We’ve all been there: you thought it was true love (or maybe you didn’t), but either way, it’s over now. After all the requisite anger, sadness, and bitterness, the only feeling that now remains is the unpleasant awkwardness that comes from an encounter with an ex-boyfriend. Dealing with ex-boyfriends can be complicated and messy, if you let it be. The first step to learning how to best deal with these creatures is to identify them. Though I am not an expert on the species, I have gathered research from my own personal experience as well as that of my friends’, and concluded that The Ex-Boyfriend can be categorized into five basic specimens as follows:
1. The “Just Friends” Ex: Perhaps the most common, and also most harmless, type of ex. Identified as that ex from the relationship that ended with a mutual agreement to “stay good friends.” Yeah right. Now you’re “friends,” as in you don’t run the opposite direction when you see him in Starbucks and you may even casually ask him about his life –whilst secretly mentally plotting the quickest escape route. Anything interesting about his life has already been garnered through a quick Facebook stalking session anyways. Most commonly found lurking at the occasional frat party where you least expect to see him, or perhaps on the way to class.
2. The “More than friends” Ex: The most dangerous specimen. This is that ex you just can’t seem to shake. You know it’s wrong to go down the dreaded “hooking up with your ex” route, but can’t seem to avoid it, no matter how many times your imploring girlfriends remind you of the time he forgot your birthday. Can be found on Facebook chat late at night, mysteriously popping out of nowhere right when you are at your most vulnerable. This is the man you label “Do Not Text” in your phone.
3. The “Love-to-hate” Ex: The qualities of this ex often also manifest themselves in other exes. Everything he does makes you mad – his obnoxious hair, tragic friends, and pathetic life ambitions. If you see him in public, insults may start streaming out of your mouth involuntarily. If he initiates contact, an altercation will ensue. Generally found doing something irritating, like chastising you about your new boyfriend or hitting on your friends.
4. The “Erasable” Ex: Did you really date this guy? You like to pretend the answer is no by convincing yourself that your relationship was indeed fictional. You achieve this by deleting him from all your social media accounts, referring to him as “He Who Must Not Be Named,” and essentially deleting him from your life in all regards. Best friends should play along with the ruse so that no one actually associates you with him. He is commonly found nowhere, because he doesn’t exist, remember?
5. The “Creeper Status” Ex: This guy does not get the hint that your relationship is over, and continues to try to win you over in such endearing ways as circling around your apartment and calling you crying on a Friday night. You felt bad at first, but after a few months of this treatment, it is getting really old. Can be found perusing sad love song CDs at Barnes and Noble.
So the real question is, how should we deal with these creatures? According to Cosmo, you should always put on a brave face, especially if he dumped you. If you broke up with him, do not lead him on or toy with him. Basically, treat him with common courtesy. And whatever you do, do not even think about getting back together with him – it never works out.