I was on Twitter yesterday (@Natalie_KateM, since you asked) and stumbled upon one of my Twitter mates discussing how she was emailing her ex and he was being a cock. At once, I thought a) WHY would you email your ex and b) well YEAH, that's why he's your ex, non?
She went on to say that they were actually really good friends, which boggled my brain, as my ex is a complete wang from hell and I'd rather chew my own arm off and beat myself to death with it than talk to him again. I get that loads of people manage it, end amicably, even stay in the same friendship group, doing the same things as before, but I for one just honestly can't think of anything worse. Have I just had a bad batch? Does everyone else manage to skip together, arm in arm, sharing in-jokes with each other for all eternity?
My significant relationship history only began when I was 18, when I thought I fell in love with a guy who later threatened to burn my house down when we broke up (hot!). My mum hated him so much she would always refer to him as "your little friend" rather than my boyfriend, and given that mums are always right, I probably should have known that it wasn’t going to be some great love story. I’m sure he’s perfectly pleasant now, but I still wouldn’t want to hang out with him. You know, the whole burning the house down thing. After that I sort of went into DESTRUCTOMODE, discovered going out and met the guy who did actually turn out to be my first love.
Looking back, I have absolutely no idea what we ever talked to each other about. We had nothing in common except a love for staying up until the small hours getting smashed and chain smoking, and having lock-ins at the crap club round the corner. I do vaguely remember that I thought he was funny. I always thought he was better than me, which was a problem, and his mother thought he was too. He dumped me out of the blue, broke my heart and never spoke to me again.
I absolutely take responsibility for the fact that after he dumped me, I went batshit mental and called him up at all hours and yelled at him down the phone. OH AND THE CRYING! I thought I’d never stop. So I did the thing all rational human beings do when they need some peace and quiet and reflection time to heal –- I bought a one way ticket to Ibiza and stayed there for a month, "finding myself" or some other shit. In reality I found pills (sorry parents, I don’t do them anymore don’t worry), a rather fetching gurn, and that the best way to get over someone is under someone else.
I soon realized that actually, I wasn’t "worse" than him. I was a good person, and clever, and he was a massive wang who didn’t deserve my tears, my anxiety or my friendship. I grew up, moved on, and met someone who I am a better person with, and who makes me feel like a normal human being and not some jibbering, drug-addled wreck.
I reached out on Twitter to see what others thought about being friends with exes. Were they friends with theirs, or would they rather die than speak to them again? Here are some of the things they said (WARNING: SWEARS);
@mrsjoharding: I was 15 & Joel was 17 when we got together so we don't have proper exes, we were kids ourselves...I suppose it would depend on the reason you split? One of my best friends is on REALLY good terms with all her exes.
@mhairi_m: I would rather die than speak to my most recent ex. Definitely a cross the road situation… Last time I saw my ex a bird had just shat on my head, life's a fucking CUNT.
@emmajayorama: Friends with all of mine except a recent fling who's really young & a massive jeb-end. But he was shit in bed anyway.
@shennners: I get really annoyed that all my exes haven't just fucking DIED.
@decath10n: I'm friends with almost all of mine. But then the dungeon harnesses prevent much complaint.
A pretty mixed bag there, but it eased some of my worry that I was the only one incapable of staying friends with past lovers. I really hope they don’t read this. SORRY, GUYS! I’m interested to hear what you, the ever-hilarious commenters, think about staying in touch with exes. Can you do it? Maybe you’re friends with all of them? HOW? Share your stories!