Those blue eyes. That laugh. That one time he surprised you with flowers. That weekend you spent together at the beach… Snap out of it. Remember when you thought his obsession with Call of Duty was stupid? It was. Or the way she took selfies 24/7? Ridiculous. What about every lie and accusation? You don’t need that in your life ever again.
Getting over a breakup is undoubtedly difficult, and you’ll probably go through a phase where you want your ex back. But, newsflash—That person is your “ex” for a reason. Some people will tell you you’ll find closure at the bottom of a pint of Ben and Jerry’s followed by some introspection and time to heal. Here’s some new advice: Instead of fruitlessly seeking closure before you’re ready, refuel your anger with 12 reminders why your ex earned the title in the first place.
1. When Eyes Wandered
Remember how jealous you were of that girl he flirted with in high school? When you’re in a healthy relationship, you won’t have those trust issues and insecurities.
“My ex and I were at a movie with his friends and during the previews we all talked about the people we would want to be allowed to cheat on our boyfriends or girlfriends with. I said Ryan Reynolds, someone else said Jessica Alba and so on. Then we get to my ex and he says the name of a girl we all went to school with. He literally saw her everyday!”—Ana Turenkov, UVA ‘15
2. When the Shallow End Got Shallower
Remember how shallow you thought he was? Like that time you had to take your hair down because “you look manly when it’s up.” (Be bitter about it, you should be). If he didn’t like you for who you are, or tried to make you something you’re not, then good riddance to that loser.
“My ex made me take an IQ test. I’m still not sure if it was an application or not.”—Caroline S., Wake Forest ‘17
3. When the Bro Code was Too Strong
There’s nothing worse than that ex who succumbed to groupthink. When he wouldn’t hang with you because he got called whipped? Or when she joined in in making fun of you instead of being on your side? Or even just the ex with the douchebag friends. Haha, bye forever.
“My boyfriend’s friend decided to start a rumor that I had cheated, and then when I confronted the friend about it, he said ‘I’d watch what you’re saying because I can ruin your reputation and hurt you in a second.’ Needless to say, I freaked out and told my boyfriend, who did nothing about it.”—Annie Mester, UVA ‘16
4. When You Were Always “The Problem”
Remember how everything you did was wrong, but she could get away with anything? There was that time when you bailed last minute and she wouldn’t talk to you for days, even though she did the same thing the week before. Or even the time she just denied everything when you both knew you’d be toast if you did the same.
“I went to visit my ex at his new house after he moved for a job, and he accused me of cheating on him. Three weeks later, I found out he’d been cheating on me for a year. Deflection much? He needed to grow the hell up and sort out his issues, and I was happy to let him do that alone.”—Lissie Ellison, UVA ‘15
5. When Break ups Didn’t Stick
Can’t get over the ex that doesn’t seem to understand the meaning of the prefix “ex”? He keeps you on the back burner, as if your breakup wasn’t a clear indication that you wanted to be done. Respect yourself and let that slime ball slither away.
“I slept with my ex when I visited him and before we were even dressed again, he told me he had a new girlfriend. Then he got up and left.”—*Wake Forest ‘17
6. When She Stalked You
The ex that just happens to be eating at the same restaurant as you four times in a row. Who conveniently bumps into you on the walk to class even though the route is out of the way?
“After we broke up, we agreed not to talk anymore cause it would hurt too much. She continued to text me and flirt with me despite it being tough, then one day she tricked me into being somewhere and surprised me.”—Lathem Koerner, William & Mary ‘17
7. When the Truth Came Out
There’s always that partner who moves on way too fast after a breakup. Keep reminding yourself that if someone can do that, then your relationship clearly didn’t mean much.
“I asked my ex if he had a ‘thing’ for another girl. He said I was being crazy, and things started to go downhill. After we had been broken up for a couple weeks, I texted him at 4 a.m. on a Saturday night (classic) and he thought it would be appropriate to tell me, right at that moment, that he was actually dating that other girl…after less than a month. Yet, I was the crazy one.”—Olivia Brown, UVA ‘15
8. When He Showed His IQ
This person was stupid. Like, actually dumb. Couldn’t carry a conversation, had no intellectually stimulating qualities and even looked bad in glasses.
“My ex and I dated for a year and a half and he told me to go on his Facebook to look at something. I found out he cheated on me because he had a messenger tab open admitting it to one of his friends”—Katie G., Wake Forest ‘17
9. When He Skipped Town
The way that things end is often enough of a reason to hate your ex. Especially if he broke up with you over the phone. Or on Facebook. Or spontaneously moved to another state…
”My ex moved to Florida and told me after the fact.”—Brooke Baader, UVA ‘17
10. When You Felt like an Accessory
Respect and appreciation are huge parts of a relationship. Let’s count the times your ex didn’t display either—if you can even count that high.
“I dated my ex for a year and a half and when we went to college, I visited him nine times. He didn’t show any interest in driving the hour and a half to Wake. When I confronted him about it, he said I’m an accessory to his life, and asked me to come to his military ball for my tenth visit…”—Nicole G., Wake Forest ‘17
11. When the Apology Came too Late
Remember how he tried to crawl back into your life? Or how he would wait until you were just about over it and then randomly shoot you a text? This person often claims he just wants to stay friends, but in reality, it’s manipulation.
“My ex texted me two years after we broke up to say sorry. Two years!. Cue Jojo’s ‘Too Little Too Late.’” –Jessica Crystal, UVA ’17.
12. When Little Things Became Big Problems
Okay, so this one was perfect. You couldn’t ask for anyone better. And yet, you just weren’t feeling it anymore. Sometimes, “it” just isn’t there, and that’s okay. Little things build up and suddenly the relationship is a goner.
“My ex gave me cold sores. It was terrible.”—Gillian L., Wake Forest ‘17
Disclaimer: I have been both the casualty and perhaps more often the perpetrator of many of these evils. We all suck at times, whether or not we want to admit it. Life will throw the right person at you when you’re ready. For now, though, embrace the ex factor and indulge in some healthily pointed animosity.
*Name was withheld to protect privacy.