The Archetypal Ex

Or the many archetypes of ex, to be accurate.

I’m just wondering, for Venn and other story ideas, if I can create a few recognisable past relationships for a character and then paint details into the broad outlines. Every relationship is beautiful and disastrous in its own unique ways, but they often follow familiar arcs.

So far I’ve got-

The One That Got Away

Fairly obvious. The first love that never quite worked out, or the relationship that foundered because of outside pressures.

Short But Sweet

I don’t mean height, rather the length of the relationship- the holiday affair or the five day fling that ended amicably.

The Psycho

The mad one, the one who alienates friends, is manipulative or turns into a stalker when it’s all over. We used to have a scale named after a friend’s ex by which we would measure scarylooniness. I don’t think I ever had anyone who registered above 0.7, but there has been at least one 1.2 amongst people I know.

The One Night Stand

Not a relationship, I know, but one night stands can have a big effect on a character’s outlook.

Friend With Benefits

Or Fuck Buddy, if you want to be more forthright.

The Best Friend

The relationship never worked out, but you liked each other too much to just go your separate ways. Having been intimate you have licence to occassionally be very blunt and lewd with each other. An ex-lover turned best friend is a very useful person, in a tale or in real life.

Any suggestions? Leave them in the comments.


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