Introducing The Ex-Girlfriends Club

There are so many beautiful stages to falling in love. There is the meet cute; there is the crazy infatuation; there is the first time you see each other naked and love all the little lumps and bumps they hate; there is the time you think “They might be the one;” and then there is the time you start hating the living hell of their ex-girlfriend, sight unseen.

And there are so many beautiful stages to that, too. There is the masochistically asking questions about her, because you don’t want to know but you really kind of do; there is the stalking her Facebook/ Googling her and ridiculing everything you see; there is the sharing pictures of her with your friends and being like, “Am I right!?” And then, if you’re really lucky, there’s the moment where you actually encounter her in real life and have to let out the most utterly false, “Heyyy, how are you?” of your life.

It happens to all of us. As we troll the pictures and the Facebook wall of this girl that has done so much to wrong us without even realizing it, we take umbrage with and utterly detest such strange, innocuous things: “Marine Biology? What the hell kind of major is that? I like Shark Week, too, but I’m not about to dedicate my academic career to it.” We become obsessed with what she is doing now, what stake she had in our boyfriend’s life, and why she wears her hair in that awful updo. (I think she was going for Amy Winehouse, but she ended up with Snooki.)

But why do we hate her so? Is it just because she once had sex with him, once kissed him, once rested her head on his chest the way we do? That can’t be it. Is it because she gave once him hickies all over his neck like some kind of white trash suckerfish? Is it because she forced him to wear that sweater that made him look like a pretentious, hipster Mr. Rogers? Maybe, but that still isn’t all of it. No, if we are really being honest, it’s because he loved her. At one point, those incredible things he’s feeling about you and can’t wait to tell you as you lie in bed, staring into each others’ eyes, were things he told her — and meant just as much. And we feel, on some primitive level, that there’s only so much love to go around. Somehow, having experienced it with her makes us less special. And we can’t hate him — he’s wooonderful — so we hate her instead.

But think back to one of your ex-boyfriends, one you may very well have loved at some point, one who now conjures in you this vague feeling of “Yikes, dodged that bullet.” You know, when you see him out and get that brief, nauseated feeling in the pit of your stomach as you think, “That was inside me at one point.” Shudder. But that feeling, and the true happiness for him that you feel when he finds someone else who is a billion times better for him — the ex you hate so much probably feels that way, too. There was a reason they didn’t work out, and she’s probably happy to see him with someone who can stand the way he bites his nails or leaves his dirty dishes to “soak” for days on end.

There is no reason to hate her, no reason to take this absurd “Me vs. Her” stance on something so benign. So I propose, for the mental health of girlfriends everywhere, the Ex-Girlfriends Club.

We would meet once every three months, have tea and crustless sandwiches (hell, you can even wear those big, floppy, Easter egg-colored hats if you want), and talk about that man who is no longer with us. And current girlfriends will be invited, too — it is important, in fact, that they come. We can trade tips, share stories, and complain about that awful way he rolls himself like a taquito in the sheets until you’re left shivering in the corner of the bed with a handkercheif-sized piece of blanket over you. And, most importantly, we can reallize that we’re all just human beings. We all may have shared sentiments and fluids with the same guy, but that doesn’t mean we’re in competition with each other — on the contrary, it should give us something to laugh over. We can all revel in how hapy we are to be rid of that douchebag — except current girlfriend, for whom we are sooooooo happy, she is perfect for him.

So put down the laptop, stop asking the evil questions, and let the gossip go. There’s no reason to fear the ex-girlfriend, just come to the Ex Club and get to know her as a person. We’re all good, intelligent, strong women and there’s no reason to get catty over a man who likely couldn’t care less about the stupid rivalry.

That is, of course, unless she’s trying to get him behind your back now that he’s all shiny and desirable again. Then that hot mess is not invited to any club, and her butt isn’t even that cute anyway. TC mark

image – nadia nameless

Chelsea Fagan

Chelsea Fagan founded the blog The Financial Diet. She is on Twitter.

Trace the scars life has left you. It will remind you that at one point, you fought for something. You believed.

“You are the only person who gets to decide if you are happy or not—do not put your happiness into the hands of other people. Do not make it contingent on their acceptance of you or their feelings for you. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter if someone dislikes you or if someone doesn’t want to be with you. All that matters is that you are happy with the person you are becoming. All that matters is that you like yourself, that you are proud of what you are putting out into the world. You are in charge of your joy, of your worth. You get to be your own validation. Please don’t ever forget that.” — Bianca Sparacino

Excerpted from The Strength In Our Scars by Bianca Sparacino.

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  • http://twitter.com/dcmjs Matt Stevenson

    I knew you wrote this just by reading the title.

  • Daily TC Reader

    so good

  • charis

    Love it. So amusing because it’s all oh so true.

  • Captain Obvious

    This is pathetic. If you are spending that much energy and time on thinking about someone’s ex-gf, you’ve got bigger issues than worrying about someone’s ex-gf. 

    • Anonymous

      Damn bro, glad you got it all figured out then

    • http://twitter.com/tashny Tashny Sukumaran

      capt obvious, you’re a moron.

  • Steph

    I think it’s healthy to commiserate with other exes of a dude, and maybe it’s good to have one meeting, but a recurring club? That’s wasting too much time dwelling. Is he that important to still be talked about? Aw hell naw. Giving him too much credit. But be nice to the other exes, sure. Now you understand what they were dealing with.

  • Breannah

    I began to read through the stages of the feelings, but I never considered how he loved her. I never took that into consideration. It really sunk in that she used to be in my spot now. And that’s upsetting. But you definitely saved me from my mood spiraling down when you began to mention the ex-boyfriends and I realize someone else is in the place I used to fill in someone else’s life. Thank you for writing this article. I really appreciate the insight.

    • http://www.tinacris.ca Cristina

      I was just about to write the exact same thing. I was so relieved when I hit the paragraph about dodging a bullet, and the getting through the rest of the article made me feel so much better.

  • EP

    I really liked this. Amusing and I really wish that groups like this could exist.

  • Kaitlynclement

    last paragraph is my exact life. to. a. T. 

    • assassin

      Me, too.  I was already feeling good about my ex leaving for another girl and me realizing they deserve each other, then that last paragraph reminded me how I was played. :/

    • Ali

      Agreed. Except after 2 years together, she actually succeeded in stealing him back.  I guess I was right to keep tabs on her from the beginning though.

  • http://www.twitter.com/mexifrida Frida

    “that awful way he rolls himself like a taquito in the sheets” made me lol.
    i need to be at the feeling happy for them stage, like now.

  • Natalie

    You don’t have to know that bitch unless you start asking questions/facebook stalking her. Take a chill pill, you’ve got your man, you’ve won. She’s in the past, she’s history, it’s all up to you now!

  • Anonymous

    I don’t know, girlfriend. Would you want an ex-boyfriends club meeting to dish the dirt on you? I think that learning to understand your guy’s ex-girlfriends is a wonderful idea. Your boyfriend might find it an incredible invasion of privacy, though. He might want his past left as the past, and if he does, it is best to respect that.

  • http://www.nosexcity.com NoSexCity

    And the last paragraph seals the deal; let’s make this happen.

  • Anonymous

    This is such a nice sentiment, but I’ve had some serious crazy new girlfriend drama that leads me to believe this would never be possible. I was once cyberstalked and harassed by an ex-boyfriend’s new girlfriend (now wife), and I never understood it. I was done with him, he was all hers, why hate me so much for no good reason?

    Girls are crazy.

  • Anonymous

    This is such a nice sentiment, but I’ve had some serious crazy new girlfriend drama that leads me to believe this would never be possible. I was once cyberstalked and harassed by an ex-boyfriend’s new girlfriend (now wife), and I never understood it. I was done with him, he was all hers, why hate me so much for no good reason?

    Girls are crazy.

  • Anonymous

    This is such a nice sentiment, but I’ve had some serious crazy new girlfriend drama that leads me to believe this would never be possible. I was once cyberstalked and harassed by an ex-boyfriend’s new girlfriend (now wife), and I never understood it. I was done with him, he was all hers, why hate me so much for no good reason?

    Girls are crazy.

  • Anonymous

    This is such a nice sentiment, but I’ve had some serious crazy new girlfriend drama that leads me to believe this would never be possible. I was once cyberstalked and harassed by an ex-boyfriend’s new girlfriend (now wife), and I never understood it. I was done with him, he was all hers, why hate me so much for no good reason?

    Girls are crazy.

  • Anonymous

    This is such a nice sentiment, but I’ve had some serious crazy new girlfriend drama that leads me to believe this would never be possible. I was once cyberstalked and harassed by an ex-boyfriend’s new girlfriend (now wife), and I never understood it. I was done with him, he was all hers, why hate me so much for no good reason?

    Girls are crazy.

  • Anonymous

    This is such a nice sentiment, but I’ve had some serious crazy new girlfriend drama that leads me to believe this would never be possible. I was once cyberstalked and harassed by an ex-boyfriend’s new girlfriend (now wife), and I never understood it. I was done with him, he was all hers, why hate me so much for no good reason?

    Girls are crazy.

  • Anonymous

    I love this article! Going through something similar right now, except that it’s not an ex it’s someone new, but I just tell myself that she’s a person just like me who’s going through all the stages I went through and I should be happy for them.

  • Anonymous

    This is exactly why I don’t have a Facebook.

  • Rebekah

    Loved this but I have to say sometimes when you see an ex and you like to look good in front of him because you want him to know he missed out? I feel like my significant exes others are up to no good…maybe I’m just too much of a pessimist?

  • Rebekah

    Loved this but I have to say sometimes when you see an ex and you like to look good in front of him because you want him to know he missed out? I feel like my significant exes others are up to no good…maybe I’m just too much of a pessimist?

  • Rebekah

    Loved this but I have to say sometimes when you see an ex and you like to look good in front of him because you want him to know he missed out? I feel like my significant exes others are up to no good…maybe I’m just too much of a pessimist?

  • Rebekah

    Loved this but I have to say sometimes when you see an ex and you like to look good in front of him because you want him to know he missed out? I feel like my significant exes others are up to no good…maybe I’m just too much of a pessimist?

  • Rebekah

    Loved this but I have to say sometimes when you see an ex and you like to look good in front of him because you want him to know he missed out? I feel like my significant exes others are up to no good…maybe I’m just too much of a pessimist?

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