In the wake of Ariana Grande’s new single “thank u, next,” radical changes of heart have been sprouting up all over the country. No longer is the messy, dramatic breakup the new trendy thing to do. Instead, the broken-hearted are being cheered-on when they take the higher road, instead of the driving down the very bumpy “post angry tweets, and dye your hair” road. But why might you ask? Because in her new hit-single, the queen herself encouraged us to all to shed the resentment and frustration stored up for ghosts of boyfriends past, and urged us to appreciate the time spent with the people we used to be in love with. But I’m sorry, Ariana, I, honestly, see no problem employing some good ole’ fashioned, strategic hatred to cope with the pain my ex caused in my life. I don’t want to be thankful. I don’t want to be gracious. I want to be angry, so that I can move on.
You see, being civil with people who sought to destroy you, is a little like befriending Donald Trump or hugging a cactus (all of them are huge pricks that you should probably stay away from). But time and time again, my Twitter feed is plastered with uplifting (and phony) encouragements to treat our exes well, as if they ever did the same for us. And yeah, yeah, yeah, go ahead and remind me that the opposite of love is not anger, but indifference. Because I know the truth—you have to like the people that you love, and I can say with absolutely certainty that I hate this notch on my bedpost.
But how do you re-purpose hate in a way that doesn’t eat you alive? Well, in my experience, you make a list. So that one day, when you really need it, you have physical evidence of all the reasons you should never forgive them (because believe it or not, forgiving and forgetting isn’t always the healthiest strategy). For years, I have forgiven and forgotten the mentally-abusive behavior of a man who pretended to care about me…and I’m done. I’m done being I’m civil. I’m done justifying bad habits. I’m done being the better person. And you should be done, too. So, with that, here’s my “10 Things I Hate About You” list, as inspiration for you all to make your own.
- I hate the way you posted a picture of me in my bra online when you wanted to get revenge
- I hate the way you yelled me at me when I took too long to pick a song
- I hate the way you slammed doors in my face when you had a stressful day
- I hate the way you promised to fix a fight in the morning, then left before I had woken up.
- I hate the way you slapped my phone out of my hands when I’d take too many pictures of us
- I hate the way you’d only call me pretty when you were drunk
- I hate the way you told me you wanted to get back together, then changed your mind when I agreed.
- I hate the way you took your insecurities on me, by downplaying every single one of my accomplishments.
- I hate the way you never let me into your life.
- And mostly, I hate the fact that I’m not the only woman you’re disrespecting, that I’m just one of many girls who is dealing with your childish and manipulative behavior, willingly
But this isn’t about me, or my past loves. As I write this, I hope with everything in me that all of you out reading this make your list, too. And when you do, I hope you post it on your walls, and save it to your phone, and write in your journals. Just make any effort you can to remind yourself that you don’t deserve to be a second choice, and that you don’t deserve to be hurt. Though you may tempted, as you construct your own list of reminders, to justify their infractions with well’s and but’s, or use your own bad behaviors as excuses for theirs: don’t. Because no one deserves to be abused—something I’ve come to learn the hard way.
And to conclude in the spirit of the one-and-only Ariana Grande. Thought I’d end up with Zach, but it wasn’t a match. Wrote some articles about him, now I read them and laugh. And unlike Malcolm, he wasn’t even close to angel. So with no thanks to you…next.