You’re alone at home wondering how you ever dared scoff at the idea of human contact. You’ve binged every worthwhile series on Netflix, walked your dog an obscene amount of times, and are rather nauseous from your record consumption of any and all snacks. You’re all out of activities.
And as if COVID-19 hasn’t stirred up enough chaos in all of our lives, it’s also caused a resurgence of exes everywhere. Maybe this pandemic is making us feel sentimental, maybe we’re just lonely, or maybe reaching out to an ex is the perfect excuse to get our minds off of the uncertainty and disorder that seems to now permeate pretty much everything. If you aren’t guilty of making one of these self-isolation induced gestures, you’ve likely been on the receiving end. Coronavirus does almost sound like corona vir-ex. Coincidence? I think not.
“My ex of two years texted me saying he’s had a lot of time to think [during] quarantine and that he wanted to apologize for all of the things he put me through, [because] I deserve better. [It was] completely out of nowhere since we had barely been in contact, so I was like, ‘Oh god, what kind of fight is he going to try and pick now?’ But I was wrong. We talked everything out for the first time since our breakup. I [thought], Wow, this is great, we can finally be civilized adults! I’ve been trying to reach out and make amends for years, but I guess it took a pandemic for it to actually happen. All was great until he texted me the next night at 3 a.m. to come over. I hoped it was a joke and didn’t bother to answer.” —Rachel*, 19
Isolate And Chill?
“Full disclosure: It had been months since my ex and I had seen each other last, but we talk almost every day. What else am I supposed to do during quarantine? Go meet someone new? No, thanks! I thought about asking her to come stay with me since we both admitted to wanting to see each other, but I was reluctant. She eventually asked if we should spend this time together since she was sent home from college and didn’t want to go back to living in her parents’ house. She’s currently quarantining with me at my house in New Jersey. It’s a pretty ideal situation for now. Give it a few more days, and I’m sure I’ll remember how toxic she is.” —Jeremiah, 25
An Ex Turned Roommate
“I’m living with my ex — we broke up for the second time six months ago — because of this shit! We’ve been on good terms and talk frequently, and he ended up inviting me to his [country] house the first weekend of March, just to hang. We joked about the possibility of quarantining together, not realizing [we’d soon be in the middle of a pandemic]. We’ve been living together ever since. It’s been surprisingly OK! [I think it’s] harder for him, because he’s used to living alone, but he has a cute girl staying with him, so how hard could it really be? For now we’re playing house and it’s fun, but we broke up twice for a reason and I’ve 100% opened Pandora’s box by doing this. It’s brought up a bunch of feelings that I still have, and that I don’t want to have. I know he’s not good for me.” —Samantha, 27
“It might not be the most healthy thing for us to be talking every day, but it’s comforting, which is something I need right now.”
“My ex replied to my Instagram story and asked if I was being sent home from college. I told him that I was, and he invited me to his beach house, where he is staying alone. I haven’t seen him since I studied abroad a year ago, but I’m so bored I’d honestly consider going [to his place] once it’s safe. We’ve been talking since, and I’m enjoying it — it’s not a bad way to occupy all this free time.” —Jack*, 21
A Case Of Bad Timing
“Since [what we had] was a vacation fling, I wasn’t surprised when my ex ended it months ago because he ‘wasn’t feeling it anymore.’ What I am surprised about is that he texted me out of the blue in the midst of a global pandemic after we mutually made the decision to stop talking. When I asked why he reached out, he said this was a good excuse to talk to me and make the best of the situation he’s in — being on lockdown in Mexico. I told him that it was inconsiderate for him to reach out for [that reason], and he apologized for not being prudent. Reaching out to talk during quarantine just because he was bored put a bad taste in my mouth. I don’t want to be used if people are just bored and wanna play around. He was respectful of maintaining the necessary space we needed until this moment, so it just seemed that he wasn’t using his judgement and was only thinking of himself in this case.” —Harlee*, 24
Time To Move On
“Even though my ex and I dated two years ago, I’m always thinking about him, so I used this as an excuse to reach out. I texted him, ‘Just thinking of u during these crazy times. Hope you’re safe and healthy 🙃.’ I didn’t get a response. I’m used to him ignoring me, but I was kind of hoping this would be an exception and he’d respond. He’s seeing somebody new, and we live in different states, so it’s not like I was trying to [meet up with] him. I just wanted to see how he was, but guess I really need to move on. Anyway, I’m about to go FaceTime with a different ex to study right now. This ex cycle is nasty.” —Tyler*, 22
Old Habits Die Hard
“My ex and I broke up six months ago, and we haven’t spoken much since. I reached out during the beginning stages of the pandemic, because I wanted to see how he was doing. He’s alone and bored out of his mind, so we’ve been texting. If it were up to him, we would be back together tomorrow and ignore quarantine. At one point, I considered seeing him, but I’ve come to my senses a little bit and know this isn’t a good idea. I don’t plan on cutting off contact with him anytime soon, though. It might not be the most healthy thing for us to be talking every day, but it’s comforting, which is something I need right now.” —Andrea,* 26
*Names have been changed to protect innocent daters everywhere.