"No, we weren't dating." "He wasn't my boyfriend." "We weren't a couple..." So why the hell does it hurt so much? Why does someone who never earned a definitive status in my life bring me such definitive pain?
Why does someone who wasn't really anything feel suddenly like someone? Why does someone who was really just an "almost" hurt like an "everything"?
We talk about dating a lot, but no one seems to be talking about the relationship category as real and damaging as any boyfriend/girlfriend or one-night stand: What about the in between? What about all those lost "almost" loves?
You know, the people you went out with, slept with, cried over and never saw again? The ones you never made it official with, yet pine for the way we do lost boyfriends/girlfriends?
In my experience, worse than an ex-girlfriend is an ex-almost. Because girlfriends and boyfriends have mourning rights, whereas the Almost Ex doesn't come with any sympathy. To your friends and family, these people weren't real.
But they were real, very real. Just because you never hit the status of boyfriend and girlfriend doesn't mean you don't feel the pain of their silence.
Just because you never went on vacations or took them home for Christmas doesn't mean you don't miss them.
For anyone who has dealt with the struggle of only having Almost Exes, you understand the plight.
You've lived in the limbo the unofficial status brings; you know the pain an unrealized and unfinished relationship holds.
You don’t know how to refer to them.
He isn't your "ex," but he also isn't just "some guy." He was an undefinable entity as indescribable as your relationship.
You feel you don't know how to mourn them.
You want to cry, scream and send her angry messages, but it all seems too dramatic.
You don’t feel legitimate in your grief.
Sympathy is saved for the "relationship" and spending two days crying over someone your friends never met just makes the grieving process so much harder.
You can’t talk to your friends about it.
The statute of limitations when it comes to talking about your exes is generally decided by how much your friends can take.
When it comes to a guy/girl they've never met, your window becomes a lot smaller.
You can’t be bitter towards them.
When you run into an Almost Ex, it's hard to play the scorned lover card because you're not really allowed to be scorned.
Even though you're dealing with it like a real breakup, everyone (including him/her) expects you to handle it like the mature single gal you always were.
You get absolutely no closure.
The worst part about the Almost Ex is your breakup is about as real as the relationship. Not only is there no closure, there's no acknowledgement of the beginning or end.
You're not friends on Facebook, so stalking is out of the question.
You don't have the social media connection you would with a "real" relationship, which makes the inevitable stalking much, much harder.
You're probably gonna have sex with them again and make it worse.
Unlike severing ties with a partner, you're not cutting them off completely.
This leads to the increased risk of the drunk hookup, something to only make your Almost Something relationship seem more like another mistake.
You don’t have legitimate reasons not to run into them again.
Your friends won't warn you when they might come to a party, because, well, they don't have to warn you.
You never want to act like it bothered you.
Crying over someone who was never truly "under" you is possibly the worst kind of pain known to mankind.
You get more pissed when they start dating someone else.
It's inevitable an ex will find another partner.
With an Almost Ex, however, because you were never truly together, when he decides to make it official with someone else, the pain becomes all too real.
You’re oddly comparing them to new people.
Even though you can't ever say you wished your new crush was more like your ex, you can still think it... and that's worse.
You don’t know if you should still hang on to them.
Because you were never officially together, you also never officially broke up. This leaves them as less of a memory and more of an unfinished story you're not ready to shelve.