A little over a month ago, Guardian columnist Tanya Gold decided to pull a High Fidelity and contact all her ex-boyfriends…or at least the ones she could remember. You see, the rub is that Gold is a recovered alcoholic, who was, at one point drinking a bottle of vodka a day. At first it might seem that Gold was looking to meet up with her old lovers as a 12-stepish making amends sort of thing, but as you read on, it's apparent that Gold has absolutely no coherent reason for seeking out these uniformly jerky men. She tries to go to bed with more than one of them, despite the fact that they're in relationships and treated her horribly. Of "Adam," (a 19-year-old boyfriend she had at age 14) Gold writes, "He appeared to dislike me, yet he was always prepared to stick his hand up the ra-ra skirt I'd stolen from Miss Selfridge. I had the impression that he was too drugged to ask me to leave." And he was one of the nice ones.
Though this article is entirely depressing and mostly pointless, Gold's exploration does beg the question: is it ever productive to reconnect with your exes?
Unless there are specific circumstances, the answer is usually no, it's not productive or at all satisfying. If you're trying to contact an ex because you want to know why he or she broke up with you, you will never get an answer that feels good or useful. For whatever reason, the person just didn't like you anymore. Even if he or she could articulate the reason, it's likely something that you couldn't change, and why should you try? Love yourself the way you are! Not the way some asshat wanted you to be!
If you've reconnected with an ex because you want to enact revenge or show the person how great you are now, that doesn't really work out either, as Gold's essay shows. She did, in fact, meet "Adam" again recently. He's married. But that doesn't stop him from trying to fuck her!
We walk in the park, then go to a gallery. We are behaving like teenagers, trying to impress each other, and we are almost angry at each other for being so excited. We are on a date, and it is much more fun than it used to be, because we are not in a damp squat infested by cardboard furniture and strange bearded men. He walks me to the tube and I clutch his shoulders and hug him. He bends his head and gives me a slightly slimy kiss on the mouth. "When can I call you without being a stalker?" he asks. I feel triumphant. My 14-year-old has beaten his 19-year-old to a pulp; somewhere, my Miss Selfridge skirt is cheering.
Um…yeah. Hopefully, someday Gold realizes this is a Pyrrhic victory. For now, let her be a cautionary tale. No good can come of the manufactured ex-loverreunion!
Remembrance Of Flings Past [Guardian]