10 Reasons You Just Can’t Escape That One Ex-Boyfriend

Everyone has that one guy they just can’t shake. Whether it’s because he was your first love, the one who got away, or the one you really should have steered clear of in the first place, there’s just always something linking you to him. It’s as though, even if you’re totally wrong for each other, the Universe wants you to still run into each other, and because of it you’re sort of trapped. Here’s why there’s that one ex-boyfriend you just can’t escape.

  1. You still answer his text or calls. No. No. No. What part of “ex” do you not understand? When you break up with someone, the first thing you should do is block their number. Even if they’re having a bad day and need you as a “friend,” that’s not your job anymore.
  2. You’re still friends with him on Facebook. So… what does this lead to more than anything? Stalking, on both your parts. From stalking there will be jealousy and 30 questions about every photo containing someone you don’t know, then either you or he will find themselves drunkenly declaring their love in a crowded bar. To break free, means social media, all of it, has to go.
  3. You constantly compare new guys to him. Just let it go. Of course, no one new is going to compare to an ex. You knew your ex on a deeper level than someone you’ve just started dating. You need to give people a chance, and you can’t do that if everyone you meet is being stacked against your ex.
  4. You refuse to remember the bad stuff. Exes are exes for a reason: Because the relationship was broken. Even if you parted as friends, there’s still some bad stuff in there, too, and that’s the stuff you need to remember. Sure, it’s great to remember all the good times, but recalling the crap and where it went wrong will help you keep your distance.
  5. You keep in touch with his friends or family. I mean, really? Don’t you have your own family and friends? I get that you love his mom and really can’t bear the thought of letting her go, but you need time to finally escape your ex. If his mom really loves you and values you, she’ll understand that you’ll have to get your head and heart sorted before you can be friends with her again.
  6. You check up on him. Since you still have yet to drop his friends and family, you’re in a place where you can check up on him, even casually and so subtly that no one notices, and in doing so, you’re just sucked back into his web.
  7. You have unrealistic hopes for the future. You may know that you’re not good for each other now, but perhaps you’ve convinced yourself that that won’t always be the case. Maybe you’ve told yourself that you both just need to grow up and experience life, then you can check where things are then ― stop that. Seriously. The future is a huge place and you don’t know what will happen, but clinging on to something that’s dead weight is just going to prevent you from really giving yourself a chance at happiness with someone else.
  8. You make yourself available to him. Although you may not be hanging out on a regular basis, if he needs you, you’re there. Whether it’s just to talk or to hook up, you are constantly available to him and because of that neither one of you can move on. It’s really hard to move, in any direction, when your feet are shackled to your past.
  9. You’re letting loneliness get the better of you. Look, feeling depressed and anxious about being alone is natural, especially when you thought you’d be coupled up/married by now and/or all your friends are. Since there’s no one worthwhile on the scene at the moment, you subconsciously hang onto your ex-boyfriend instead of working to escape his toxic pull. You know you’re better than that, you just can’t cut the cord. You need to!
  10. You’ve decided he’s “The One.” True story: You will have many people in your life that you will consider “the one.” Life isn’t The Notebook. You are not Allie and he isn’t Noah. Once you get that, you’ll start feeling pretty damn free. If he was your person, he’d still be in your life right now properly. He’s not, so it’s time to let go.
Amanda Chatel is a sexual health, mental health, and wellness journalist with more than a decade of experience. Her work has been featured in Shape, Glamour, SELF, Harper's Bazaar, The Atlantic, Forbes, Elle, Mic, Men's Health and Bustle, where she was a lifestyle writer for seven years. In 2019, The League included Amanda in their "15 Inspirational Feminists Every Single Person Should Follow on Twitter" list.

Amanda has a bachelor's degree in English and master's degree in Creative Writing from the University of New Hampshire. She divides her time between NYC, Paris, and Barcelona.

You can follow her on Instagram @la_chatel or on Twitter @angrychatel.