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Would you like your ex to date a Nazi or a Saint?

This text has been influenced/inspired by a blog entry of Dan Harmon’s I heard about.

Wouldn’t it be easier if we could assure that we’d never meet our exes ever again? At least for people like me, whose inner monologue will never not attempt to “understand the why”, it would be better. Because, if you run into your ex and you see her with a different person by her side, what are you supposed to feel? I’m actually asking.

Somehow, I’m supposed to hope for her to be dating an idiot, aren’t I? Since that would prove I’d be the quote unquote best she ever had. Hence, I should be hoping she is dating a nazi, the pure devil, since that would make me a God.

And that would be the end of that. I would no longer think about this encounter and all would be fine. Until I would think about it and ask myself: Why is she dating that nazi? Was her taste always that bad? Is that why she dated me? Is she a nazi herself? Is that what she meant when she said: I’ll love you a thousand years. Did I make her taste that bad? Oh my god, I ruined her. I’ve turned her nazi. I’m not God, I’m Goehring.

So, I should be hoping for her to be dating a great man. Someone brave and intelligent, funny and deep. Someone who would be charming even when meeting his girlfriend’s ex. That would put my mind at ease. For a minute. Because why is she dating that much better than me? Was I like a “break” from real dating or was it me that made her realize how well she could do? How could she have ever really loved me if this was her destiny? How can anyone love me if these men exist and are available? There is no hope for me.

Maybe, I should be hoping for her to be dating the exact carbon copy of me. You know, the Johnny Depp type. Okay, the John Oliver type. At least that would confirm that I belong to a type that won’t die alone. At least that way I could be sure that the whole relationship wasn’t an elaborate scheme to ruin my whole life as revenge for a poorly timed joke when we met.
The problem is that I’ve seen ex-girlfriends of mine with all of these kinds of people. And it always feels shit. Is it possible to not be over any girlfriend you’ve ever had? At least that’s a sign I was in love with all of them. Or, and this is my new favourite fear: None of them. Maybe this is what these encounters are telling me: I was never in love and only by breaking my heart can the human species discover true happiness. So I should keep my distance to women and do what I do best: Roaming around the internet, writing with girls that there is actually no chance of really ever meeting and sulking over the crushes I never dared to ask out.

But maybe, just maybe, and this is the least likely of the 14 000 605 different thoughts that spring from me meeting my ex. Maybe I do have intricate worth and her rush to finish the conversation doesn’t stem from a deep-rooted embarrassment of ever having dated me, but a similar pain to what I feel. Being in love with someone isn’t easy to fully get rid of. In fact, it rarely can be done 100%. This should make all of us feel better.

However, if I’m not entirely worthless and there is something interesting about me, then doesn’t that mean there is no logical reason for me to be hung up on the past? That there is no excuse for me to not be dating the people I’m actually interested in? Well, that would be frightening on a whole new level. It’s much easier to hide behind the logic of “Fool me once…” or: “I have come to realise that getting hurt in relationships is inevitable and therefore I am never allowing myself to feel anything ever again.”

I can hide behind my simulation of every possible outcome. After all, I’d be an idiot for acting on scenario #1.065.512 if there was one where I could be 100% sure to not be hurt and I didn’t think of it.

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