A Letter To My Girlfriend’s Ex


Hey bud,

I know this may seem really out of place since you’re the one who writes strange letters out of the blue. You like to pass them to our mutual lover when you see her before class or send them in the mail after you haven’t spoken for months. Well, I like to get them published on my favorite web site.

It might also seem weird cause for all you know I’m just your ex-gf’s bff. You aren’t entirely wrong. When she broke up with you, I was. But in the months following the break up, your ex-gf and I. Well. We developed feelings for one another. (you have a right to laugh at that silly, silly phrase. Even I laughed at it.) Anyhow. We’ve been dating for about six months now.

Sure, you may think I am overstepping my bounds. Why would I write my partner’s ex after all? Well, my friend, after your most recent poetic note of desperation, I have decided to say the things she can’t, or doesn’t know how. It is actually really hard to follow up your letters that would put Edgar Allen Poe to shame.

Also, you should know this letter isn’t to hurt your feelings. I don’t want you to feel badly about the relationship you had. I don’t want to make you feel worse about yourself than you already seem to. That isn’t necessary. What I intend to do is clear the air. Based on your most recent installment of dreary letters to her, you seem to really need to get over this. Not that you necessarily want to get back together, but…well…you need to keep on keepin’ on. It has been nearly 8 months and you are still dwelling.

With all that said, here’s the deal:

  1. Stop with the poetic shit. Yeah, you are probably the best writer in the English Department. But your audience (the girl you fell so hard for) is not interested.
  2. Remember it for what it was. Though your relationship was almost 9 months long, think about the content. Did you ever hold hands? Kiss? Do anything you wouldn’t do with someone you consider “just a friend?” Answer to all of those: no. So, maybe you should stop blaming yourself for doing wrong by her and realize that when she said, “it isn’t you, you’re a really nice guy,” she totally meant it.
  3. Don’t read too much into gender. Yeah. Uh. I know this might be kinda shocking since I’m a girl and you’re a boy and your ex/my gf is a girl. But, well. Not to come out of the closet for her, but…she isn’t straight. Don’t worry about it man. She doesn’t hate you cause you have a dick. Or hate you cause you have a small dick. (From what I’ve heard, your dick is actually probably pretty big based on that noticeable bulge along your thigh. But let’s not get into it cause I’m probably less straight then her and the thought of your penis makes me a gag a little.)
  4. I’ve said it before, but it is REALLY FUCKING IMPORTANT and you need to hear it again: Stop with the poetic, trite bullshit. I know you think that this is what you’re supposed to do because that’s what the guy in all the rom-coms does when he wants the girl back. But saying “we’ll always have CITY WHERE YOU MET” isn’t cute. She isn’t the type of girl to read that and think “oh my gosh. I’ll never be able to go to CITY and not think of him. Maybe I should try to reconnect with him there, on a bridge, in the rain, with a kiss…” She isn’t that girl. Or at least not with you. You can use all the anaphora in the world, and she still isn’t going to coming running back.

By the tone of your letters, you might be healed. But for some reason, you are holding on. Holding on to what was. What could have been. What you did and didn’t do. What you want for her future. What you wanted for her then. Shit, maybe writing her these letters is cathartic for you. That’s cool. I get it. You get on with your bad self then. But if you do write them, you might consider not waiting outside her class to hand it off, and maybe you should just lose her address…just suggestions.

I know you’re probably thinking I’m a total bitch for saying all this to you. And maybe you’re right. I mean, if she and I ever break up, I’ll probably be an even bigger wreck than you have been. However, my lame attempts to get back together will probably come in the form of text messages and YouTube links to our favorite songs. That’s just me. And frankly, that’s her too. I don’t mean to bring you down, but I think that is the whole crux of the issue. She and I are just plain ole people. We instant message while we’re at work and text each other funny emojis. You write gushy letters and hold on to items that are only special to you. You two are in different worlds. And that’s okay, man. There is nothing wrong with your world of John Keats and e.e. cummings. That’s awesome, really. You just might want to let go of this Virginia Woolf-esk girl so that you can find your modern day, twenty-something Sylvia Plath or Jane Austen.

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image – Ellen Munro