Is there such thing as a pioneer of self-hatred? Because journalist Michael Lee of Elite Daily might fit the bill.
His recent column — graced with the Morrissey-esque title “I’m Almost Over My Ex, But I Still Feel Jealous Of His Past Relationships” — is a staggering tale of “possessiveness, envy, and mistrust.”
Writing of his ex-boyfriend in the purplest of prose — “I loved, I suffered and now I hate” — Lee confesses that he was — and still is — “aggressively jealous of my now ex-boyfriend’s past encounters with his former lovers and flames, even though he is no longer here to hold my hand.”
I’ve heard of being jealous and dubious of a current partner’s exes. Feeling threatened and jeopardized of a partner’s past is a natural feeling, after all. But why am I jealous of my ex’s past? Was it that I never felt good enough when he was in my present? Why am I still letting his past affect my present? Did his past exes have such a profound effect on me that, even after he is gone, I am still left here alone, lingering with jealousy?”
We’ve never considered obsessing over an ex’s past relationships — and frankly, we’re a little disappointed in ourselves. (Next time!)
Lee’s disappointed in himself as well:
The problem was, I asked too many questions. I wanted to know my ex-boyfriend’s lover’s names, how they met, what they looked like and — most agonizing of all — what they had done together in bed. My curiosity got the best of me, and even though it killed me a little inside, I still was left wanting to know more. It’s gotten to the point where when I see someone who even half-resembles one of his exes (or what I visualize them to look like), I become paralyzed in my own self-doubt and fear. I’ve put them so high on a pedestal that I will never be able to compare to them.”
This sounds a bit disingenuous. Isn’t jealousy often a subconscious maneuver to push partners away without hurting their feelings? (If not an outright admission that you’re cheating or considering cheating?)
Reading through the story, we suspect the writer deliberately wrote this piece so his ex-boyfriend will find it online and take pity upon him– it’s a desperate plea for sympathy writ large. To his mind, perhaps it’s just the latest move in a delicious game…?
It’s taken me a lot longer to get over him than I initially imagined, but who would have thought that my ex-boyfriend’s past would be the reason I still find myself belittled and grasped with begrudging jealously and pulse-racing envy?
What is it about his past that still leaves me feeling numb? And when will I be able to run away from all the things he has done?”
What do you think? Has this guy taken romantic jealousy to terrifying new lows, or can you sympathize with this particularly feral green-eyed monster? Weigh in in the comments below.
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