Falling in love is all-consuming. It makes you purchase a bouquet of sunflowers after work, just because. It encourages you to bake a batch of red velvet brownies because you only crave sweet things. It makes you feel cherished, and wonderful, and needed. But sometimes we break up, and our bubble of happy bursts, leaving us embittered and crushed. Why would this person who loved you destroy your heart like a total monster?
It’s easy to hold on to an ex. You were comfortable with them, you knew everything about them, you thought maybe they were “the one.” Sometimes it takes months, YEARS to get over someone. And you will. I promise. But in the meantime, it’s important to be honest with yourself about where you’re at. Here are some tell-tale signs that you’re still stuck on somebody:
1. You “accidentally” listen to songs that remind you of him.
If Jeff Buckley’s “Hallelujah” comes on the radio, you don’t change the station even though there are dozens of other songs you could listen to. Sometimes you just listen to the album he gave you over and over again, even though now it has a completely different meaning to you.
2. When you’re at the mall, you consider purchasing the cologne he wore.
And subsequently spritzing it all over your pillowcase.
3. You check his Facebook/Twitter/Instagram daily.
Just in case he starts dating someone who is not you. Or you do this to simply feel like you’re involved in his life again.
4. When you think you might run into him, you make sure your outfit is ON. POINT.
You never wear heels to the grocery store, but today you sure are. Lipstick, curled hair, that denim jacket he loved — the works.
5. If you think you’re going to see him, you prepare something witty, yet piercing to say to show you’re so done with him (you’re so not, though).
Something similar to when Charlotte in the SATC movie tells Big, “I CURSE THE DAY YOU WERE BORN,” because Big was a jerk and he deserved it.
6. You physically go to places you know he might be.
His gym. His favorite record store. Whatever. You’re not stalking, you just “happen” to be there, like any old regular human.
7. You re-read old messages and texts and sob.
You annotate every sentence, looking for clues for the demise of your relationship. You ask yourself what went wrong. His rhetoric was so caring! So loving!
8. You certainly do not wish him well.
It’s bad Karma — you know this. But the thought of him being successful upsets you, because exes aren’t allowed to achieve greatness.
9. In fact, you hope he’s alone forever.
This is terrible and you feel a little bad, but mostly you want to see him experience epic loneliness.
10. When you hear he lost his job, or something equally tragic, you gleefully think, “that wouldn’t have happened if he were with meeee!”
Because when he broke up with you, it was the worst mistake of his life!
11. You still talk smack about him to your friends. Like, constantly.
And it feels good. It feels really good.
12. Your friends have said something like, “girl, you need to pull yourself together.”
After the third consecutive month of railing on how you were supposed to spend the rest of your lives together, your friends may tell you to let it go. They’re only doing this for your own good, but a part of you feels betrayed and annoyed because how could they understand, even.
13. You don’t give ANY guys a chance because something someone is still on your mind.
Leonardo DiCaprio could be reciting love poems in front of your balcony, and you could CARE LESS.
14. You write confessional poetry and it’s pretty much all about him.
Metaphors like “the sinking ship,” and “bleeding heart” come up a lot in verses.
15. When you’re feeling bummed out, your first instinct is to call him.
But you realize you definitely can’t do that anymore. It’s not his place to comfort you.
16. You only remember the good in your relationship.
But really, there was a badness that existed between you two. Either you didn’t connect as well as you could have, maybe he was afraid of commitment, or perhaps your personalities didn’t mesh. This is the part where you have to accept that things happen for a reason, and nobody you should be with is allowed make you feel this way. So do what you need to do to, but just know that a day will come where you won’t think of your ex at all.