Dating, Memories, Social Media, Thoughts, You're Fine

How You Should View Your Ex

The other day, my ex of almost six years posted on Instagram for his girlfriend’s birthday. She’s a relatively new girlfriend, although I’ve been aware of her for a while. It’s only been a recent thing that my ex has actually posted anything with her. I’ve done some creeping and some stalking (I think we can all officially agree that we do this, mostly out of boredom), and she genuinely seems like a sweet person, and I really am happy for him. But the birthday post bothered me for just a minute.

I stopped for a second, reading his post about her birthday and calling her his “Partner in crime”, and realized he never once posted for my birthday. There was one year he posted on my birthday, but it was about the uniform he received in the mail for the Boston Marathon. I had that moment of weakness where I thought, “Why did he post for her and not for me?” And then I slapped myself in the face. My friend Helen sent me a text message and I brought up the birthday post. She wrote, “Isn’t it interesting to see what your exes are willing to do for other people and what they didn’t do for you?”

Now, I realize the Instagram post is a petty and fairly small thing to complain about. It really isn’t all that important. But when you break up, you tend to go over in your head not just the big things, but the small things that matter too. Like how every year, I posted on our anniversary and he didn’t. Or that one year I threw him a surprise birthday party. Or how every gift he gave me was so impersonal and lacked interest, which in a way showed how much he didn’t know me. The little things matter because those are the things that show the other person you care.

My response to Helen was simple: It’s a good thing that I’m seeing these changes because it tells me he learned something from all of this. You’re supposed to see changes in your ex, so rather than being mad and upset because what they’re doing now is something they didn’t ever do for you is ridiculous. You should be happy that they’re changing their ways, otherwise the next girl doesn’t stand a chance. Both my ex and I were too selfish to be considerate to one another, which is why he’s my ex. We were young, so we were supposed to be selfish.

This, I believe, is how every person should view their ex. Unless they tried to stab you or steal from you, you shouldn’t look at them with hatred simply because it didn’t work out. Especially once your ex has moved onto someone else and is treating them the way they are supposed to be treated, you should be happy about this because it means they actually listened to you.

I don’t hate any of my exes, even the shady, cheating ones. I’m not buddy-buddy with any of them, but if I were to run into them walking down the street, I’d offer to grab a coffee and catch up. I’ve grown a lot when it comes to relationships. No matter what I experienced, bad or good, or what I’ve been through, I am who I am. I will never be the jealous girlfriend, or the controlling girlfriend, or the clingy girlfriend. I have my own life and so do they. If they screw up, I will always give them a chance to properly explain themselves, but if they need to explain themselves every single week, then it’s time to call it quits. I’ve learned my time is precious, and I’m no longer going to waste it with anyone who can’t reciprocate those feelings.

So the next time you see your ex, whether it’s in-person or through social media, be the bigger person. No longer sit and stew over what you see, and walk along.


17 thoughts on “How You Should View Your Ex

  1. Auntie Dy says:

    Your so smuckin fart . It takes most people a lifetime to learn what you have . Good for you . Jealousy is not becoming in anyone and is a sign of insecurity . ❤️😘

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is a great, very mature post, Jess. I wholeheartedly agree. My ex emotionally abused me for about the last half of our relationship, which really messed with me in a lot of ways. I basically thought I was worthless by the time we broke up. About a year and a half after we broke up, I wrote him a facebook message to let him know I forgave him. I can only hope he learned from the way he treated me and went on to treat his next girlfriend better (I deleted him from Facebook–not out of hard feelings, but more becauase I felt it was a way for me to move on at the time–so I don’t know if they’re still together, but I do know he had another girlfriend at one point).

    And truth be told, I was a pretty crappy girlfriend. In my own way, I was just as selfish as he was, and I learned a lot about what NOT to do in a relationship with him. Neither of had very good coping skills for dealing with the habits we didn’t like in the other, and we probably should have broken up long before we actually did.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I completely understand where you’re coming from. Sometimes we stick around because we’re insecure, or we’re comfortable, which isn’t healthy. But I’m glad to hear you found your way back to yourself after all of that! I know I’ve had my fair share of moments where I wasn’t the best human I could be.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I still have fond memories of all my exes and want the best for them.

    Also keep in mind that the relationship with your ex is ancient history. A lot of maturing happens in 6 years! He grew up and learned a lot. I’m glad he’s treating his new GF right. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I love this post. I too have gotten upset when I see the little things they do now that were never done for me. It is a sign of growth and I suppose I should be happy but I’ve got a little tinge of jealousy that they couldn’t grow up for me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I would say that’s a pretty normal feeling. We always want to try and fix someone, or help them in some way but sometimes we’re not always that person. At least not in the moment. Think of it like this: if they are changing after you are already gone, it’s most likely because of you, so in a way, you did help them be a better person.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. This is really mature advice. I think when it comes to ex’s it’s so hard not to be petty or judgmental. There are cases in relationships where only one person can be blamed but many times, both parties involved played a part in the demise in the relationship. When that happens, it’s best to move on without any bitterness or jealousy.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I definitely agree that those ‘by WHY DIDN’T THEY DO THAT FOR ME?!’ moments are a sign that they learned from the mistakes made in previous relationships. I think it’s a good sign, really.

    At the same time, I wouldn’t be offering to go for coffee with my exes. It’s not that I don’t like them, I just don’t… care. I don’t care. My dial is set to 0 on the scale from -10 to 10. I’m indifferent. Or MAYBE a -1, because if I could spend those five minutes having coffee with an ex or reading the front page of reddit, then I’d rather catch up with my fellow redditors.

    Life is too short to spend time with people who made you miserable, even if they helped you grow into who you are today.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Haha I mean, of course if your ex treated you so terribly that it’s unforgivable, then yes, don’t grab coffee with them. But I was lucky enough to not have exes who made me so miserable. I was unhappy, but for various reasons that weren’t obvious to me at the time. I still wish them all the best.


  7. I could not agree more. Of course it’s hard at first to see them treating someone the way that you wish they had treated you, but yeah, it didn’t work out between you and that person, and there are always many reasons for that. In a way, every successful relationship has the previous relationships of both people to thank for its success, right?
    Thanks for this, Jess.

    Liked by 1 person

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