Why There Is Nothing Worse Than When An Ex Is More Successful Than You

by Gigi Engle
Paramount Pictures

It was a Monday. I was sitting in our lovely Elite Daily HQ when I had an overwhelming need to just not write my article.

So I decided to have a chat with a co-worker who constantly puts up with my annoying bullsh*t when she’s trying to get sh*t done.

We ended up talking about her f*ckboy ex-boyfriend of three years. She regaled me with the story of their breakup. It was relatively benign, as far I could tell. No tears. No BS.

As she put it, “He had all the expectations of trying to commit, but he didn’t do it properly. He wanted me to act like his girlfriend but didn’t want to make the effort to be my boyfriend.”

She then started showing me his photography. Apparently, he's a very successful photographer. Like, world-f*cking-famous.

Her f*ckboy ex is actually not a f*ckboy at all. He's actually a smashing success. He’s killing it in his career and leaving his mark on the world. He’s goddamn talented.

“On top of all of that, he’s really f*cking beautiful,” she said.

All I could say was, “F*ck.” I’m not saying my co-worker isn’t successful. She’s a dope photographer herself, and she’s doing awesome, inspiring work for our women's section. But she isn’t out photographing Beyoncé's next album cover or the next issue of Vogue.

She’s doing well, but -- and she'll admit this -- he's doing better. Career-wise, at least.

That really got me thinking. All breakups have a winner and a loser. There's the one who will have a wonderful life and meet the love of his or her life... and then there's the person who will die alone.

That’s a bit dramatic, of course. But you get the picture.

In a breakup, there's always a winner and a loser, and it's pretty clear which title belongs to whom.

If you're the loser, there are ways to pretend you aren't. You can convince yourself that your ex isn't doing awesome, because you're talented like that.

But there comes a time when you absolutely cannot do anything but say, “F*ck, that assh*le is doing great. F*ck my f*cking life.”

That happens when your ex is more professionally successful than you. There's nothing to say in response. There's no way to justify it to yourself to make you feel better.

When your ex is really f*cking killing it at his or her job, that f*cking sucks. It stings like nothing else.

It's seriously the most brutal thing that can happen after a breakup. Like, how dare you become so successful (especially when I am literally barely making enough money to pay my rent... AMIRIGHT?!).

When your ex is successful AF, you are the loser. Every time.

It’s worse than when your ex gets engaged.

I always thought the one who got engaged first was the winner in a breakup, but this is not the case.

Your ex could get engaged to some ugly troll. After you stalk her Facebook photos (we all know you’re going to), you can find reasons to make fun of her.

Maybe she likes cats, and you hate cats. Maybe she takes and overshares obnoxious, engagement ring photos.

You can find reasons to feel superior to her, despite the diamond. Then you can say, “Wow, I would rather die alone than marry that girl.”

But if your ex is off directing Blockbuster hits while you’re still writing for the Internet, what are you going to say then? "Oh, the movie wasn’t even that good"?

Yeah, right. You’re dying inside.

It’s worse than when your ex starts dating someone hotter than you.

It truly blows when you check in on an ex and find out his or her new girlfriend or boyfriend is a total dime.

But you can still find ways to despise your ex... even as you envy her thigh gap and flowing, shiny hair or his eight-pack abs and amazing hairline.

You can tell yourself he or she must be really stupid. Why would this gorgeous person date your loser ex?

There must not be a lot going on upstairs. This new person can't be very bright. God, your ex is so shallow.

If your ex just got promoted to VP at Barclays while you’re still an assistant at your accounting firm, what are you going to say? "Oh, I would never want that much responsibility and have to make a million dollars a year"?

Nope. You want to jump out a window.

It’s worse than when your ex gets in better shape than you.

When your ex is looking way finer than he or she did when you were together, it can torture your soul. Especially if you’re still attempting to lose the breakup weight you packed on after having one too many threesomes with Ben and Jerry.

But you can still think of your ex’s hot body as a silver lining. It's just inspiration to get your ass in shape.

Your ex is about to feel really sh*tty when you hit the kickboxing gym four times a week and come back looking even better than he or she does.

Who cares if your ex is smoking right now? In a year, that hot bod will become chubby and sad.

But if your ex is going pro with the NFL while you’re still pushing papers, what are you going to say then? That he’ll probably get injured and have to retire?

You are not saying that at all, are you? No, you are not.

It’s worse than when your ex gets over you.

When an ex moves on, it stings. But you move on, too.

When an ex is over you, it’s really easy to just say, “Whatever, scrub. I’m over your punk ass.”

As long as your ex is failing at life, that is.

I don’t f*cking care if you’re over me... as long as I’m doing better than you.

It’s how we all feel about our exes. It’s not that we want them back; it's that we want them to be miserable without us.

If your ex is being a boss b*tch while you’re still just a b*tch, what are you going to say then? You don't want to be killing it, too? Nah.

There is nothing -- I repeat, NOTHING -- worse than an ex being more successful than you. NOTHING.