It may not have ended on the best of terms, but you certainly don’t want your ex dead or dying. You’re better than that. Plus after some good crying, breakup movies, sad song shower singing, complaining to your friends, and the passage of time, you’ve come to realize that you’re far better off without the bum. Once you’ve moved on to a bigger and better relationship, the thought of this Once Important Person fades away until he or she becomes a ghost that only lives in your memories. At that point, you realize just how lucky you are to have escaped a relationship with the wrong person. You’re only sorry that you allowed him or her to hurt you. What was it again that you liked so much about them?
Although you may be back to your happy former self, it’s generally acceptable to fantasize about several extremely annoying, though not fatal, circumstances that your ex might find themselves in. If you’re having trouble visualizing something satisfying, you can try these on for size:
1. The accidental run-in.
You’re walking down the street in good lighting, you’ve just gotten the best haircut of your life, you just lost 10 pounds thanks to a dedicated gym regimen, and your makeup is freshly applied but in such a way that it doesn’t look like you’re wearing any. You’re wearing an adorable outfit, cute shoes that show off your toned legs, you’ve got a healthy glow about you as you just exercised, and your cheeks are still slightly flushed. You’re on the phone with someone and laughing, giving the impression that all is right in the world with you and life is a carefree holiday.
That’s when you run into the ex.
You calmly excuse yourself politely from your phone call saying that you just ran into an “old friend” (which immediately and subconsciously bruises your ex’s ego because they’ve always thought of your attachment as excessively more than platonic). Then you look them right in the eye and flash your beautiful engagement ring and wedding band as you tuck a wisp of hair away from your face.
“Hello there,” you say with a warm smile that really says: “You moron. How could you ever think about breaking up with me?”
Before they can answer, your tall, gorgeous new significant other comes out of a jewelry store and gives you a big kiss on the cheek while handing you a small wrapped box. They say, “This is for making me the happiest person in the world.” You smile, kiss them back, and almost forget to introduce your new spouse to your ex, who is swimming in a brain fog of regret.
2. If they couldn’t commit:
Perhaps they just couldn’t figure out how to say you were dating, move in with you, or propose. You broke up. Then you learn just a few weeks later, they have a serious new relationship and is ring shopping. In this case, you should be praying they do get engaged so she can learn quickly what a completely immature, confused, and generally unworthy person this new flame is dealing with. Resist the urge to contact them and warn them, however. You may think you’re just being a good citizen, but you’ll come off as a psycho ex. Let their relationship run its course and be prepared to hear about the messy breakup which will come when you’ve most likely moved on.
3. Self-important businessman guy.
They break up with you — only to have their family, friends, and colleagues CONSTANTLY asking about you. What happened to that awesome person you were seeing? Picture them trying to explain their reasons for ending it. “They were too smart for me. Too thoughtful. Too pretty. Too goddess-like.” Yeah, that makes sense to end it, the family would respond sarcastically. Bonus points if their parents liked you. You’ll be talked about at every holiday dinner and family gathering for the next ten years. Eventually they’ll come to realize that they may have made a mistake. Then you’ll be known by everyone as the one who got away. It’s great to be that person (but better not to care).
4. If they cheated on you:
They get what they think is chafing underneath the underwear. So they apply Vaseline to their crotch area, but it’s still itchy. You picture them at a work meeting just dying to scratch the area, but not being able to because they’re in a suit and at a business meeting where that sort of scratching in that sort of area is frowned upon. When the meeting is over, they run to the bathroom to reapply the Vaseline only to discover tiny little critters doing jumping jacks in their downstairs region. They’re completely appalled as they’ve always been a hygiene freak, so they run to the nearest pharmacy where they’re forced to explain the ailment to the pharmacist with 20 other people (mostly cute, single girls) waiting around them. The pharmacist can’t hear them and makes them speak up. Then they’re forced to go home, apply the medication that cures such a thing, then either a) shave the area or b) comb the dead critters out using a mirror to make sure they’ve gotten them all.
5. If they liked their car better than you:
You can get all Carrie Underwood on the thing and beat it up with a baseball bat. Or you can hope for something subtler and equally annoying. Like their car getting towed to a really bad part of town where people write on the windows with one of those markers that’s really hard to remove with something like, “Idiot. Parked in a Tow Away Zone” and it costs $500 to get the car back. Or the traffic police put a boot on the car when they’re in a massive rush to get somewhere because they haven’t paid their parking tickets OR even better — because they made a mistake and confused their car with someone else’s.
6. “Hi Stacey, errrr, I mean Veronica.”
People keep mistaking their new flame for you, including them. It doesn’t help that they keep calling this new boo by your name, accidentally. This really pisses the new significant other off.
7. They’ve come to their senses, but it’s too late.
They’re out to dinner somewhere, and they hear your song on the radio. Memories of all your inside jokes, the dimple in your cheek that comes out when you’re smiling at them, and the way you made them feel during your best days together come flooding back to them.
While you originally thought that the breakup was the end of the world for you, things have changed. You’ve moved on and realized why they weren’t right for you in the first place. You can now honestly say that if they came running back and begged you to take them back that you’d laugh in their face and not think twice about it. You would like to see this happen, however. What person doesn’t want an ex to beg for forgiveness and a second chance and then have the opportunity to reject them on the spot? If the ex could throw in some specific examples of how wonderful you are physically, intellectually, and spiritually — that’s preferred. Flattery will get them nowhere, but it can make you feel good, if temporarily.
8. What goes around comes around.
You’ve been crooning that Justin Timberlake song repeatedly since receiving the “Let’s just be friends speech,” after months of dating. Then your ex falls head over heels for a much taller, skinner version of yourself who is way more put together and volunteers at a hospice for sick children. This new paramour an angel and you can’t think of one reason why they wouldn’t fall madly in love with them. You’re practically in love with them after stalking their social media accounts. By the graces that be, you learn that just weeks after dating, this new person ended it. Your ex is shocked. Devastated. They’re…YOU, a couple months ago. This angel has seen all the true qualities in your ex that you’re just figuring out now. Now bask in the glory that they’ve been put through the ringer.
9. Karma’s a bitch. (Or a big bee.)
The day before a really big interview, they go in for a haircut. The guy misunderstands their request to take “a bit off” and they end up with a mullet-looking shag. They pick up their interview outfit from the dry cleaners and discover that the mustard stain could not be removed from the outside lapel. The email containing the names and phone numbers of the people that they’re meeting with has been accidentally deleted and they’ve misplaced their cell phone and the keys to their apartment just moments before they need to leave for the interview. While they’re driving to the interview, an insect come flying out of the dashboard into their ear. They swat at it and it lands on top of the driving wheel. They then realize that the insect is a giant bee and you know from their fear of bees that this is the worst thing they could possibly imagine happening to them. They’re trying to stay calm while they open the car window and hope the bee makes its way out of the car, but it just stubbornly sits there. After a few minutes, it starts flying around the car and your ex is completely freaking out. All the windows are now open but the bee sticks around for the entire car ride, causing your ex to zig-zag all over the road and get pulled over by a cop, who gives them a ticket for reckless driving. For the rest of the day, your ex is convinced that any sort of itch on their body is that bee coming back for them.
If you ended on great terms with your ex, then please disregard the foregoing. But for the majority of us that will never understand why every single person we dated didn’t think we were the greatest thing since sliced bread, feel free to try these scenarios on for size and repeat as necessary until the relationship becomes a far distant, inconvenient memory. Like a bug bite. Or an expired container of milk in the fridge. Or the fact that your cell phone’s battery is dying. Like all former romantic relationships gone bad, these things will eventually be remedied and one day forgotten. No sense in dwelling.