THE EX

large (9)I will never be friends with any of my exes, ever again.

Not because they are monsters, in fact quite the opposite, but really- what would be the point in it?

In the past, I used to think that it was a good idea to meet for a coffee every now and then, or check in with how their mums were getting on, but as the years go by I realise that they rarely check in with me and my parents and the only reason we actually ever had an interest in each other’s lives is because we were sharing the same bed.

You’ll probably think that I’m being a bit harsh here and that all of the people who touch our lives should remain in our lives.

But here’s the thing: I get far too attached to the past.

I hold my hands up to indulging too long in nostalgic moments. Lengthy glances out of the window happen on an almost weekly basis, as I remember how good things were, as opposed to the greatness of now, so it really is no option for me but to let things go quickly (and without much thought) before it’s too late. But even if I weren’t the type to relish in reminiscing, I think I’d still adhere to the same lack of contact post-break up.

I do understand that when you date somebody in your friendship group, it becomes a little more difficult to do this. You bump into them at brunch and nights out end in discussions about what happened in a corner of the bar whilst everyone else  works out how they’ll pick up the pieces in the morning. But if you have the option to never see or speak to them again, then do it; it’s great to know that they exist, but you don’t need them in your face- sort of a bit like sharks, or Katie Hopkins.

An important thing to remember is that from the moment you break up, what they do is no reflection, whatsoever, of you – or what you had together. Even if that means that they sleep with someone two days later, which might be a little hard to swallow, but frankly, it’s none of your business anymore. Just as much as it’s none of their business that you’ve just downloaded Happn whilst you wait for your ready meal to heat up.

Although it’s idealistic to assume that every break up will be amicable, particularly as they pretty much never are, just make a pact to be at the very least, respectful. Even if the remnants of your relationship seem like they are strewn across the bathroom floor, don’t plaster your new lease of life all over Facebook or shove photos of your new fling into the public forum; be discrete. After all, you did love – or even just like them – once upon a time, so there’s no need to rub salt into the wounds of what is probably an already traumatic break up. Because, let’s face it, they’re all crap.

And that’s another things about exes- you aren’t the only one to have them. Be mindful that your boyfriend might have left a trail of destruction in his path and be patient with previous partners. Harsh words about you, or endless messages declaring their love for your chosen one come from a place that you should sympathise with, instead of show anger towards. Just think about how long it took you to get over that ex and remain calm, however tempting it might be to throw warnings her way.

Lastly, don’t try to convince each other that you can be friends because you think it’ll be less painful. It won’t be, so instead, look through your recent calls or texts and you’ll see a list of people just waiting for you to get in touch with them. And keep reminding yourself that you were never friends, you were in a relationship, and that those are two very different things.

Fingers crossed I have found “The One” and won’t have to add another ex to the list ever again. But if I do, then I assure you, I will be adhering to all of the above.

And for those of you who have stumbled upon this at an appropriate time in your life, then I urge you to follow these simple instructions to start moving on: meet with your ex one last time and hug them – and when you do, squeeze them really, really tight – then tell them that you love them as though it might be the last time that you will ever see them, and then step away. For a really long time.

It’ll be painful and you’ll cry, but I assure you: if you are able to do that, then you’re already half way there.

EX O EX O

The Break Up

large (11)I watched ‘The Break Up’ last night and felt totally cheated.

Before you download it, you should know that that it’s more of a Rom Con than a Rom Com. I wanted rain, maybe even a bit of snow. I wanted an exhausting sex scene or a fireworks display to declare their love for one another. But, no. I got ‘see you around’. For once, real life is more exciting than the movies. My break up history, on reflection, could probably make for a pretty good script.

Having been through only two major break ups in my life, I feel a little inadequate on the discussion of relationships falling apart but I reckon the first is always the worst. Not because you love them more than any later lovers, just because it’s so new. At the age of around sixteen, you find yourself completely falling for someone with the entirety of your heart, body, mind and soul. So when the inevitable happens and the relationship crumbles due to conflicting university choices, travelling, or worst of all, cheating, your whole world seems to fall apart. Once you’ve been through The First Love Break Up, whether you are sixteen or forty-five, a lot of things are put into perspective. It makes you a little colder, a little more guarded and far more cynical about the future…

But once the first is somewhat behind you, you follow it up with what is normally The University Break Up, or as I like to call it, ‘the early twenties freak out’. You get to twenty-one, final year of university and think ‘I have one year left to go wild. What am I doing?’ You call it off, there are tears, a lot more break up sex than you could ever possibly imagine and then that period where you decide that it would be a good idea to see who can hurt each other more to make yourself feel better. This is the worst phase of all. It is the numbness of this break up which is the scariest because it is nothing in comparison to the childish hurt you felt from the first. You think you don’t really care as much as the first time. But you do. You just have to hope that when you realise you made a mistake, it’s not too late.

The Long Distance Break Up isn’t much better I’m afraid. This one appears to be all about how much effort you put in, how much you love each other or the amount of distance between you. In reality, it isn’t any of the above. Instead, it is simply just really really hard to be away from the one you love. The whole reason you are with someone is because you enjoy their company, you find them physically attractive and because your life is much better when you’re around them. You can’t experience any of these things to their maximum potential over Skype or through text messaging which is why these relationships generally fail. Think about it. How many long distance relationships that you’ve experienced, first hand or not, have actually worked out? I don’t know any that have. If there’s an end in sight then it might be worth the struggle, but if not it might be time to think about the cut and run.

The thing you need to remember until you find ‘The One’ or at least ‘One of the Ones’ is that “Love always begins with a smile, grows with a kiss, and ends with a teardrop”. No matter what you do.

As long as you know this, you can only live for the moment.

But is it all worth it? I think I’ll leave that one up to you…