You’ve had some…interesting exes in your life. That’s a euphemism if there ever was one. Some were amazing people who you met at the wrong time. Some were not-so amazing people at the perfect time. Some of these past paramours were so disastrously and wonderfully horrible that it’s nothing short of a miracle that you stayed together long as you did. (Your friends may still wrinkle their noses at mention of Ashley or hiss like an incensed cat at the mere thought of Brad.) Whatever the reason, Ring Cam has compiled a list of metaphors to describe the different types of exes you’ve endured. We’ll be describing each as a country your pretentious excuse for an author has visited. Am I qualified to reduce the cultures and histories of these nations to a pithy paragraph on a blog? No. Am I qualified to truncate the unique personalities and experiences of your former loves to a metaphor? No. Has any of this ever stopped me? Again, that’s a resounding no. Let’s dive in.

The High School Boyfriend/Girlfriend: Italy

Italy is a beautiful, awe-inspiring place. Your relationship with your first serious girl/boyfriend was equally beautifully. Because it was novel and exhilarating, everything seemed perfect and meant-to-be. Then you moved on with your life and realized that while that person is great, they are plenty of other great people out there. Much like that high school beau, Italy is a phenomenal place, but is it really as amazing as first time visitors think it is? Also, much like the high school love, everyone has dated Italy for a time. It’s beautiful to visit, but is it truly special? You moved on with your life after high school and went on to great things. Your ex is currently posted up at a bar within a mile of their childhood house, regaling people with stories about how they were once scouted by State in their Senior Year. If their knee hadn’t caved against North High, they’d have gone on a full-ride. (Or so they say.) This is Italy on the world stage: its best days are behind it. If you don’t believe me, Google a map of the Roman Empire at its zenith. Let Italy and your ex reminisce on their glory days and fondly remember the time you spent with them.
The Blind Date: Slovakia

You went on a blind date with that person one time just to say you did. You were pleasantly surprised to find out that they were drop-dead gorgeous. Seriously, Slovakia’s rugged mountains and arboreal wildernesses have a quality that’s hard to find in much of Europe today. Still, it was only a blind date and nothing came of it.

The One-and-Done First Dates: Eastern/Central Europe

After breaking up with your high school love, you went on a series of underwhelming first dates with a number of people. There’s nothing wrong with them; they just all blend together in your mind. Much like this panoply of first dates, the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland are all vibrant, interesting, and engaging places. However, if you’re on a fast-paced tour of the region, they all might merge together. Likewise, Nicole was a lovely date and Ryan was really cute and charming. But you never got to know them well enough to remember that much about them.

The Girl/Boy Next Door: America

America is not the most exciting or cultured place in the world. Still, this country possesses some amazing vistas, towns, and people. Sometimes the thing you’re looking for is close to home. That hometown stunner might not be the most exotic or highbrow love interest in your romantic history, but they have a homely charm that other suitors just cannot match. Don’t believe me? Go to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, the Grand Canyon, or the Grand Tetons Range. These locales might not be the French Riviera or Amalfi Coast, but they have a wild grandeur that makes them the rival of any international tourist destination. Yes, America is not perfect, much like your hometown valentine. But that simplicity and straightforwardness is really endearing.

The One You Said You Would Marry In Kindergarten: Canada

I apparently told my mom I would marry my next-door neighbor when I was four. I also was in Ontario for half an hour when I was ten. Is either example worth mentioning?

The Hot/Crazy One: Australia

I’m cheating a little here, as I’ve never been to Australia, but I’ll compensate by utilizing a lot of pernicious stereotypes and pop culture archetypes. Australia is a beautiful place. You’ll spend your time languishing in the sun on the Gold Coast, hiking Uluru, and enjoying the native flora and fauna. Then something unnerving will happen. Maybe you almost swam into a floating mass of poisonous jellyfish. Maybe you woke up to find one of Australia’s venomous species of snakes in your tent. (“Fun” Fact: 21 of the world’s 25 deadliest species of snake are native to Australia.) Maybe your car broke down in the Simpson Desert and you faced the real possibility of dying of heatstroke. But then you’re sitting in a pub with a cold pint and some affable Aussies and it all seems so distant.
Your beautiful, but crazy ex is Australia. You’ll have so much fun with them and then something absolutely insane will happen. They’ll do something inexcusable, whether it’s picking a bar fight, hitting on your sibling, or insisting that they can totally jump over their friend’s sedan. Then, it’ll pass and they’ll act as if nothing happened and you’re left feeling confused. Maybe it wasn’t such a big deal. Likewise, the Aussies will guffaw at your “overreaction” to that very deadly animal that came within ten feet of you and you’ll sheepishly grin and agree. Then it happens again. You’ll spend your relationship with this person intermittently going on amazing adventures and fighting over the most trivial things. Your time in Australia will vacillate between cliff-jumping and nearly getting attacked by a shark. There’s no in-between. The adventure and the danger will change, but the cycle remains. Yes, it’s exciting, but there’s only so much you can take. Enjoy your adventures in Australia, but, for your own health, leave for less arduous climes when you can.

Your Current Significant Other: Spain

Spain is better than Italy. There, I said it. The food is better, the price is better, and the history is more enthralling. Your current significant other blows your high school ex out of the water. They have a lot of the same qualities that your ex had, but they espouse them in a better way. You found your person. Italy tries in vain to relive the glory days; Spain is happy just to relax with a bottle of wine and some good conversation. Spaniards are warm and amicable people; the destination isn’t as important as the process and company. Your time with your current wooer is similar. A day of wine, tapas, and leisurely strolls through Santiago or Toledo with them is heaven on earth. It doesn’t get much better than this.