How Writing About Your Exes Can Help You Get Over Them Faster
Writing is as easy and routine as breathing for some writers. But there are some days when writing is also very difficult for us.
Writing is a cathartic act: It causes us to feel every spectrum of emotion based on what and who we're writing about. Sometimes, it takes us a while to write about an event that happened because we aren't yet ready to process how it made us feel. In the same way, sometimes, years go by before we're ready to write about the people who affected us the most.
But eventually, we will be ready to write everything down, including some of the most intimate and trivial aspects of our relationships.
You should know while going in that if you ever have a relationship with a writer – whether it's platonic, romantic or familial – we're going to write about you at some point in our lives. It's not a bad thing or a good thing.
Honestly, it might actually have very little to do with you. So, you really should try not to take it personally:
1. We're not writing about you to scorn you, even if things ended badly.
We don't hate you or want other people to hate you. Writers write about what they know.
We write about what we've seen, what we've experienced and what we've felt, in the hopes that whoever reads it will be able to relate – even if it's only in the slightest bit – to the words they're reading.
We write to make sense of the chaos. We write to understand the things that happen to us. If you find us writing about a painful breakup, odds are, we found peace with it the minute we finished writing about it.
It's not meant to seem nasty or exploitative. We write as much for ourselves as we do for other people.
So, if you treat a writer poorly, you can't blame us for writing about it and putting it out there for the world to see. It's nothing personal; it's just our way of being OK with how things ended.
2. We're not writing about you because we miss you or want you back in our lives.
We really only miss the person you were with us, and the way you were when we were together. That's it.
We miss the memories, but we don't miss you. We stay stuck in the past for so much longer than we should because it's incredibly difficult for us to let go of any of the memories, no matter whether they're good or bad.
We keep screenshots of texts, ticket stubs, receipts... all of them. Anything that can trigger a memory, we probably hold on to.
Other people may see something as meaningless as a shot glass sitting on a bookshelf and think nothing of it. But writers will always look at that shot glass and remember that one night so many years ago when they stayed up all night, drinking and playing Never Have I Ever and living completely and fully in that moment alone.
So, yes, we miss the memories that we shared with you... but nothing more.
3. We're writing about you because you taught us something about ourselves.
Writing is a very informative process. Often times, writers don't know how they feel about something until they write about it.
By writing things down, we define exactly what we are and are not feeling. Because of this, writers will oftentimes go back to something they've written a few years ago and want to change 100 things.
This is because when we write, we're effectively capturing who we were at a certain place and time and putting it down on paper.
That's where you come in: You met us at a very specific point in our lives. Once we write about you, we're always going to remember who we were before, during and after the moment you came into our lives. You've probably changed us, and you've probably taught us a valuable lesson of some sort.
But without writing it all down, we really would have no way of knowing just how much you impacted our lives.
4. Most importantly, we're writing about you because you gave us something to write about.
At the end of the day, writers would have nothing to write about if it weren't for you. If we weren't out in the world, experiencing new things and people every single day, we would be stuck.
Our interactions and relationships with the people around us lead to the inspiration for articles, journals, songs and books. We hear a conversation between two people riding the subway on our way to work in the morning and suddenly, we want to write their story.
We can go on a really fantastic date and have the time of our lives, but the first person we want to “tell” is our journal. We live for the memories we are making with you.
Because, like it or not, you are a part of our lives. You're a part of who we've been, who we are now or who we're going to be one day. We're always going to be grateful for that.