I was walking around the glorious Mall of America recently, making purchases I shouldn’t have been, when I turned a corner and thought I saw a crappy ex-boyfriend. I instantly did the mature thing and scrunched my face in disgust and disappointment, trying to decide whether or not to totally avoid him, even if I made eye contact with him and would have to completely change direction if I did that…and decided that is exactly what I would do.
Turns out, wasn’t him, so even if he saw my face, he probably assumed I was making it in reaction to someone behind him or in disapproval to his Ed Hardy t-shirt, which I feel was totally justified.
I don’t really have very many exes, and the majority of them live at least an hour or two away, so there isn’t a huge chance of me running into any of them (unless they develop an interest in the Mall of America). But I still dread the thought of running into them.
Not because I still have feelings for them.
It’s mostly because I was SUPER immature and annoying when I dated them, and maybe acted somewhat stereotypically crazy while dating them (no tire-slashing, but lots of passive-aggressive comments). I would do that thing where if they didn’t call me back, I would call back, multiple times, just in case they got busy and had forgotten that I called. Or I’d do that thing where yeah, it seems like he doesn’t really want to hang out with me, but maybe I should let him know that I’m free this coming weekend again anyway, ya know, just in case. Ick. Why did I do this? The concept of “he’s just not that into you” was definitely not getting through.
But it was so true! And deep down I’m sure I knew it, but it seemed like all these excuses I was making were just as possible. “He’s been super busy with work,” or “this is his first relationship in a long time,” or “his last girlfriend really hurt him,” or “he’s just having a really hard time getting in touch with his true feelings, which is making it hard for him to give up his previous lifestyle and feel comfortable in letting himself be happy…with me.” Those all sound great, if we were in a movie, but we’re not.
I don’t want to run into any of my exes because I hate the idea of people having an opinion of me that is so negative and embarrassing, especially when I’m so much cooler now (ha!). I hate the idea that if an ex and one of his friends saw me in Target, my ex would point to me and say, “Whoa, remember Crazy Girl I dated back in 2006? There she is!” and his friend would say, “Yikes! [because so many guys use that word] she’s probably buying that Family Size bag of Doritos because her crazy-self is so depressed and lonely!” [I have been craving Doritos for a very long time.] Then they both duck around the aisle and hope I didn’t see them. Who wants that? I feel awful for judging any young girl who came across as crazy at one point because she was probably just immature and not aware of how to properly behave in a relationship or dating situation.
I think I would probably turn the other direction and walk briskly away from any ex-boyfriend I might see. Unless there was some cool way of saying, “Hey, yeah, WAY sorry about being crazy back then…totally got that under control now…” Somehow that seems even less cool. Not much, but enough.