The Different Types of Exes and How to Handle Them
Breakups are hard. Conflict is hard. Dating is hard. Life is hard! This is The Golden Age of Dating and, along with it, The Golden Age of Breakups. That means odds are strong you have multiple exes in your life floating around in that weird gray area between "I am dating this person" and "I will never speak to this person ever again."
Sometimes these people are fine hanging out in that big ol' gray area. Sometimes they are decidedly not fine. Luckily, this guide is here to help you sort out which former flames need to be extinguished immediately and which ones can be left to just quietly burn like a non-offensive candle or something.
The one who got away
As the name implies, the one you really cared about also happened to get away. You liked them way more than they liked you, and now they’re living in a luxe cabin somewhere in Montana with a millionaire penis model who looks like Bon Iver. Or, you know, maybe just happily dating someone else.
How to deal with them: For the sake of your soul, you have to get over it. If they wanted to be with you, they wouldn't be currently be dating someone else. There's no such thing as star-crossed lovers in 2015, they don't like you. So, ignore, ignore, ignore. They won’t really care if you’re gone and only talked to you when Netflix was buffering, anyway.
The one who won't stop blowing up your phone
You met this one on Tinder and foolishly decided to reply after receiving 70 variations on the phrase “hey, you up?” After supplying your phone number and pity hooking up once, your hints aren’t caught and contact is being attempted every single damn day.
How to deal with them
With a carefully crafted text message suggesting that they’ve accidentally been texting a 12-year-old, of course! “hey lol i think u have the wrong number, im 12 and what is this?” You can also try the classic "the AT&T customer is no longer available at the number."
The one who became part of your family
Just like Steve Friggin’ Urkel (though hopefully better looking?), this person felt comfortable enough with you to just randomly show up at your house at dinner and spend Christmas (plus the 364 days before Christmas) straight-up snuggling with your dad and mom. Now that you're broken up, your parents seem to be taking it harder than you are, which is always encouraging.
How to deal with them
First of all, you've got to ask yourself the question: what happened? Did your ex really do some really terrible shit like cheat on you or watch Field of Dreams and spoil the ending? Spoiler alert: Kevin Costner plays ball with Ray Liotta. If they didn't and your family really likes them, consider the fact that they have good judgement and maybe your taste it a little off. Take a breather, watch Field of Dreams, and reconsider another relationship.
The toxic avenger
Everybody’s had the toxic relationship -- the person you love and hate at the same time who drives you crazy, but loves you to a fault. Or to a series of faults. Think of Ron and Tammy from Parks and Recreation.
How to deal with them: They're going to drag you down to the bottom of the ocean, and you'll end up miserable and friendless. Get into another relationship (or faux-relationship) fast and plaster as many pictures of yourself with your new guy or girl on social media. Best-case scenario, it makes them go berserk and they move to Slovakia or something.
The one who's still friends with all your friends
Ah yes, the eternal struggle of keeping the friends your ex was friends with. The problem is, the ex in this situation isn’t usually that bad, hence the stubbornly enduring friendships.
How to deal with them: This isn't the end of the world. In fact, these kinds of relationships are salvageable. If you guys have the same friends, then it's pretty likely that you have the same sense of ideals. So, just talk about it and figure out a way to make it work. Maybe, through being friends, a new spark will ignite some white-hot passion. It's not without precedent.
The one who's always mad
Some people are grumpy little shits who just explode with no rhyme or reason. Unfortunately, you dated one of these people.
How to deal with them: Get out of there, there's no point living life as an emotional punching bag. Set up a bunch of coffee dates and cancel at the last minute. They'll be so mad! Everybody has a tipping point in which even the one they love the most can be emotionally kicked aside. It's like how everyone handled their love for How I Met Your Mother after the series finale.
The president of the struggle club
Sometimes you think a person is just unlucky. Their house gets broken into, their car breaks, and they get food poisoning. It seems like all this terrible stuff just happens to them until you realize that they forgot to lock their front door, never took care of their car, and ate Chinese food that had been sitting in the back of their now-broken car.
How to deal with them: Make yourself as unavailable as possible, for instance: “I’d love to hang out, but I’m at the most expensive club in town that’s literally 50 miles from your apartment.” These people drain your bank account and your soul at the very same time.
The one who works at your office
First of all, this one’s on you. Either: a) you started dating someone from your office or b) you told your ex where you work and they successfully managed to land a job there. Whoops. But don’t worry, there are plenty of ways to avoid Jim from accounting or Jolene from accounting. Oh, so you’re into accountants, eh?
How to deal with them: Despite our feelings about HR, these people exist for a reason. Just set up a meeting, explaining the situation, and find a new desk as far away as possible as you can get. Or you can switch departments... you may have signed on as a consultant, but that doesn’t mean you can’t moonlight in the party-planning committee.
Because life is (sometimes!) fair, many unnaturally attractive people leave quite a bit to be desired in the intellect department? Luckily, once you've realized that hot person you couldn't believe agreed to date you doesn't have much happening beneath the surface, going your separate ways is pretty simple
How to deal with them: Just tell them you’re dating someone else. They won’t even think to ask you why there aren’t any pictures of that “someone” anywhere on FB or Instagram. The mystery won’t even make itself apparent to them, and they’ll die thinking you’re happily married to someone named Bob Wehadababyitsaboy. These kinds of people make really good friends, too; when the time is right, try making a totally non-sexual friend-pass at them.
The emotional rollercoaster
You know the type: man or woman. They cry all the time and it will absolutely kill them when they find out you want them out of your life. It’ll kill them and they’ll die and it’s horrible.
How to deal with them: It’s actually a lot easier than you think. You need to write them a handwritten letter saying the universe will bring you both together one day, but right now just isn’t the right time. People go nuts over hand-written letters, especially when they're as beautiful and poignant as we all thought Garden State was in 2004.
The only drawback to ditching all this dead weight? Now you’re the one who got away and will be subjected to their annoying texts while you’re busy waiting for Netflix to buffer.
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Jeremy Glass is a writer for Thrillist and, luckily, all of his exes are dead.