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I don’t know if it’s the weather changing, or how it feels like it’s 11 p.m. at 5 p.m., but recently there’s been tons of internet chatter about ex-boyfriends. Letters to exes, lists about exes, and songs about exes that seem like you’re kinda sorta harassing this particular ex and should maybe move on with your life and your baby and your husband. All of their situations very similar: girl got dumped and the guy moved on to a new girl.
Among all of these different cries for help — I mean, audible moans for compassion through common emotions — there’s always a moment that the female composer is comparing herself to this new girl. A subtle glance over the fence to see what’s happening in this ex’s lawn. They all want to know what she looks like, what shoes she’s wearing, and what bag makes her look “upscale chill.” They all seem to be doing a math equation on how this girl adds up to greater than her own sum.
I understand the urge to make the connection. Sure you may be in the same phylum. Dark hair like you, eyebrows like you, affinity for horrible hashtags like you. But please understand, we never made any of these comparisons. Girls seem to think that guys are like these hard charging workers looking to climb the company ladder of girls until hitting the top of the chick mountain. That may be the loud narrative on “bros” but I assure you that’s false.
Yes, past experiences inform the decisions of the future, but you will never see that in a picture. The picture you’ve decided to compare yourself to is the decision of the penis. The other day I saw a woman, aged 22-30 on the subway. Floppy hat, tight jeans, leather boots, chambray top, with hips and boobs. She looked like she just changed the shoes on a horse kept in a marble stable after drinking some whole milk. Something about that floppy hat just drove me crazy. Maybe it was the way it covered one eye like my first masturbatory crush, Jessica Rabbit. She wasn’t a supermodel by any means, but… penis. So I stared. Like a crazy person. We made eye contact once or twice and I’d avert a little too late just so she could get the message. When her stop came one before mine, I got off the subway early. My day and plans didn’t matter at all. I followed along for two blocks. I don’t know what could even happen. I had no plan, just hope. And then we parted ways. This is creepy. I know this full well. Maybe even a little scary for our female readers (Hi Mom). But every guy reading this is currently looking down shamefully shaking his head at his penis. The penis has no knowledge of the past. The penis didn’t think about how floppy hat girl compared to an ex or if she was “my type.” The penis makes decisions like the dice, every roll is independent from the last. The penis isn’t looking to climb a company ladder. Like a new intern, he looks to dabble in every group until he settles at a place that convinces the brain to take control. To try and reason with the penis and his decisions will only lead you into madness. Believe me, I’ve seen what the penis can bring home.
But the real truth you miss every time you go through an ex’s Instagram account is that he’s your biggest supporter. The guy who ended it wants nothing more for you to find someone new. Your new boyfriend isn’t our enemy, or a foe, or even a person for comparison (other than how much he probably curls). He’s an ally. He’s the guy that takes you off our hands. The one that makes you stop bad mouthing us to your friends. The one that makes you happy and makes us just a punchline for an old story about our ball smell (purple marker). He’s the ship that takes you away from “Me” island. An island where the longer you stay, the longer we wonder about STDs, babies, and obsessions. If you knew how much we wanted you to find someone new, you’d probably be angry, so we just say nothing.
That’s an amazing amount of ego, I know. But that’s why he ended things in the first place. Another train is always coming for the guy who ended things. Not a better train, but a different train, with a bob haircut and a big ass that’s like no other train he’s ever been on. The relationship never ended because of what you don’t have, it’s because of what you could never have, and that has nothing to do with the next girl’s shoes..