Great love songs are written about them, angry dreams revolve around them, and Taylor Swift’s career was built off them. Whether we consciously want them to or not, exes have a huge impact on our psyche. For example, they show up when you are scrolling through Tumblr and a Tommy Wiseau meme pops up and you can’t help but remember that screening of The Room you guys saw together. Way too specific? My apologies.
However with enough time and mental training, we can start to forget and move on. Adele doesn’t make us sad anymore (well, sometimes), and things are just things — void of memories. Sometimes, all that’s left is their digital foot print. It could be a text you don’t want to forget and promise yourself you’ll delete next time your phone needs room. But then again, maybe it’s a sweet text you plan on saving for when you’re old, in a rocking chair.
Past relationships creep into your head when you are digging through old pictures and show up unannounced when you least expect it.
I recently read this book by Leanne Shapton titled, Was She Pretty?, featuring brief passages about ex lovers and the memories that we hold on to from those relationships. The book got me thinking about all the diverse kinds of relationships that we have with exes — harmful or healthy. Exes represent passing time, and people changing and growing.
This book inspired me to ask some kind ~anonymous~ strangers to share the last texts they received from ex relationships and I got some interesting stories. These texts demonstrate all kinds of circumstances: lust fizzled out, the inception of strong new friendships, and bitter goodbyes.
Together for one night
This stranger had what seemed like an idyllic date. Excited to see what was next, this popped up. The shorter lived flames can be even worse sometimes, caught off guard and haunted by what ifs.
Together for six months
This ex was her first high school boyfriend. They dated for 6 months. Years later he came out to her. They remain close friends who now happily dance to Missy Elliot together.
Together for eight months
They met in the summer and dated for 8 months. When school came around, his partner began to drift off. They tried being friends but it didn’t work.
Together for one year
This stranger had gone on and off with their partner for a year. They battled with finding an appropriate relationship that respected boundaries.Since then, they have found a common ground and see each other often. But not too often.
Together for five years
This stranger considers this as the worst break up ever. They dated for 5 years on and off, and finally decided to break it off when his partner began neglecting him when he moved to New York.
What was the last text YOU got from an ex??