The Angry. Either the breakup was your fault or they just can’t handle failure gracefully. Any mention of your name sends them spiraling into a vortex of rage and disgust. They’ll send you bitter text messages and leave offensive voicemails and eventually drown in a sea of vexation. The passion that once wrapped loving arms around you has turned to utter disgust. Give them time and space and understanding, as love and hate are not too distant of cousins.
The Heartbroken. Either the breakup was their fault or they just don’t know how to handle a lasting love. They’re willing to do anything and say everything to fix what the two of you so fantastically destroyed. You hear from mutual friends of their palpable misery and their debilitating despair and the pain painted on their face. Give them time and space and understanding, as any contact will only prolong their heartbreak.
The Dangerous. It doesn’t matter where the blame lies, their reaction is deadly. Their inability to control an animalistic tendency to damage what they can no longer control is toxic. They’ll send you threats and show up unannounced and attempt to isolate you from safety. Their need to reinstate the authority they lost trumps any logic or sense of decency. This ex is too much for you to handle alone. Call someone, call help, and seek the protection of an individual in uniform.
The Friend. While some consider this manifestation a myth, they do exist. The breakup was either a mutual understanding of disinterested parties or the two of you have allowed time to do the dirty work. Your love has transformed into a reciprocated respect that allows for shared experiences devoid of begrudged animosity. Hold on to this one, as they’re something special.
The Vindictive. It doesn’t matter who did what to end it, their reaction is that of a toddler. Every previous instance in which you were vulnerable has become the ammunition in their arsenal. They’ll use their knowledge of you and experiences you shared and secrets you entrusted to whittle away your will. They’ll parade new flavors before you and disprove past proclamations of love or devotion or affection. Ignore them, as they’re nothing more than a baby looking for another tit to suck.
The Avoidable. Their presence will devastate you and accidental eye contact will turn you to stone, so you avoid them altogether. Their favorite bars are now off limits. Shared restaurants are politely divided between the two of you. A city becomes a battle field you cautiously traverse. Until your wounds have healed and your memory fades and you no longer feel their touch on your skin, you abstain from their existence. Give yourself time, as it will get better.
The Fuck Buddy. While not necessarily the healthiest, some itches just need to be scratched. You know your body is safe in their arms as they’ve already obtained the roadmap to your ecstasy. While the relationship has fizzled the sexual chemistry continues to bubble and nothing satisfies you quite like their touch. Use extreme caution, as underlying emotions of love could be dangerously close to surfacing.
The Disappeared. You have no idea if their alive or dead. They’ve vanished from your world as quickly as they entered. Perhaps there’s a country all withdrawn exes travel to or their impressive disappearing act has landed them in a giant top hat. Either way, leave it that way. Some individuals are only meant to occupy your life for a moment.
The Regretful. They’ve realized the error of their ways and the only word that seems to occupy their vocabulary is “sorry”. They’ll say everything you once wished to hear and do everything you once hoped they’d do in an attempt to win you back. Whether or not their motives are sincere and their attempts are genuine is up for interpretation. In this instance, it’s best to rest on the age-old cliche: actions speak louder than words.
The Missed. You know it’s over and you realize it will never begin again yet your yearning does not cease. They’ve defined what it means to be in a relationship and they will forever be your measuring stick. You think back with fondness and admiration and desire, much like a weathered elder relives faded days of glory. Learn from them, grow from them, then advance beyond them so that a future love will never transform into an ex.