Except here, the pig is your ex, and singing is the ability to function properly in a healthy relationship.
Or, more importantly, singing represents all of the things you think he/she did wrong in the relationship that forced it to end.
So, I repeat: don’t try to teach a pig to sing. If they did not change while in a relationship where such things were expected of them, what’s going to incentivize them to do so now that they’re not?
For example, one of my male friends has been agonizing over his ex-girlfriend for a few months now because, apparently, their break-up left him without closure. And by closure, I mean he felt he was unable to ascertain why she refused to speak to him post-relationship, even as friends. A couple of days ago, he learned that she was under the impression he had been “talking shit” about her for the latter half of their relationship, courtesy of her best friends. To which he immediately vents to me “This was always my issue with our relationship- her friends are f*cking poisonous and she lets them influence her way too much!”
Said male friend then announces he’s going to call her from an unknown number and make her talk to him so he can reiterate how terrible he thinks her friends are.
Okay. First of all, sir, don’t do that. You’re a grown ass man and that’s nuts.
Second of all, um, why can’t you just move on with your life now that your “closure” question has been answered?
Well, here’s an exact transcript of the 15 seconds immediately following my asking that question:
Him: Because she needs to know! Me: But... why? Him: Because... fuck her, that's why! Me: .....
(Ladies and gentleman… I present to you: the aforementioned grown-ass man. *eye roll*)
Regardless, this interaction perfectly illustrates the reasoning behind my “don’t teach a pig how to sing” argument:
Let’s say my male friend is successful in getting into contact with his ex to inform her that her friends suck and were the main point of contention in their relationship.
Is she going to drop her friends? Probably not.
Is she going to confront them? Maybe, but that would only be to ask why they said my guy friend had been talking shit about her, which they can easily explain away as a misunderstanding.
Is she going to just keep living her life? Yes, and whenever she thinks about him from now on, she will likely always get a mild feeling of annoyance because he dared to insult her best friends.
So, basically, his talking to her about what he didn’t like about their relationship doesn’t really do anything for her. Does it do anything for him, at least?
Does he feel like he accomplished something? Eh, probably not. Logically speaking, he’s not fool enough to actually believe his opinions mean anything to her at this point, so, if anything, this outburst is much more for him than it is for her.
Does he feel better? Again, probably not. He might feel temporarily vindicated if he had a lot of aggressive emotion he needed to get out, but if the relationship ever meant anything to him, he’s probably going to feel like a jerk once that wears off and he remembers how much he hurt her.
So here’s my closing advice:
If you feel compelled to reach out to your ex to explain something negative about their life that poorly affected your relationship, first ask yourself why.
If it was that big of a deal, you would have tried to discuss this with them while you were together. If you did and it’s still a problem, bringing it up, yet again, is not going to do anything useful for either one of you.
If you didn’t, that likely means it isn’t that big of a deal, and you’re just grasping at straws trying to hold onto any part of them you can, even if the remaining interactions are negative. Don’t do that, leave something beautiful behind.
It is not your job to fix people who are no longer a part of your life so they can do better in their next relationships. It is your job to learn from your interactions with them so you can do better in your next relationships.