Why is the EX such a taboo subject?
It is 9pm on a Saturday evening. I’m sitting with my family in a restaurant where much red wine has been consumed. My family mention my ex, and I wait for Hell to swallow me up. I was the guilty one in the break up. I will be the evil ex, for sure. My dad asks me if he thinks I broke my ex’s heart and I nod I probably did. I have avoided contact from my ex for months. I blocked him on snapchat when he tried to contact me prior to my birthday. I feel terrible knowing I was his first love, and at the beginning he did everything for me.
My brother turns to me and says he misses my ex. He was one of the boyfriends who seemed to get on with your family better than he did with you. He seemed like the golden boyfriend to your family. Then a year later, you reveal things they didn’t actually think had happened. Now, am I the evil ex? He’s the kind of ex who my family would probably still invite to dinner. He got on with my brother really well- again, probably better than he did with me towards the end.
I think about my ex every now and then.
I still have him on Facebook.
I mention my ex to people who have asked, I talk about our relationship and how it ended. We didn’t end on bad terms; I never wanted to end it on bad terms, so I tried so hard to explain that it really wasn’t him- it was me.
I never find it weird to bring up my ex to people who I’m dating, because he was a part of my life. He saw me go from a girl into a woman, he helped me through a few things and he was a good person. We just weren’t meant to be, and I think that’s perfectly fine. For me, talking about my ex has never been a no go area. If you ask me about my ex, and my relationship, then I’ll tell you.
However, it seems not everyone has this approach to their ex.
When I started dating after that ended, everyone had an ex. Someone had always come before you. And, I think the awkward part was, that what their ex had done sounded extremely similar to the way my ex and I had ended. Maybe I was the evil ex. Maybe I was fine discussing it because I was not the one who was, ultimately, left heartbroken.
I was not the one who had been dumped, left, and forced to start again.
I’d had the control in my situation and I’d left the relationship feeling like I’d gained my control back. Mentally, I had broken up with him a few months before I decided to end it. It took me so long because I was finding it so hard to do it, but I had to do it.
Everyone had the ex who we were not to discuss, or the ex who they still watched from a distance. The one they always kept an eye on, the one who they just couldn’t forget. To me, this was a bit of a strange concept. Surely, they were the ex for a reason. Surely, you’d broken up with them for a valid reason.
People don’t just give up if there is something between them.
Honestly, I went on two dates where both men greatly discussed their ex at length. One of them was clearly still in love with his ex, and the other saw his ex’s friend on our one (and only) date, then panicked his ex would find out sometime down the line. I could not get away from the damn ex discussion. I didn’t mind finding out about the ex, I mean guuuuuuurl give me the tee any day, but don’t take an hour to explain how she turned out so horrible.
No one ever saw the ex the way I did. The ex seemed to have been some huge mistake, that had turned on them and ruined them. The ex was a painful memory. I just couldn’t grasp this concept. Someone who had meant so much to you at one point, could now be slammed by you at every turn. The ex was like a swear word. The ex was trash.
However, the ex shouldn’t be someone who we see as a mistake, because it takes years of your life away from you. If they were a mistake, did you waste 4 years on them? They may have taught you lessons, you may have realised what love really was not. You may have grown from a child to an adult with them. The ex should not be a taboo subject that we fear to discuss. Your past will always be who you were in years before, but it is not who you are today.
I had come to realise that there will always be an ex in your life, and an ex in everyones life. You don’t have to accept that person, but you can accept they were part of the past. They were the building blocks of someone else’s castle. They were a chapter that came to a close. The ex will always haunt us, but sometimes, they are a welcome ghost.
*This post generally covers the experience of an ex relationship, and will not relate to everyone. Abusive/manipulative or extremely toxic relationships aren’t included in this list.