There are seven types of ex – which ones have you dated?
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Some relationships end amicably, and some end, well, pretty poorly to be honest.
But they all build character, right?
There are those breakups you can laugh at, others that make you cringe and there are the ones that still break your heart a little.
According to author Lucy Vine there are actually seven types of ex that exist – and, yes, we are just as keen as you to see which ones we’ve encountered and which we haven’t (yet).
Her book Seven Exes follows protagonist Esther through a journey of finding ‘the one’, as she goes back through her past relationships in the hope she’ll discover Mr Right has been under her nose the whole time.
But you don’t have to wait until the May release date to find out – here Lucy walks us through each ex, and some of them hit a little too close to home.
The First Love
Ah, the unforgettable first love.
‘Everybody has one, whether it was a fiery five-year school romance with the crush with the frosted tips, or an intense but one-sided obsession with Chad Michael Murray,’ says Lucy.
‘It’s usually a nightmare of immaturity and dysfunction, but oh-so exciting. In Seven Exes, Esther’s never forgotten about Alistair, the boy who gave her Apple Tango on the playground and took her virginity.
‘You’ll recognise this ex from the horrible combination of cringe you feel at the mention of their name, and the fact that you turn into a gibbering, awkward teenager again every time you spot them in town during that Christmas visit home.
‘They were your first snog, your first wank, your first real flood of hormones – which is why that first love fire always burns horribly, uncomfortably, eye-searingly bright.’
The Work Mistake
You spend every working hour with them and you handle the office drama and the work triumphs side by side.
Lucy says: ‘You gossip about your micro-managing boss and his bad breath at after-hours drinks. And then – gasp – as someone makes a joke about you being his ‘work wife’ and something flutters in your stomach.
‘We’ve all made a mistake at work – and don’t try and tell me yours was only accidentally emailing the whole company requesting extra paperclips.
‘In Seven Exes, Esther’s work mistake is Carl, her disgustingly sexy – and sexily disgusting – boss, in the kitchen where she works as a chef.’
She thinks she’s seduced him but with a power dynamic like that at play, there’s not a happy ending.
The Friend With Benefits
‘”We’re just pals!” you insist over and over, until that one night when you drunkenly end up in bed together,’ says Lucy.
Then you keep saying you’re just friends , after agreeing this mutual agreement between you will stay casual. No doubt things end up getting awkward, right?
‘One of you caught those feelings and it ruined the benefit and the friendship,’ Lucy adds.
‘Hopefully you stopped before your platonic closeness was destroyed completely – unlike Esther, whose FWB arrangement with Alex – not only a friend but her flatmate! What was she thinking!’
The Missed Chance
Also known, as Katy Perry puts it, as the one that got away.
Lucy says: ‘This ex may be the most infuriating of them all, because they’re not really an ex, even though they feel like one.
‘It never quite happened between you, right? You almost kissed that NYE a few years ago, do you remember? But then didn’t.
‘You nearly held hands in the dark at that group cinema date, but you reached for popcorn instead.
‘They might’ve been someone in and out of your life for years or maybe they were a guy you fell head over heels for at a party and then never saw again.
‘Maybe they had a partner for a while, then maybe you did. The timing was never there for you guys, was it?
‘And there’s a part of your brain that still tickles a little at the thought of them.’
In the book Esther and Paul have always had that same question mark hanging over them, and she jumps at the chance to find out what could’ve been.
The Serious One
Esther’s serious ex is called Idris. She dated him for several years, moving in with him and stealing his jumpers.
Much like Idris did for Esther, it’s likely this serious ex will still give you the warm and fuzzies.
‘They were a safe haven for you; someone you could see yourself marrying and starting a family with one day,’ Lucy says.
‘And that’s the thing – it probably ended because you weren’t ready for that.
‘It wasn’t the right time and – ultimately – it wasn’t the right person. But still, you think back to them fondly – as does Esther – and wonder if maybe you could’ve made it work at a better time in your life.’
Lucy says: ‘Nobody’s going to be proud of this ex, but cheating happens.
‘Hopefully – at the very least – your overlap is someone who gave you clarity in your relationship; whether that was never ever making that mistake again or realising you needed to break up.
‘Most overlaps don’t last long, but will remain seared into that corner of your brain that pulses with regret.’
Esther is really haunted by her overlap, Will, who she started an emotional affair with over Twitter DMs before taking things possibly a little too far.
‘We’ve all been there with this one. Most of us – ahem – multiple times,’ says Lucy.
‘The bastard ex comes in many forms but they always destroy your self-esteem, like the narcissist you armchair diagnose them to be.
‘If your bastard is anything like Esther’s, Rich, he doesn’t reply to texts, he blows hot and cold, he love-bombs, then disappears.
‘He’s also – unfortunately – stupidly hot.
‘Anyone who’s ever encountered a bastard will recognise them by the way they watch the door over your shoulder when you’re on a date, as they’re constantly on the look-out for someone better.’
We suggest you avoid this one at all costs.
Seven Exes by Lucy Vine, £8.99
Pre-order your copy from Amazon now
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