You're my ex for a reason, I don't need the 'sorry' phone call after we split
Here’s a scenario: you’re lying in bed watching Netflix alone on a Saturday night.
Midway through Orange Is The New Black, your phone rings. You answer it without a second thought, but when the caller turns out to be your ex, circa 2007, you probably wish you hadn’t.
In fact, you definitely wish you hadn't when they go on to explain that they're about to get married (oh, goody) and wants to just ‘clear the air’ by apologising for all those times they bailed on you to get drunk. That day they were really flirty with your best mate. Oh - and that time they kissed someone else – oh wait, you’d never found out about that one. Damn.
Would you be pleasantly surprised that you’ve finally had the apology you were craving seven years ago? Or would you be furious that they've brought back all that pain? Plus a little on top, given that they're getting married and all happy now.
Personally, I’d be more tempted to throw my phone out of the window than start gushing my thanks and organising a friendly catch up. And I’m not the only one. Adam Levine’s ex-girlfriends felt the exact same way when he decided to give them a call in the run up to his forthcoming nuptuals.
According to US Magazine, the Maroon 5 frontman has reached out ahead of his July wedding to model Behati Prinsloo. As a well-known ladies' man and modeliser, he must have had a fair few phone calls to make to former girlfriends, who include tennis player Maria Sharapova and pop star Jessica Simpson.
But, selflessly ignoring the no-doubt huge phone bill, a source has claimed that Levine rang his exes, apologising “for how he treated them”. And this is a man who probably has some apologising to do; he reportedly ended his relationship with Sports Illustrated model Nina Agdal simply by ignoring her calls. Only later did he send a text informing her that he was engaged to Prinsloo.
So I’m not surprised that these women “couldn’t care less he wants to make it right”, as the magazine puts it. It’s exactly how a friend of mine felt when his ex-girlfriend sent him a text months after they broke up, explaining that she was sorry for how things ended, but ‘oh by the way, she now had a new boyfriend and new job, yay!’
“It was like she was just using it as an opportunity to show off,” he tells me, evidently annoyed even though it happened a year ago. “I mean, it was kind of nice she apologised but I was over it by then. Also, I didn’t really want to hear about how great her life is now.”
That’s the biggest problem with ‘sorry calls’. They don’t tend to come when the person in question is unemployed and friendless – they normally arrive when they’ve just proposed to a Victoria’s Secret model, a la Levine.
When I ask on Twitter if anyone would ever make a sorry call, the answer is a resounding no.
The only person to cautiously admit that she would, does at least acknowledge that it probably wouldn’t help her ex at all. Maria, 25, says: “If I was about to get married, I’d feel like I should give him a call to say I’m sorry things didn’t work out and that I was such a massive bitch.
"I’d also want him to know I’m getting married, just because it’s such a big thing in my life. He and I were so close. I doubt he’d appreciate it, but it would make me feel better.”
The exes on the receiving end of such calls and texts agree. Lara, 24, recently received a WhatsApp message from an ex, six months after he ended things. In it, he apologised for leading her on. “He was obviously just trying to make himself feel better,” she said. “I figured that I’d just let him.”
She replied with a casual: “It’s fine, it’s in the past. Hope things are well now.” He took this as an opportunity to send another text explaining that things were more than well – he’d just had a promotion at work. At the time, she was unemployed. He knew this. It didn't go down well.
And that's what it boils down to. Yes, you might be genuinely sorry and want to apologise for past behaviour. But calling or messaging an ex is self-serving and, frankly, boastful. It only makes the person pressing 'send' feel better about themselves. It's more selfish behaviour, on top of all that past selfish behaviour.
So think twice - although it may be too late for Levine - before you call to 'apologise'. Far from making amends, it's almost guaranteed to leave a bitter taste and bring up old, unwelcome, memories.
After all, if your ex didn't know about all your digressions then, she or he really doesn’t need to know about it now. No matter how much you want to gush about how successful - I mean, how sorry - you are, just stay away. Put the phone down.