24 things I do just because I know it would annoy an ex

I was lighting some incense this morning, (to try to cover up the smell of the bin), and I after I had blown out the match I put it back into the box. I do this deliberately because an ex-boyfriend used to absolute hate it.

It got me thinking about all of the other things I make a point of doing now that I am single partly just because I can, but also partly on purpose because at some point or other in my life I’ve had someone tell me not to.

‘Is this something NORMAL people do?’ I wondered.

I suspect it is.

(I hope it is.)

I don’t even think it’s malicious. As I’m doing it I’m not seething with unspent rage and bitterness, if anything it’s more celebratory. I’ve had a selection of partners who have been lovely people in lots of ways, but who have also had their fair share of ‘quirks’. let’s say that, and between them they have, quite naturally I would think, changed some of my behaviours, even if it’s just small things.

When you find yourself on your own again it can be quite liberating to not have to think about how the stuff you do might irritate or upset another person. You can often feel quite a sense of freedom.

good things about being single

I’m not laying blame anywhere here mind. I’m sure I’m not a bundle of fun to live with 100% of the time, and I have certain things that I like to be done in certain ways. Perhaps right now there are half a dozen men pushing their books to the back of their shelves because I always insist on spines being flush with the edges. That’s fine.

Also ultimately it’s up to me whether I decide to change the way I do things because of someone else. No one can or should MAKE you do stuff.

Me thinks the blogger doth protest too much? Clearly I’m just horribly lonely or bubbling over with resentment or something. I just thought it might be fun to do a list to see if other people did these sort of things too or if I’m just a weirdo. God. Leave me alone.


I had a little think and here are 24 things that I definitely do at least in part because I think it would annoy one ex-boyfriend or another:

1. Put dead matches back into the box.

2. Burn incense. (I think we’ve established these two.)

3. Leave windows open when I go out.

4. Buy things full price without even trying to find a discount code.

5. Leave rubbish in the car.

6. Book hotels without reading any reviews.

7. Put things upside down into dishwashers. (I don’t have a dishwasher of my own so this one is just a treat in holiday cottages.)

8. Eat dinner on my lap in front of the TV.

9. Set the volume on the car stereo and TV to an odd number.

10. Get drunk.

11. Park the car without leaving the tyres lined up.

12. Listen to Damien Rice.

13. Order a side with a meal at a restaurant.

14. Don’t order a side with a meal at a restaurant. (This is a tricky one as I had one ex who was really tight and would barely ever let us eat out at all and one who hardly ever paid for anything but never seemed to appreciate this when ordering.)

15. Say ‘cereals’ instead of ‘cereal’ e.g. ‘I’m just having a bowl of cereals for dinner as I CBA to cook anything.’

16. Do general food shopping in Marks and Spencer.

17. Fidget about in bed.

18. Cultivate exponentially increasing numbers of spider plants and fill the house with them.

19. Take a lot of photos.

20. Read emails when I’m on holiday.

21. Wash whites and colours together.

22. Use tools for the wrong things e.g. use a butter knife as a screwdriver.

23. Put up pictures and shelves ‘by eye’.

24. Drive around all over the place without a thought for fuel economy.

What little things do you make a point of doing just because you can?


Photo by Eugenia Maximova on Unsplash



  1. Angela May
    25 August, 2018 / 6:12 pm

    Omg! You are definitely not alone lol! I do loads of things just because I can!….. I don’t open windows after a shower…. I don’t use matching cutlery…. I wash up when I feel like it, not a nanosecond after I swallowed the last bite…… i leave lights on in empty rooms….. I refuse to wash, dry, iron and put away clothes the same day! Who’s got time for that! Xx

    • Jo Middleton
      25 August, 2018 / 6:18 pm

      Haha! I wonder if we went out with one of the same guys… ;-)

  2. ElizM
    25 August, 2018 / 10:00 pm

    I relish having the heating ON and FULL BLAST in MY house whenever I want to! My house, my heating, my bills – and the kids and I love it (he didn’t and neither did the in-laws)

  3. 28 August, 2018 / 9:43 pm

    Hahah that’s so funny. I do things like that when my husband is out, leave all my shoes in the hall, do my makeup sitting on my dressing room floor or other things that annoy him.

  4. Susan Coupland
    29 August, 2018 / 4:16 pm

    Hahaha I do loadsa stuff like this only…I’m not single and we’ve been together nearly 23 years! I swear I have oppositional disorder!!! And he’s tolerant (to a degree….not that it matters poor soul)

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