While most of us are binge-watching Netflix or drinking wine while looking at a frozen video call with our pals, one woman had a much bolder idea for her coronavirus self-isolation free time.
University student Rebecca, 19, decided to use the time for self-growth after coming across a quote from Kitty O’Meara – “And the people stayed home. And read books, and listened and rested, and exercised, and made art, and played games, and learned new ways of being, and were still.”
So she decided to contact her exes to find out why they broke things off with her.
Rebecca said: “The people who have experienced the worst of me are definitely the most qualified to tell me what went wrong and how to improve.
“It’s worth a try to see how I can be the best me I can be.
“Plus, I really didn’t have anything better to do – I was just so bored.
“Waiting for them to reply was terrifying, but actually everyone was really nice – there’s no hard feelings there.
“It gave me a bit of a reality check – it’s so easy to just block someone out of your life.”
The first call she made was with Jay, whom she met in her first-year accommodation.
She broke up with him last year – whilst in bed with him – after dating for a few months.
Jay said that when they first got together everything was great but then said: “After thinking it through for a while, I guessed you probably thought that yes I’m nice and I look after you, but that you aren’t getting the most out of someone you should be fully committed to.
“I don’t believe you made any wrong conscious choices, and neither did I.”
The second phone call was to Tim – they were friends before they got into a relationship, and dated for a couple of months about three years ago.
Rebecca desperately tried to break up with him, claiming it was “impossible” to do so – and even said that she was confused about her sexuality – which Tim was so understanding as to offer to work things out together.
But it turns out Tim still thought she’d ended things really out of the blue especially since she’d even brought him gifts the day before.
Eve though she blocked him, it didn’t stop Tim from apologising after she had ended things.
He turned up at her house with a photo album which he had decorated himself with writing and flowers.
He said: “I do wanna say, and I feel this is a good time to say it, that I’m sorry for after it happened and I came to your house, still feel like a dick about it years later.”
And his one piece of advice: “It’s the cutting people off really – like for the longest time I assumed you just got bored of me.”
The third and final call was to Ed – her first kiss.
And, since the pair are still friends he wasn’t afraid to be a little more heartless with his advice.
He revealed the pair had only been together for three days and said Rebecca should have had the the “b******s to dump me yourself” after Rebecca had her “scary friend” do the deed for her.
He soon got back to the task at hand, suggesting these improvements:
“Two, you could have been a bit more passionate, a bit more affectionate.
“And three, you just could have shown a lot more enthusiasm for the general experience of it all.”
Although she found it hard to hear what her exes had to say about her she’d asked for it.
Her advice for others considering picking up the phone to their exes:
“They’re probably as bored as you, and might want to spend some time giving you feedback for this crucial period of self-learning.
“And in a seemingly never-ending quarantine, what else do you have to do?”