2022 SU General Election Full Supplement

Photo by Mariah Wilson

The five stages of grief when your ex messages you

By Beejal Parekh, February 14 2019 —


Your phone buzzes. It’s probably Mom. Or maybe it’s a useless group project member with a thinly veiled excuse for why they haven’t completed their portion of the assignment. Oh shit, it’s your ex. You changed their name to something like “REGRET IN THE SHAPE OF A PERSON” to deter you from answering or contacting them on a lonely Valentine’s Day in the near drunk future.

Surely this is a mistake. Butt-dialing still happens these days, yeah? Why would they message you? You gave all their stuff back. Well, except the soft blue hoodie that you only occasionally wear. They have a million hoodies anyway — why would they need that one back? Plus, your ex seems perfectly happy, as indicated by the 100 photos of their new partner they posted on Instagram. Maybe if you don’t open the message, it’ll just disappear?


They have no reason to text you, you think to yourself, still staring at the notification on your phone. Fury bubbles in the pit of your stomach. Or is that the Mexican food you ate for lunch? Either way, you’re angry, confused and maybe a little gassy. They have literally no reason to contact you, so why today of all days? They knew this would make you angry. They knew your day was going fantastic. They knew it, based on the Instagram stories you posted, hoping they would see how put together the post-breakup you is.


Still staring at the notification, you decide that maybe you will open it and leave them on read. Or just open it and delete it right away? You have options here. Maybe you get your friend to open it and pre-read it for you? If it’s something spicy, then your reply can match the same spiciness of those habanero peppers in your lunch. Unlikely — knowing your ex, the message is probably no spicier than a green bell pepper. Bottom of the Scoville scale. If only you had just blocked their number post break-up, you wouldn’t be spending so much time thinking about peppers. But there is one pepper lesson to retain: Make like a ghost pepper and ghost them.


After bargaining, the sadness and confusion will set in. Maybe you can slip into those soft fuzzy pants of shame while hanging out with your reliable pals, Ben and Jerry. Who cares anyway? Throw on those re-runs of Friends that you’ve already seen too many times and sulk in your own misery with frozen dairy. Their text message was probably just informing you how much better their life is without you. 


After consuming about 1,000 calories of ice cream, you start to accept the reality of your situation. Maybe their life is better without you, but yours is too. You joined that boutique fitness studio down the street instead of drinking your problems away at The Den and only wear sweatpants once a week. Regina George would be proud. You wish your ex well and go to your spin class. With each rotation of your wheels, you leave them further and further behind.

Tagged: , ,

Hiring | Staff | Advertising | Contact | PDF version | Archive | Volunteer | SU

The Gauntlet