“Well her hate is still prettier in person, prettier than words and prettier, it’s prettier than me”

This is one of those posts that I’ve been thinking about for a long time.  The idea was born a few months back when one of my best girlfriends had a bit of a crisis based on a run in she’d had with The Ex.  Now right here, I’d like to make the distinction between an ex and The Ex.  An ex is any old person with whom you might have had a long or short dalliance, but The Ex is the one that still occasionally lingers in your mind.  You see, my girlfriend is married to a really great guy who fills absolutely every requirement on her checklist.  He is perfect for her and she knows it and loves him for it.  They have a wonderful marriage, a lot of fun together and enjoy working at achieving their goals.  Here’s the thing: long before Hubby arrived on the scene, drunk on the newfound freedom that young independence offers, my friend met the man who later became The Ex of her life.  They met through friends and enjoyed many a crazy booze, sex and adventure filled night appropriate to people in their early twenties.  Now, 10+ years later, they are still on the periphery of one another’s social circles so their paths cross once or twice every year.  Her frustration comes when she sees him and just one look can cut her to the core and transport her right back to their glory (and sometimes very not-so-glorious) days.  Let me clarify, this post has nothing to do with pining over a lost love or reigniting long extinguished old flames.  It’s about the intense emotion that can be awakened by just the sight of someone from our past.

As I said, it’s been on my mind for a while.  When I brought it up with another friend, I told her that I think it’s totally normal to have a ghost that still haunts you, a past partner who you still wonder about: what really happened, where they are now, what could have been.  As I explained to both friends, I think everybody has one.  If someone claims they don’t they’re either lying or they’re missing out.  I don’t think that person’s identity is any indication of affection or measure of meaning.  It doesn’t make them any better than the others, it’s probably just a certain mysterious quality that can draw you in time and again.   "It’s a lack of closure," the second friend insisted "every woman I know has one and it’s always someone who up and took off, a guy who never really explained why."  The more I thought about it, the more I think I agree.

Maybe it’s a girl thing.  Maybe it boils down to the whole bad boy fantasy we are so famous for holding.  While I never really subscribed to those dreams, when I look back, the only potential candidates for The Ex status are the guys who didn’t treat me as well as they should have.  I am among the small population which has no problem maintaining a friendship after the romance has died.  Among my favourite friends, I count at least three ex-boyfriends or at least ex-pseudo-boyfriends.  The only two in the running for The Ex status are guys that I am not still in touch with.  The funny thing is that the one that I so thought would be a blister on my heart forever is the one that I barely think of now.  I only recognized The Ex very recently.  In fact, it was when my friend had her crisis that I fully understood.

You’ll be loved, you’ll be loved
Like you never have known
The memories of me
Will seem more like bad dreams
Just a series of blurs
Like I never occurred
Someday you will be loved

I think that there is some fun in thinking back to old times, to dabbling in nostalgia.  Why did I write this post today of all days?  Because while listening to my iPod today, I stumbled across a song I hadn’t heard in years, a song that transported me to early in the year 2000, a song that I had no idea captured so much emotion, such sentimentality.  In a moment, I was frozen.  I was completely immersed in all the emotion, all the excitement, the riddle of that interaction.  And for that moment, it was blissful.  Of course, that was until I realized what a hellish life I would have led had it continued, how unhappy all those little quirks I thought were so cute at the time would have made me in the long run and how right it was that the relationship never continued. I have no regrets that I’m no longer in touch with The Ex, but I can still remember, very fondly, that overwhelming intoxication that I felt at the time.

I don’t think that any of this is a reflection on my life today.  I am very happy with who I am right now, with the relationship I am in and with the life I now lead.  I believe that everything we have done in the past contributes to who we are now and I think that some of those experiences deserve some recognition.  This is definitely one of them.


14 Responses to ““Well her hate is still prettier in person, prettier than words and prettier, it’s prettier than me””

  1. chana Says:

    OMG…am I that friend you are talking about? I had no idea we knew each other! Hi! nice to meet ya! I feel so relieved to see that someone else feels that one thing that sends us back in time is the lack of closure. My “THE EX” was definitely not a oooey-gooey-lovey-dovey relationship but there was just something about it..maybe it was the time period..I was just 18 and coming into a new phase of my life. Who knows. But, yes, I, like your friend, have wonderful husband and wonderful marriage and couldn’t ask for anything more.

  2. SherBears Says:

    Thank you for reminding me WHY I’m not getting back together with him.

  3. Bex Says:

    THE Ex. Funny how we all know exactly what you mean. And you’re right, The Ex isn’t always who you expect. I don’t keep in touch with any of my exes, but there is one…we barely dated for very long, and he wasn’t even the typical “bad boy” I usually went for. Just a nice, quiet, confident guy. Great in the sack too. I think my issue with him is that there was no closure, the relationship just kind of withered away and I ended up with Hubby.

  4. Matthew Good Says:

    Great entry.

  5. Courtney Says:

    Whoa. (And a little bit of a snort.)

    I have two of those. Is that bad? (Not snorts or whoas, but two The Exes.)

  6. Piera Says:

    It’s the “what ifs”. I think The Ex equlas the “what ifs” for me. Like you said, you’re happy now but for me it’s always the “what ifs”. Make any sense?

  7. Teresa Says:

    Is is possible to have an Ex-Life? Because I look back on the 10 years before I met my husband that way. Totally happy with the way my life is now, I would not want to change a thing, but I certainly do look back with great longing to those crazy years.

  8. kelly Says:

    Holy crap. I got your text and had to see for myself.
    I meant to reply but yes, The EX for me is who you said it was but, like Courtney, I actually have 2.

  9. Kristin Says:

    I definitely have guys from the past that I think about. But probably not in that gut wrenching kind of way. I was so young when Dan and I became a couple that I never really had a very deep relationship that could affect me so deeply. I saw my high school sweetheart last year and we all went to the park together with our kids and that was nice. I was happy to see where he was and what had become of him. I still think of him often and hope he is happy, but there is no real emotional bond there. I’m actually glad for that.

  10. flap Says:

    You must be some kind of wizard.
    Awesome post my friend.

  11. Say Rah! Says:

    hrm. interesting. i have it narrowed down to two. i feel like i should only have one. it’s probably not the one i want it to be, just based on the fact that i have a preference, huh?

    great post.

  12. Dave J Says:

    For me “The Ex” is signified by a person whom I still dream about on occasion. I agree with your linkage to ‘not having closure.’ That seems true.

    In my mind, if you truly love someone, and it’s mutual, you both make it work, no matter what. Bottom line, we are all human, and the grass is never greener, in any situation, it’s all about perception versus desire.

    My only “The Ex” stems from an abusive relationship that I had in which, despite her abusive behavior, I loved her, and I was determined to make it work. After two years of ups and downs, she ditched me.

    If I ran into these days, it would still be strange and awkward. In my mind, “the Ex” is someone that you will love for the remainder of your days. It is an unbreakable kinship, unrequited love.

  13. wamylove Says:

    Man can I relate! It’s the fantasy versus the reality….

  14. John O Says:

    That was a dynamite post.

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