12 Fights Everyone Has With Their Exes
So you think just because you broke up, your ex is out of your life. Well in most cases, that's not exactly the case. The residual fall-out between the two of you can go on for weeks, months, even years. And sometimes, it can even become dormant only to erupt again. And thanks to social media, we're kept abreast of each other's personal lives much more than we'd ever be IRL. Only a decade ago, you wouldn't have to see your ex's new girlfriend posing for a picture wearing the sweatshirt you bought him. And you wouldn't have your ex texting you to ask why you've moved on so fast because all of her friends saw you on a dating app.
Back in the pre-web days, these types of betrayals could go on behind closed doors and not disrupt your life. Alas, we live in a world where it's pretty hard to ever really delete someone from your life. That said, expect to have a run-in with your ex, be it online or in person. The following are the types of disputes that you're likely to have with your ex. This is not to scare you — rather to prepare you for the types of things that might come up after you've broken up.
Most people don't break up in the most strategic way. Typically you'll have to get your things back after the initial break up. It will be awkward and tense making a plan to meet for the sake of swapping his sweatpants for your record collection. Just be as classy about it as you can be.
There will be things that you'll have to fight over. Maybe you both bought the blender together, or maybe you bought them the couch but you want it back. Maybe they want you to pay him back for the last cable bill. Once things stop being polite, you might start to fight about finances and what belongs to whom. Be prepared to compromise.
Losing friends in a break up is tough, but sometimes it has to happen. Try not to test the boundaries by stealing their friends. When in doubt, opt to have a calm and rational conversation about it. Sometimes there's no compromise and you just have to give up the people who fall on "their side".
It might take some time to perfect the break up story. You'll both probably have your own versions of it for a while. Try to find an explanation that works for both of you so that you're not making each other look dishonest.
But Did You Cheat?
At some point after you break up, one of you will wonder if the other cheated. This might result in a late night phone call egged on by too many drinks. If it really matters to you to know the truth, save it for a sober, scheduled conversation.
Have You Moved On?
No two people deal with something the same way. There will be some issues regarding the way you both handle your break ups. Maybe for your partner, the best thing to do is move on and be social. But if the best thing for you is to wallow in it and stay home, you'll have trouble not being offended by their method.
No doubt, when you're a couple, you have your "things". Maybe there's a restaurant you always went to. Maybe there's a bar you frequented together. Maybe a hobby that became "yours". After you break up, you'll have a few arguments over that thing when one of you tries to do it with someone else. It will hurt, but you'll get over it.
Why Aren't You More Sad?
With social media offering a constant display of your ex's life, you'll see pictures of them looking happy. They might not be, everyone knows how deceiving a picture can be. But it will hurt and you'll wonder it looks so easy for them to smile, even if you know it's not.
What Did You Mean When...?
At some point long after you break up, you'll have a revelation and be crazed with the desire for answers. Try your best to respect the fact that your ex is probably not in the same headspace, and calling them at 3 a.m. on a Tuesday because you're obsessing over something they said two years ago is not a good idea.
Take It Down
One of you might want the other to delete some pictures off social media. It will sting. It will be awkward. But if it helps either of you move on, it will be OK.
I Figured Out Why I Hate You
Bitterness rolls in and out. One of you will have an epiphany and realize you're angry and not sad. This might result in an unprompted one-way fight.
One More Thing
There will always be one more thing to say. When you gave someone your heart and invested in your relationship, no matter how amicable the break up is, it's upsetting and your heart will only heal over time. As it does, you might develop new feelings about the past. There will be a lot of "one more thing"s.