Imagine you have a friend that you see every day. You tell them everything from your most boring work anecdotes to your most personal secrets. You send them cutesy private-joke texts when you are not together, because when you go about your everyday life, the simplest things make you think of them, and you need to tell them, quick. And you play a lot of scrabble. In fact, you promised each other that you wouldn’t play scrabble with anyone else because triple-word scores are just more special when they are exclusive.
And then, from one day to the next, you stop seeing each other entirely. You block each other from Facebook and avoid each other at parties. Nothing in particular happened — you had just decided that the friendship wasn’t working for you anymore. And so instead of changing the friendship — instead of putting your scrabble board away and seeing each other a little less, instead you go cold turkey, and throw your friendship away entirely. As though, from one day to the next, that person had become completely despicable to you.
Imagine you go out for drinks with someone. You have a laugh together, play a rambunctious game of snooker. You have a good time, but you don’t really have the time or energy to have a drinking partner every night. And so when the person texts you and asks “What’s Up?”, you are terrified that maybe they thought your one time snooker had been misunderstood. Maybe they thought you would now play snooker together forever, to an Olympic level. And so, you ignore their text. You ghost them entirely, until a few months later you get drunk and message them a slurred “what youu doin ?” or “snooker?” at three in the morning.
This would be very weird behaviour with friends, but a completely normal way of acting with someone you have had sex with. Somehow, former sexual partners get treated less well than anyone else in the world. We treat our hookups, lovers and exes with a lot less respect than we do our friends and acquaintances.
When it comes to sex, we lie and trick, and mock and deceive. We do things that are objectively shitty. In fact, we treat lovers less well than strangers. People wouldn’t be oddly passive aggressive and make snide remarks to a random…