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The 'ex complex'

Relationships and ex boyfriends

Isn't it weird how it only takes one experience to affect every future experience you have?

Things are about to get a little deep here on Invocati... But you should know me by now, I always like to take the plunge and talk about uncomfortable things! Also, warning: I didn't realise this post would be so long when I started to write it. Good work if you stick with it!


One thing that really grinds my gears is exes. Not just them in general, although 95% of the time they are just irritating in being, but more so the baggage that comes along with them after a relationship. (I'm going to use this term going forward, but I am aware you can have a sort of 'ex' even if there wasn't an official relationship, therefore I am excluding no one from being able to relate to this post!)

I haven't been in many 'proper' relationships; I mean, my first 'boyfriend' was a 2 week long relationship with a boy I'd just met and he was my first kiss, which involved a lot of secretion from my nose all over his face. Perhaps a story for another time.

Anyway, in my own opinion I'd only say I've had two real relationships in my life - my ex, and my current boyfriend. That doesn't bother me in the slightest! It's definitely no competition to have the most boyfriends or girlfriends before you die. Some people are lucky enough to find their soulmate first time round (cringe but true.)

However, I got to thinking the other day - well, no, I think about this quite often - how bizarre it is that my relationship with one person (my ex) has had a kind of domino effect on the way I am now in my current relationship.

Right, let's go for it; my ex in a nutshell:

At the beginning, he was the most charming person I'd ever spoken to. I did actually meet him online, so for many months all I had to go off were the things he could say to me via text, Skype and phone calls. He definitely had a way with words and I literally just fell for him so hard because he always had the right thing to say. (Don't they all?)

I do believe he was very genuine in the first year or so. We met and everything was amazing, made difficult only by the fact that our relationship was pretty long-distance so obviously spending time together was few and far between. I'm not exactly sure when things went a little sour, but it became a bad habit of his to just lie about everything.

And I mean everything... Still to this day I reckon he's a bit of a pathological liar. He'd lie about regular everyday things, some things I can't even name because they're so insignificant, but I remember thinking 'that's weird, why would you lie about that? What do you gain from that?'

It got a little more worrying when it was bigger lies. I remember one particular event: I was going through a bad patch and so was he, both of us mentally, and he was speaking kind of strange, saying he wished he was dead etc. He told me he was sat on top of a building somewhere and was thinking about jumping off. Naturally, I was very concerned and was frantically texting him, when he stopped replying suddenly. I sent message after message, feeling sick, wondering what he'd done. Ten minutes later he replied, saying his phone had died. I only remember thinking a while after how weird it was that he was suddenly off the top of a building, back home and had charged his phone in that ten minute period.

Regardless of that, the thing that obviously ultimately led to us ending things was him lying about cheating on me, plain and simple. We broke up and got back together several times in a short space of time, and I reckon that was because he couldn't be honest about the reason he didn't want to be together anymore.

He kept telling me it was because he was moving further away for university and it wasn't fair to make me wait for him. This meant that I still believed he loved me and kept trying to make it work. Little did 16-year-old-me know that he was actually cheating on me and just wanted rid of me!

I could write reams and reams about ways in which he lied, but I think the day I realised it was actually an act was Valentine's Day; I was down in Birmingham with my best friend and me and my ex had plans to see each other. The day before, he conveniently fell ill and said we couldn't see each other that day. I was naturally devastated because I didn't get to see him often anyway, especially for Valentine's Day. My best friend convinced me to just get on a train with her to see him and we'd just show up. I still wonder to this day if she had cottoned on faster than me, and already knew he was probably with someone else, so she wanted to catch him out.

Anyway, we arrived, we told him we were there and he was acting weird. Like, really weird. He told us to meet him in a very specific place, yet when he showed up he walked from the direction of the station which is where we'd just been. He was really weird with me, like really distant, but kept telling me how much he loved me, almost like it was rehearsed. It was a few weeks later I think that this other girl messaged me on Twitter asking if I'd seen him on Valentine's Day, only to tell me that he'd shoved her on a train as soon as I'd told him I was there to see him and gone straight to meet me. Charming, right?


Knowing a little backstory makes the point of this post easier to make - because of all the deceit in that relationship, as well as me being very naive during the whole thing, I find it immensely difficult to trust partners, even now.

I feel extremely sorry for Josh (my current boyfriend) because he has to put up with what we jokingly call me being 'psycho'. But to be honest, this 'psycho girlfriend' stereotype, even in jest, is what sparked the idea for this post in the first place. I hate that the effects of previous experiences, which obviously will change you as a person, are passed off as someone being 'damaged' or 'psychotic'.

I'm not psychotic. I am hard work - I'll admit that! I have a very hard time trusting Josh, but not because I think he's going to cheat on me. I know for a fact he will not do that. But I feel like it can't come as a shock that I would be on the defence since last time I completely trusted someone not to hurt me, they turned around and did it anyway. (Did I mention that still, to this day, 3+ years later, he hasn't admitted that he cheated nor has he apologised? Prick.)

I think I just wish that those of us who have been hurt before, who maybe have trust issues or don't like our partners doing certain things or just generally find being in relationships tougher as a result of our pasts, were cut a little more slack. 

I'm not untrusting because my boyfriend is sketchy - I'm paranoid because I've been hurt before. I'm learning to work on it and I need support along the way. I don't need someone telling me that I'm crazy and psychotic because I'm not and I don't want that label. I want to feel happy and safe and secure in a relationship (which I do) and I want to, in time, learn to forget that people in my past might have been arsewipes but the person in my future is not.

If you made it to the end of this ex-bashing post then I appreciate it! 
Comment "yaasssssss" if you got here so I know who stuck by it! LOL I'm kidding.
Or am I?

P.S. hope he reads this.

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Image: stock image, text added by me


  1. Yaasssssss! ;-) This was very eloquently written, Alice! I'm so sorry that your ex was such a piece of work, that "suicide" stunt was really low, and I can't believe he cheated on you!! It seems like Josh treats you far better and understands why you might sometimes find it hard to trust him. Thanks for sharing this <33

    Abbey -

    1. Thanks Abbey! Amazed you made it to the end!! Hehe, thank you it felt good to get it off my chest. Some people are just awful! Xx

  2. Well done for writing this post! It must have been hard to open up knowing that anyone and everyone can read this. I hope he does end up being one of the people that does read it :) I'm sorry to hear about the things you had to go through but you need to remember: it's experiences that make you who the person you are today. When you're ready to stop being 'psycho' and trust Josh, you will do. Obviously, Josh understands what you've been through which is great. From personal experience, I know that it can take time to trust again but in a few years time you'll look back at this ex and think, whilst laughing: why was I so naive?!

    You deserve the world and don't you forget that ❤️😘

    1. Thank you soooo much! This means a lot to me. It felt good to get it all off my chest and hopefully move on even further than I already have. I agree - I can already laugh about a lot of it and it'll only get easier! Thanks for stopping by and reading to the end - makes me feel lots better about writing this post! Xx


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