The 'Ex Wars'
By Naiche, age 15, New York
In a perfect world, ex boyfriends and ex girlfriends would have the ability to co-exist. They would all sign peace treaties that would put an end to awkwardness, hostility, and post-relationship jealousy. In fact, they would even be friends.
It's not a perfect world. Sometimes relationships end badly. Whether the cause of this is a cheating partner, an ugly fight, or even a simple miscommunication, it always leads to the same thing: one bad breakup.
When you don't have a calm or reasonable break up (yes, these do exist), loose ends aren't tied. It's nearly impossible to let go. You try to channel all of that leftover emotion into one place, and that one place ends up being hatred. I mean, it makes sense. You hate the frustration. You hate the situation. So, of course, you think you hate your ex.
This might sound completely foreign to all of you lucky ones who've never suffered from a bad breakup. But to all of you who have, I'm here to say that you're not alone. My relationship with Guy (this is not his real name, but even the jerks have to be protected) came to a rocky and confusing end earlier this year. I wasn't friends with Guy pre-relationship, and I didn't expect to be his friend afterwards. In fact, we ended all communication with each other once the school year was over, and we spent our summers far apart. I didn't think much of it once the new school year started. I expected it to be just like summer.
The first time I ran into Guy in the halls I put up a blank face. I wasn't exactly happy to see him, but I wasn't going to go hide behind a trash can either. As his eyes met mine, he smirked to himself and gave me a dirty look. One that seemed to say, "Ew, you're still alive?"
Woah, woah, woah. What was that about? I'd expected weird. I'd anticipated awkward. But mean? I didn't get why he was being so obnoxious about the situation. And it didn't end there. The next couple weeks consisted of Guy alternating between stalking and bullying me. He switched into most of my classes, only to glare at me from across the room. He showed up at all of my usual hangout spots, only to spread rumors about me and tell all of our mutual friends that they had to choose between us. Soon, I began to return those vicious looks, go on rants about how much I despised him, and reveled in satisfaction when he asked another girl out and she turned him down. Honestly, this was starting to feel like a nasty divorce settlement.
Enough was enough. Guy, a person who took pleasure in making me feel bad, was taking up way too much of my time and energy. I was stooping to his level and not letting myself move on from the madness. I craved the drama too much, and little by little it was taking over my life. Do you remember the third Spiderman movie where our favorite superhero slowly gets consumed by the black suit that made him use his powers for evil? Well, think of me as Spiderman and this little war I had going on as that suit. After a while, it just took control.
In the end, I finally stepped away from it all and deleted Guy from my life ... completely. I told my friends that I wasn't going to make them choose between us. If they wanted to solely hang out with Guy I wasn't going to stop them. As for the dirty looks, I simply continue ignore them. The day that actual laser beams are installed in his eyes will be the day I start to worry.