Things I wish I’d said’: Should you ever tell your ex exactly what you think?

Inspired by yet another Miley open letter, we asked a few daters what words they wish they’d said – and not said – to people they used to love…

The words I should have said…

 ‘Complicated is ok’
‘A while ago, I was dating a guy, but it was always pretty casual between us. His friend, however, was a different story. We clicked as soon as we met, were constantly in touch and as the months passed; I knew I was falling in love with him. Because of his friend, obviously nothing ever happened, but a year later, when we split up the guy I loved asked me out. He said his mate had given his blessing, but I turned him down because I thought things would be too complicated. Now, I wish I’d realised that didn’t matter, and that love is never simple. Because even now, five years on, I still miss him every day.’
Hanna, 34

 ‘I don’t blame you’
‘I was in my early 20’s, working hard, going out too much – as you tend to do when you’re young and ambitious. Needless to say, I neglected to spend enough time with my then-girlfriend, who I’d dated since school. After a couple of years, she was so lonely, she ended up having an affair. At the time, I was furious, telling her she’s ruined our lives and that I never wanted to see her again. I haven’t, but I wish I could, simply to tell her that I was the one in the wrong and none of what happened was really her fault.’
Dan, 29

 ‘I am free on Friday night…’
‘I’d been chatting on an internet dating site to this really funny, intelligent and (from her pictures) perfect-looking girl. I thought building a rapport online might be hard, but she instantly ‘got’ my silly jokes, and knew really obscure bits of trivia, which I’ve always found geekily interesting. After a week, she suggested meeting up that evening because her plans had fallen through. Mine had too, but I was worried I’d look too desperate having nothing to do on a Friday night. Instead, I pretended I was busy and suggested another time instead. I think she thought I was turning her down and must have been really embarrassed because she instantly stopped emailing. I was gutted, and always wish I’d just gone on that date. Who knows where we might be now…’
Al, 36

 ‘Yes’
‘I always wanted to be a career girl and dreamt of the big city lights and expensive shoes and apartments. So I worked hard at uni, then moved straight to Manchester to start a ‘city’ job. My then-boyfriend had different ambitions though, wanting to travel the world before settling down. He asked me to go with him, but I thought it was a waste of time and refused. You can guess the rest: he went, we promised to stay together, but distance tore us apart and he met someone else – someone with a slightly more open mind.  Perhaps we just weren’t suited from the start, but I still wish I’d said ‘yes’ to going away with him – I could have always found another job, but I’ve never found another him.’
Nancy, 40

The words I should not have said…

‘Yes, I can forgive you’
‘My boyfriend had an ‘emotional’ affair with a girl at his office. Nothing actually ‘happened’ (so he and she both claimed) but I discovered endless texts and emails and Facebook messages between them, with him saying he’d rather be with her than me. When I confronted him, he suddenly changed his mind and said he was sorry, and that he did want to be with me after all. We’d been together for seven years and I was terrified of being single, so I said I’d forgive him and we’d move on. Of course, we didn’t. We dragged on unhappily for two more years before finally splitting for good. I wish I’d had the courage to break up sooner, because now I am single, I realise how wonderful it is. I’m seeing friends more, and I’ve started online dating and am meeting some really lovely guys.’
Ellie, 30

‘He’s not my type’
‘A colleague said she wanted to set me up with her friend, but when she showed me the photo, I said he wasn’t my type. She insisted he looked better in real life and said our personalities were perfect for each other. I refused though, thinking someone ‘better’ would come along. Fast forward six months and I was still single. My friend invited me to her birthday, and guess who else was there? This ‘not hot enough’ guy. Who, it turns out, was gorgeous, funny, kind, clever… and now dating another girl who’d clearly seen past my blinkered first impressions. Since then, I’ve said yes to dates even if they’re not my usual ‘type’, because you never really know who you will fall for.’
Amy, 39