What Your Ex Is Probably Doing Right Now

Your ex is rolling around in a sea of your clothes. They’re clutching your forgotten t-shirts close to their chest and stifling their sobs into an old pair of jeans. This is what you’ve reduced them to. Congratulations, you have the power to make someone go insane with grief once you dump them. Your private parts successfully cast a voodoo spell on your ex and now they haven’t the faintest idea of what to do. Bring your mom, bring your best friends and go over to their house when they’re inconsolable and say, “Look guys, I did this! Isn’t that cool?”

If your ex isn’t rolling around in a sea of your clothes, they are lurking you on Facebook and violently sobbing. Those pictures you just posted of you rock climbing with The New Significant Other were obviously a deliberate move, a way to dig the virtual knife in the heart, and it worked. Now they’re sitting at home at three o’clock in the afternoon crying over a website and a rock climbing photo. At least that’s what you’d like to think. In your mind, your ex is noticing every little thing you’re doing and having an overwhelming emotional reaction to all of it. You’re going to make them cry. You’re going to prove that this all mattered.

When your ex isn’t rolling around in your old clothes or crying at your Facebook pictures, they’re drinking too much and experiencing a downward spiral. You’d like that, wouldn’t you? To be the cause of someone’s unraveling? You’re praying for a gossip-y tidbit about your ex, which will reveal that they’re doing terribly. “I’m worried about them,” Your friends will say. “Things haven’t been the same since you two broke up.” YES. I mean, really? Tell me more…

You know what though? Your ex is probably not doing any of these things. We wish they were, we wish they were bedridden and alienating close friends and never getting laid, but life doesn’t usually work that way. In fact the reality of their life post break up might be too mundane for you to bear. Every time you see a picture of your ex smiling with their friends on a night out, you wonder how they could ever smile again. You see them tweet bad jokes and wonder how they could even kid during a time like this. But here’s something that we always forget. Number one: The internet is carefully constructed to make everyone’s lives look better than they actually are. And number two: The sadness of break ups can’t be conveyed in a single photograph or status update. It’s more nuanced than that, more silent but deadly. There’s also the other option that they’re just not hurting as much as you are. That’s usually the case, isn’t it? Your ex gets to move on while you have trouble getting out of bed. But then again, we never actually know what someone is going through. We have no idea how someone is truly reacting to a break up. So we can sit here playing the guessing game and driving ourselves insane with our imagination but it won’t get us anywhere.

Your ex is probably eating a ham sandwich on their lunch break right now and maybe they’re feeling an undercurrent of melancholy sweep through them. Or maybe not. Regardless of what they’re doing or how they’re feeling, you must know that it all mattered, it all counted for something. That’s all you needed to know, right? TC mark

image – Karen Eliot

Ryan O'Connell

I'm a brat.

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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  • Sophia

    How do you crank these quality articles out so quickly?
    I’m seriously at a loss.

  • http://twitter.com/Buffalogal Nicole Shoe

    thank you for this. 

  • Anonymous

    Nice. Very true, real, funny. Solid work

  • http://twitter.com/spencercniemetz Spencer Niemetz

    Probably going out to a fancy brunch and getting blackberry crepes while you sit and eat another bowl of cereal.

  • anon666

    My now-ex is probably his best right now to try get laid right this instance. Wouldn’t surprise me….

  • anon666

    ^ my last comment did make sense it’s supposed to be rephrased as “My now-ex is probably trying his hardest right now to  get laid this instance. Wouldn’t surprise me….”

  • anon666

    *didn’t whooooops, lagging in the grammatical department today. 

  • Kaitlynclement

    Number one: The internet is carefully constructed to make everyone’s lives look better than they actually are.  << yes

  • MugginsMcG

    My ex was doing what he is doing now, while we were still married… The whole thing was a farce… Didn’t stop the tears though. 

  • Virginia

    Ryan, would you be my friend and repeat all of this to me every hour till I end up believing it?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=707272007 Alex Thayer

    i smiled at this initially, but was then swept away by a wave of melancholy.

  • Nick

    You always feel shitty when you know you’ve done this to someone but at the same time you can’t help but feel a little bit powerful/self satisfied.  

  • Virginia

    Nope. You may be mature, if you so choose!

    I, however, am going to assume that the chick he’s sleeping with is a fat leper.

  • Bjimmy15

    Ryan, this is you umpteenth ex themed article –  get over it! One thing YOUR ex isn’t doing is reading your Thought Catalog articles.

  • Anonymous
  • Robyn

    i love you, Ryan!

  • Anonymous

    Sometimes, I really wish Ryan was straight,

  • reckless

    Ryan O’Connell, get out off my life/thoughts/emotions NOW please.
    You clearly just know everything I need to hear but do not want to.
    So, yeah, just stop. thanks.

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