There aren’t many good reasons to see, speak with, or think about your ex, but from time to time, it does happen. “Why does it happen?” you ask. Let us tell you.
Type 1: Business Transaction
This is most common in the early stages of separation. Breakups are a lot of drama, but there are still a lot of boring parts. Getting your mail. Discussing utility bills. Really, anything that involves paper. If you have children, the business transactions will be more regular and will also cover picking kids up, dropping kids off, and appendectomies.
“Did you take care of the thing with the insurance company?”
“No. I’ll do that Monday.”
“Ok. Let me know when it’s done.”
Type 2: Playing Nice
There are two reasons to remain friendly with your ex: 1. You want them back. 2. You feel guilty. In almost every failed relationship, one party feels immense guilt over ending it. Some people choose to swallow that guilt and wash it down with lots of alcohol or, in a pinch, Nyquil. But others maintain a friendly relationship with the person they dumped, in hopes of someday feeling better about it. These interactions are sort of like match.com dates. Lots of smiling and non-controversial chit chat. It’s disgusting.
“I like your hat.”
“Thanks! I just got it.”
“That sandwich looks good.”
“It is! Would you like a bite?”
“No, I’m good. But thanks for offering!”
“Oh no problem. I’m glad you picked this sandwich place. You’re good at picking restaurants.”
“Thank you. You’re good at ordering sandwiches.”
“That’s nice of you to say.”
Type 3: Cyber Stalking
It can be hard to resist cyber stalking your ex. Whether you love them, hate them, or you’re just bored with everything else the internet has to offer, you’re going to do it at some point. If you’re still facebook friends, it’s pretty easy, but, in a way, less gratifying. The real prize is finding their online dating profile. And by “prize” we mean “terrible idea.”
Sample Encounter (with public part of ex’s facebook wall):
“Oh, wow. He commented on a Washington Post article. Isn’t that nice? He never read the Washignton Post when WE were together. What a phony. Well, well, well…became friends with Kristen Murray on March 31st. Moving fast, don’t you think?”
Type 4: Accidental Run-in
Even if you and your ex have mutually agreed to act like adults and pretend that one another never existed, there is a chance that the matrix will be shattered when you run into each other in public.
::pretends not to see ex::
Type 5: Horrible Failed Attempts at Making Ex Jealous
This happens. And it never really goes according to plan. Because if you’re the one trying to make your ex jealous, chances are, you care a lot more about them than they do you. Additional chances are you’re really drunk and you’re embarrassing yourself.
“Yeah so, things are going really well. Like, really well.”
“I mean, with girls. You know?”
“I’ve been working out a lot. Thinking about buying property. Might grow a mustache.”
“Busy time though. Lots of social engagements though. You know?”
“Sure. By the way, why are you at my company Christmas party?”
“Why wouldn’t I be here?”
“Well, you don’t work here.”
“I’m going to go talk to those girls over there.”