that you have new things to share. Because life often doesn’t give you that on its own.” He slowly nodded after saying that, feeling that he really got it. “Actually, I think that’s something that you should do whether you’re alone or with a partner. But yes, I can see how with a partner, it’s maybe even more important to share these things.”

Zhao Chen nodded, waiting for him to continue but Li Ming had suddenly fallen silent. He raised his brows, wondering what was up. “Was there something you wanted to share about that? Because it looked like that just now.”

Li Ming rubbed his cheek, feeling that he had really gotten himself in a bit of a pinch there. “Actually, I did think about something but I’m not sure if I should say it. You know, it’s … tied to an ex and I’ve already talked about an ex of mine earlier today, and … well, I don’t want to seem like I’m the type of guy that constantly talks about his exes. I’m not, I swear!”

Zhao Chen gave him a long look, wondering how to say what was going through his own mind. “You know, I think we’re both not the type to often talk about our exes. But it’s a matter of fact that how we see things in regards to relationships depends on our previous experiences. So when it’s about what we cherish in a relationship and what we want to see in the relationship that the two of us have, then I think it’s important to share these things.”

He thought for a moment and then leaned closer, grabbing Li Ming’s arm. “Alright, if you’re embarrassed, then I’ll make the start: Me saying that I don’t want things to turn into just silently living daily life next to each other, that is also because of an ex. In fact, that was actually my last relationship.

“I think we were together for three, almost four years. I’d say I tend to have longer relationships in general. They usually last a year or two which I think is pretty impressive.”

He grinned and Li Ming couldn’t help but laugh.

“Well, at least it shows you have good judgment when it comes to picking out your partners.”

“Yeah, I do.” Zhao Chen nudged his arm but then turned serious again, thinking of his ex. “That relationship was my longest and I did feel that it might be going somewhere. We were quite similar in a lot of ways and I thought that that was a really good thing. But in the end, as it turned out, that can also be a problem. Apparently, we were too similar. At least in my book.

“We were constantly doing things together that I would have done alone as well. Even if we went out, it was just … always the same. Over time, it turned into this … state of living together but not really. I felt like he was just a good friend but not really my partner anymore.”

Li Ming gave a hum, wondering if the two of them might also have that problem. “We actually do share a lot of similarities as well. Aren’t you afraid that this’ll turn out the same?”

Zhao Chen looked at him and couldn’t help but sigh. “What can I say? I do have a type. And as it happens, usually, that type of guy is indeed into the same things that I like.

“But, when it comes to the two of us, I think that there are also a lot of differences and I am just starting to find out about all of them. So … seeing as that is the case, I don’t think this will happen to us.

“Not to mention … I bring this up precisely because I want to make sure that it won’t. I think in relationships, it’s important to talk about what’s important to you early on. As for the two of us, we haven’t been going out for that long yet so I think we should start to talk about it now and slowly get a feeling for it. Then later on, we will have an easier time adjusting if something comes up.”

Li Ming gave another hum, feeling a bit better. He wasn’t sure what kind of differences Zhao Chen actually saw between them because, so far, he did feel that they were both pretty similar but as long as Zhao Chen was able to see them, it was enough. “Well, I do understand that. It actually makes a lot of sense.”

Zhao Chen nodded and then patted his arm. “So, what about your ex that you wanted to tell me about just now?”

Li Ming rubbed his neck, wondering how to say this. “Actually, it’s the same ex I told you about earlier today. He was … pretty outgoing. Definitely much more than I was. Actually, this is less about him but about the one thing I learned from that relationship.

“My life at that time was pretty monotonous. I think it was exactly the type of life that you meant. For me, I didn’t see it as a problem at that time. Anyway, I was single, happy at my job, and I wasn’t looking for anything new. But after I met him, we would have two dates a week. I mean, that was the early stage of our relationship and since we never got past that point it just made sense at the time.

“Anyway, we both went all out with planning them and after we broke up, I realized that this was the part that I had probably enjoyed the most with him. It was … of course, it was a way to get to know each other but it was also a very good way to just make life more interesting. So after we broke up, I kept that up. Not as a once or twice a week thing but as something that I will do every now and then.”

Zhao Chen raised his brows and then clicked his tongue. “Seems like I owe that ex of yours a thank you then. It sure sounds like something that will help the two of us in this relationship. Anyway, I’m looking forward to your awesome dating skills.”

Li Ming laughed and shook his head. “They’re not that awesome, to be honest. I also think that we’re probably not the type for some of these things. But I guess it’s just about … trying something new every now and then. Either way, I wouldn’t be against giving it a try and just seeing where it leads.”

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