Exes are a sensitive subject. Whether you’re still great friends with your ex or whether they are your mortal enemy, talking about your ex can bring up some rough memories.
Last year, I went through my “exploration phase.” It was my second year in college and I was determined to find out what kind of guys I did like, and what kind of guys I didn’t. Through this, I ended up getting into a relationship. But this relationship was very emotionally draining and very on-and-off, causing me to always have a back-up boy.
I made some mistakes and broke some hearts, but I was also hurt in return. I ended up learning a lot about myself and the kinds of relationships I wanted to engage in.
After my experiences last year, I decided to reach out to my “exes” and ask them to review me and the relationship we had. Let me note that “exes” is a loosely defined term, as most of these men are just ones I was exclusive with, never serious.
The only two legitimate relationships I have been in are with guys who are on my blocked callers list, so they were out of the question for my little experiment.
The first guy I reached out to was the first guy I talked to my second year of university. We had a good time and he was a nice guy, but the relationship just fizzled out. His review started off with compliments to get my hopes up, with a nice let down at the end.
“Honestly I thought, and think, you’re an awesome, extremely intelligent girl that loves to have a great time and has an electric energy that resonates with everyone around you. I think you are independent and don’t give a fuck what other people think which is another thing I admire.”
And here’s the let down.
“The reason I backed away from our relationship was that I thought that you had some emotional baggage that I wasn’t ready for.”
Apparently having gone through anything semi-difficult classifies you as having emotional baggage? Boy bye.
On to the next one. This guy I met on a fraternity trip to Lake Powell. I pushed him to the side at first, but then got to know him as a good friend a couple of months later. Our first impression of each other was interesting as I was having a grand time dancing away on a houseboat, and he was fairly reserved.
“I thought it was awesome how you didn’t care what people thought even though you were standing tall and showing off to everyone.” – I think that’s called confidence my friend.
“As I got to know you I really got to know the real side of who you were and realized that you were a genuine person who loved to have a good conversation instead of just a good night in bed.”
“Things I like about you…your smile, style, wit, ass (obviously), personality, emotional strength, smarts. Things I don’t like….how hard you are to read, how quickly you jumped into the thought of dating, all the attention of other guys, and the comments on Instagram about your ass.”
Jealously truly is a powerful motive that can either scare them away, or bring them closer. But also, I really think that guys need to get it through their heads that just because a girl wants to kiss you, does NOT mean that she wants to date you. Slow your roll.
Next, came the most uncomfortable conversation I had while conducting my little experiment. He was a guy I had met during an off break from my ex, and I ended up getting back together with my ex in the middle of us getting to know each other. So let’s just say he’s not my biggest fan.
“Watching Parks and Rec was probably like half of our time spent together, but if that’s not a good time I don’t know what is.” What can I say Leslie Knope just gets me, and he happened to have a Netflix subscription.
“You’re ridiculously outgoing and opinionated, which is cool and all but sometimes you’ve just got to shut up and relax for once.” Unfortunately for him, I’m not going to take his advice – I’m not sorry for being outspoken.
“Maybe if you didn’t get back with your ex for a week or two before trying to come back to me things wouldn’t have gotten weird.” Yikes, that was rough to hear but, guilty as charged.
The next guy I reached out is still a good friend of mine. We met casually at a party the beginning of my second year, although he now studies in Nebraska but we still maintain contact here and there. Apparently he thought that this was a great opportunity to profess his love for me…..in the form of a Word document essay that he emailed to me. I had to hand it to him, it was very well written, and he even managed to work political science into it.
Here are the best parts of the essay.
“What did I like about her? It can be summed up into one word – everything. All she wanted was for me to be happy, and the feeling was mutual, that’s why letting her go was so hard. I didn’t want to hold her back from the world, and she knew that. Her ability to make someone feel special and important is what’s so incredible about her.”
See, there still are genuinely nice guys out in the world.
If I learned anything from this experience it was that I will definitely conduct my love life differently. I will not dive head first into a relationship with any man if I am not emotionally ready. Past relationships take time to process, and it’s always a good thing to focus on yourself for a while before engaging romantically with others.
Although I did have fun last year, I regret hurting the feelings of those I did. But, I know now what I like and don’t like, and I have most definitely raised my standards. I’m not easily impressed.
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