We all hate the girl your boyfriend used to hook up with–but that’s only because she hates you, right? Why wouldn’t she hate you? Doesn’t she think you’re the reason he used to be miserable? But did you ever think maybe, just maybe, she doesn’t care about you? Mind-blowing, I know.
A long time ago on a Greek row far, far away, someone came up with the idea that all past girlfriends are bitter, jealous witches who are trying to ruin their ex-boyfriends’ perfect, fairytale endings of riding off into the sunset with a new girlfriend and a case of cold Natty Light.
First of all, why? Why has it always been “girl code” that we hate the ex and the ex hates us? I’m not afraid to admit I use to imagine my boyfriend’s Serena van der Woodsen-lookalike ex spending her Friday nights stalking me on Facebook and plotting ways to ruin my life. So, of course, by the rules of feminism I spent my time talking shit about her and her ugly mauve Bid Day T-shirt. Wait a second though–why did I think I was so freaking amazing that this random chick I’d never met before spent every waking moment of her time obsessing about me?
I realized “Serena” did not give a shit about me when something astonishing happened: I got dumped. Like, hardcore kicked to the curb, thanks for playing, bye don’t come again dumped. And the astonishing thing is not that I got dumped, because come on–been there, done that, sent the “I’m over you, look how much fun I’m having Snapchat.” He moved on to his next slam before I could even crop him out of my profile picture. My first instinct was to hate this girl–her fake blonde highlights, her sorority, everything associated with her. But then I thought, “Wait. She’s the one who’s stuck with him now. She’s the girl who needs to tell him that no, he should not go start a fight with the huge defensive end for our football team at the bar. She’s the one who has to go to his house and get him to calm down after he goes into a full on mental rage after what, like, half a fifth?” I began to feel sorry for the poor girl, realized I was better off just letting go, and was pleased with myself for refusing to accept my ex’s drunken, douchebag apologies.
When both our sororities attended the same party the next weekend, instead of channeling my inner Elsa and giving her one of my patented icy glares, I slyly found a way to introduce myself in order to thaw any tension. And guess what? I found out this girl was really cool. We ended up talking all night and actually found out we had a lot in common. Even if I had hated this girl, it was worth it to see my ex’s pale, ghost-white face when he saw us walking to the bar together.
So why not? Just be freaking nice to the girl. You don’t have to be her best friend or even like her, but be nice. I mean, at least she’s not a GDI (I kid, I kid). Ex-girlfriends contain a wealth of knowledge that could be very useful to you. As long as she’s not a psychotic slut who hasn’t realized their relationship ended, there are a lot of helpful hints you can learn from her past mistakes.
I mean, call “MythBusters” if you want, but I’m pretty sure we can all agree that exes and current girlfriends can coexist without throwing the world into complete anarchy.