The EX Files


I don’t know why we do it but we all cannot resist opening this Pandora’s Box of an awkward conversation. I don’t know why it happens but every time we meet someone new and we begin to feel the flutter of emotions we suddenly transform into the insecure version of Sherlock Holmes and start investigating the notorious ‘Ex Files’.  Why do we do it? We hate it, we love it, we don’t want to hear the information but we can’t turn our attention away; it’s like a drug, a very awkward and uncomfortable drug. The first few weeks are complete bliss, a world of just you two, when all of a sudden she’s there, a photograph on the phone or a note on the fridge, even a tattoo on an arm. Then you ask the dreaded question, “So, who is…?”

I don’t know why I do it to myself. I literally don’t.  The voice of sense in my head warns me not to do it, she makes it loud and clear that it is a no-go zone – “Don’t do it Beth, you won’t like where this going, don’t do it!” – but the crazy new girlfriend split personality of mine comes out and asks questions that I really don’t want to know the answer to. Mark Zuckerberg really didn’t think it through when he invented Facebook, I wonder how many new girlfriends lives he has ruined with his technological advancement of ‘connect the world’ and the ‘sharing is caring’ vibe.

Thank god for friends. “You are definitely prettier” one will say…”That is definitely not her real hair colour” another one will laugh…”I bet you are way more fun than her, she looks like a right bore” a final reassuring opinion will be given as you all flick through photographs of birthdays and festivals, analysing each status that has been posted and dismissing the past photographs of the ‘old’ relationship.

Why do we open up old cases and become obsessed with investigating the past, when we all know it should stay dead and buried? Why do we stand guard against the ex that is still out there, and why do we go looking for them? I have been analysing this for a while now ever since I went looking in the ex-file and I have come up with an answer which I think we all need to admit to ourselves; we are simply jealous.

We are jealous that we had to share, we are jealous that we have to live with the fact that someone had his heart first, we are simply insecure of the ghost of the ex. The sad truth is though and a truth that each and every jealous new girlfriend should accept, is that the more we rummage in the ex-file the more we keep the case alive.  As my mother once told me, an ex is an ex for a reason and we need to accept people’s past not punish them for it. We all have skeletons in the closet and files that we want to keep hidden, so let’s leave the past where it belongs and focus on creating the new file.


I sound mental.

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