Battle of the Ex's

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Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World is at its core a romance. Boy meets girl, falls in love, and has to overcome some obstacles along the way. That’s the type of universal theme that we can all relate to. Of course the premise of the movie is that those obstacles are his new girlfriends ex’s…and he has to defeat each of them in order to win the girl. But honestly, that’s a lot like real life. Difference being that there’s no simple solution to dealing with an ex.

In reality when an old ex pops up you feel a lingering pain that has no simple remedy. There are three basic ways this can happen:

  1. An ex comes up in a conversation1.
  2. Something special exhumes their presence2.
  3. They actually physically manifest themselves

However it happens, it fucking hurts!

Up until now I haven’t really been able to identify why. These episodes often get mislabeled as jealousy or insecurity and I suppose at some level that may be true, but not in an overt kind of way. I think it’s a little more nuanced.

When you care for someone you want to protect your relationship, specifically your perception of intimacy and exclusivity. But when an ex pops up that perception is diluted. The purity and intensity of your relationship gets watered down a little. It feels like the special moments you share are common among others, and what you have is not so special after all.

But like I said, there’s no simple way to handle the ex’s. You can try and avoid them in conversation or you can ask your partner to cut all ties with them. But most likely they will come up again, probably at some random time, and it’s likely you will feel the same way. It’s an unfortunate fact of life: we all have ex’s. Fortunately we don’t have flaming swords to destroy them with. Oh, and Scott Pilgrim is a great movie, you should totally see it.


  1. These conversations are usually a product of your own curiosity [return]
  2. A song, restaurant, or life experience [return]