I know famous exes JLo and Ben Affleck just got married, but I’m about to make the argument that, no matter what the media tells you, you don’t want to get back with your ex.
You’ve either already seen Netflix’s Persuasion, and have processed your feelings about how it’s not like the book, or you’re not going to see it because you don’t care or love the book too much. Either way, SPOILER, it’s about getting back with your ex. Lots of movies and sitcoms are. Don’t fall for it.
It goes like this: Meet cute. Chemistry. Will they? Won’t they? They do! They break up, usually because of something the guy did. In the end, they get back together, usually because of a big speech or at least show of love from the male lead.
The big climactic scene often (but not always) takes place at a wedding, when the female romantic lead is engaged to a clean-shaven asshole. Our hero crashes said wedding and either loudly (“Elaaaaaaaine”, The Graduate) or vulnerably (Owen Wilson, Wedding Crashers) professes his love for the bride-to-be, who ditches her swiss army knife groom and runs off with our hero. Roll credits.
Most well done, of course, is in When Harry Met Sally. Some time after they sleep together, he slinks away, they have a big fight at a wedding that does not end in reconciliation (maybe because Nora Ephron is a good writer), and then on New Year’s Eve, he says all the right things, she cries, they get married.
Heck, Shakespeare started it, with his will-they-won’t-they comedies—most notably Much Ado About Nothing, which has a stubborn man finally telling the woman he loves that he does, in fact, love her to bits, at a wedding, despite his ego. And while The Taming of the Shrew maybe doesn’t fall into the category, 10 Things I Hate About You, the arguably superior adaptation, has a bad-boy-gone-good plot to swoon over.
TV shows do it constantly, too, usually at airports. I don’t need to list them here, but you know how they go: he’s gone or she’s gone for good, but NOPE, he’s back or she’s back and they’re sorry and they love each other again and it’s all fine. “I got off the plane,” she says, and the studio audience goes wild. Series wrap. Fans are happy.
This is not my life.
First of all, as amusing as the new George Clooney/Julia Roberts “exes at their daughter’s wedding” movie (Ticket to Paradise) looks, I’m going to be lucky if both of us are even invited to our daughter’s wedding or, when our daughter comes of age, she even wants to attempt marriage after witnessing the train wreck her parents demonstrated.
And, after my last breakup, for weeks after I rounded the corner to my house and saw a white sedan, my stomach would drop a little because I was worried it might be my most recent ex, who was less likely to come to my house and apologize for breaking up with me in a five-minute phone call and more likely to come over and yell at me for the essay I wrote about it.
Face Your Reality
If you’re not like me and Scott Pilgrim with vengeful exes to battle, it’s still unlikely you’re going to have a Persuasion-like reconciliation with your ex, no matter how much time has passed.
First of all, your ex is far too stubborn in real life to even attempt an apology of cinematic proportions. They’re not sorry. They don’t want you back. They have convinced themselves that you are at fault for anything that went wrong in the relationship, and their mothers agree.
Secondly, your ex doesn’t have a female writer telling them what to say to you to make you forgive them for the horrible things they said when they broke your heart. Shonda Rhimes’ staff is not there Cyrano de Bergerac-style feeding them lines. They will not magically say the thing to make you believe that they won’t hurt you again.
Thirdly, and most importantly, why should you forgive them? Even if your ex delivered the perfect speech in the rain, at your wedding, which is at an airport, you still are exes for a reason, and that reason might be very, very valid.
Don’t Go Backwards
The feeling I get when I round the corner and see the white sedan—which, by the way, is always one of the three my next door neighbor owns—isn’t hope, it’s nausea. Dread. I don’t want him to come back and make me hear his little unprofessionally written speech.
He loved me because I’m lovable, damnit. I gave my love to someone who took it and threw it on the ground like a toddler discards unwanted food. It shattered and, should he want to pick it up and put it back together, it is not one of those Japanese pieces of pottery that can be forged back together with gold, more beautiful than before. No. It exploded into dust and was gone in the wind, thrown in the trash and unable to be picked back out again.
In Persuasion, the couple broke up because her family convinced her to dump him, which is a flimsy reason befitting the times. It does not apply to you and, if your ex didn’t think you were “good enough” to date at the time, you probably shouldn’t forgive them if they think you’re worthy now.
Sally shouldn’t marry Harry: they do not communicate their needs well. Rachel and Ross are a very bad couple and pretty irresponsible coparents. We know those crashed wedding couples have regrets. The Much Ado couple probably died young or of the plague, and, while I admit I do rather like the 10 Things couple, they likely broke up once she went to college—and that’s okay.
We can feel hurt that we never got a proper goodbye, never got the big speech, the true, epic love Hollywood promised. Did you really want to wake up every day next to Ross Geller when you could have been in Paris, though? Do you want to be legally shackled to the worst Batman?
So, even if your ex calls you on New Year’s Eve and tells you they love the little crinkle you get when you’re looking at them like they’re nuts, remember that they were nuts for leaving you, they made you nuts while you were getting over them, and nuts is an ableist term. Your therapist and future self will thank you.
Image: Nick Wall / Netflix
Everyone’s back in town for the holidays, and you know what that means: ex sex texts. Exsexts, if you will. But even if you don’t receive the preemptive “You gonna be in town?” messages, that’s no guarantee you won’t end up in the wrong place at the wrong time and then doing the wrong thing, naked (or not), in your childhood bedroom. And it’s hard to think of something more wrong than that.
How will you navigate the treacherous Turkey Day time, toeing the line between drinks and dick, bars and bros, nostalgia and NOPE? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.
Avoid Your Local Haunts
This may seem like a given, but when you’re three rum and cokes deep and your best friend says you should “Drop by the Golden Tee, for old time’s sake!”, you’ll probably forget your old haunt is the graveyard (dive bar) where your ghosts (of partners past) get ghoulish (shitfaced). And it’s not Halloween anymore, hun, so stop starring in your own hangout horror show. Unless you think these ghosts are buying—apology appletinis are definitely “of the season.”
Change Your Instagram Photo to nEXt with the EX Crossed Out
This will send a clear message and not make it seem like you’re considering sleeping with your ex at all, no matter how many apology appletinis he purchases on your behalf. It also doubles as a cute homage to the MTV show your hometown friends will remember fondly and your Chronically Online™ younger friends will pretend they didn’t binge watch when they were home sick from school. It will also provide you and your girlies’ attitude for the evening: next drink, next bar, next awkward encounter with your best friend’s ex, reminding you that everyone is someone’s ex.
Only Wear Sky Crocs
Not only will you appear blasé, unconcerned, and unfuckable, you’ll be walking on air—literally (metaphorically). If you haven’t committed to being 100% undesirable, you can opt for the high-heeled version, but remember: you will be drinking and you will fall down. Just try to make sure you don’t fall into your pick-canopied childhood bed with your ex who probably won’t have a condom because he “hasn’t been excited about anyone since you” and “can pull out without ruining your pink bedspread.” Right.
Oh, Boy, What Else… Maybe… Start Your Period?
Doesn’t the body have a natural response to shutting down your ex or something? Won’t you just start bleeding so you have no choice but to deny your ex the back-in-town booty? Oh, wow, you were on your period last time you were in town and that’s where the giant stain on your childhood sheets came from? Because you… oh — you fucked your ex while on your period in your childhood bed. Well, disregard this, then.
Y’know What? Fuck It—Fuck Him
Look, you’re an adult. You know the repercussions and if you’ve been thinking about doing it this much, well, then, why deny yourself? You’re rarely in town and it doesn’t have to turn into “a thing” if you don’t want it to. You’ve been going to therapy and establishing healthy boundaries in the other sects of your life, why can’t you do it here, too, Janelle? Are you afraid it will turn into “a thing”? Or are you more afraid it won’t? What do you really want here? Do you want him to take responsibility for his wasted life puttering around your hometown and the way he discarded you for greener pastures, a.k.a., younger pussy, because he hasn’t dealt with his traumas and is afraid to delve into the core of his problems and instead regressed into a 24-year-old (literally)? Well, uh… just know he’ll probably never change. And he’ll probably recognize the stained sheets in your childhood bedroom. So.
This holiday season, enjoy your old stomping grounds, even if you do end up fucking your ex in your childhood bedroom. Hopefully it wasn’t as dry as your dad’s turkey dinner or as sour as your sister’s cranberry sauce.
Images: Boris Jovanovic /Stocksy.com
Like most sentient Americans, I’ve spent the past few weeks in a world where Ariana Grande’s “thank u, next” is the only soundtrack. It’s passed well beyond the point of “great song!” and into the realm of “if I don’t get my daily fix, I will probably die.” I am certain I’m not alone in this, given that “thank u, next” has shattered multiple records in the streaming world. More importantly to me, the song and its accompanying video have secured Ariana Grande’s transition from pop star to icon, from whom every social media nugget and on-screen appearance are nothing short of gospel.
As I’ve watched (and wholeheartedly approved of) the reaction to “thank u, next,” one question continued to bug me. When Taylor Swift sings about her exes, she causes a similar flurry—but one filled with sneering, eye rolling, and the suggestion that she can’t be taken seriously as an artist for choosing such diary-like content. Then Grande releases a track in which each of her exes are called out by name, and she’s hailed as the ultimate badass for it. As someone who both genuinely loves Taylor Swift’s music and feels that 90-95% of songs should be about one’s exes, I couldn’t help but wonder: why is Grande celebrated for the very thing Swift is mocked for? I’ve outlined my theories below.
Ariana Grande Is Cool & Confident
Let’s be honest—a huge part of the appeal of “thank u, next” is the fact that, given the option, we would all present ourselves like Grande did after a breakup. “Thank u, next” is perhaps the coolest emotion one can evoke when facing an ex—even more so if done with genuine gratitude and while looking insanely flawless. “Thank u, next” is a song we can all caption our pictures with while drunkenly “accidentally” tagging exes, and the worst thing that happens is you’ve been overly polite to someone who wasted a year of your life. You tag an ex in a pic captioned “got a long list of ex-lovers / they’ll tell you I’m insane,” and you’re not coming back from that so quickly. This brings me to my next point.
Taylor Swift Is Earnest & Emotional
Taylor Swift, almost determinedly, does not put up a “cool girl” façade when she sings about her exes. She painfully scrutinizes where it went wrong, often down to the minute of their breakup. She lingers on their ultimate incompatibility, mourns for the good times, and explicitly details the extent to which both she and her ex will suffer for this loss. Swift is, in my opinion, a far more realistic version of what you look like after a breakup. Contrary to what Grande’s rom-com mash-up video would have you believe, most people do not soar from broken engagements feeling validated in all of their choices and loving themselves like never before. They come out feeling lost, broken, and all too likely to dwell on all the most unhelpful and unattractive things.
In other words, they look like this:
So, if Swift is ultimately more relatable, shouldn’t that mean more critical success? F*ck no! Please. Name the last time someone wanted an honest reflection of themselves, particularly if it’s unflattering. From the bathroom scale to the pop soundtrack of your life, you want to be fed beautiful lies. People yell at Swift for being vulnerable about her exes the same way you yell into the mirror the morning after drunk-dialing your own ex 12 times the night before. Swift isn’t critiqued in spite of being relatable; she’s attacked precisely because of it.
Ariana Grande Is Gracious & Direct
First and foremost, we have to acknowledge that Grande takes the high road with “thank u, next.” She betrays not one scrap of vitriol toward her exes, talks no sh*t about them or the relationship. She simply thanks them for their time, and reaffirms her commitment to herself. So, that alone is easier to get behind than one of Swift’s “remember those three minutes in 2004 when you said we would die together” tirades.
On top of that, there’s the fact that Grande seems to have no fear of confrontation (can’t relate). She names each of her exes plainly, and even gave many of them a heads-up before the song’s release. So, if her exes themselves don’t have an issue with the song, it’s a little harder for the general public to decry it.
Taylor Swift Is Petty & Secretive
Swift, on the other hand, does everything short of attaching a treasure map to each album with hints to which lyric refers to which ex-boyfriend. Yes, the national obsession with tracking those connections, and stalking her love life in general, has gotten totally out of hand. But when she describes the relationship down to the month (“Back to December”), memorable holiday (4th of July), eye color (too many to count) and so on—it’s a little hard not to engage. Add to that the fact that she decidedly doesn’t take her exes’ feelings into consideration on this—and given the contentious nature of many of her songs, it’s not hard to see why.
To clarify, I’m not in any way saying that artists should have to poll their exes before releasing a breakup track. The world would be a much sadder place if that were the case. I’m just saying that Swift’s refusal to do so—and Grande’s respective decorum toward exes—makes Swift the much easier target to criticize. Basically, Grande is doing all the things you’re supposed to do after a breakup; Swift is doing all the things you hope people never find out about after a breakup. And one of those girls will get dragged a lot harder than the other—it’s just a fact of life.
Moral of the story here? We should all try to be more like Ariana Grande. JK—you guys knew that coming in. But honestly, that is the hidden message behind the song’s unequivocal success. When Swift sings about her exes, she does it emotionally, vindictively, and evasively. She speaks about her exes with all the bitterness of someone still deeply invested in the relationship, or at least actively wounded by it. When Grande sings about her exes, she’s singing from the point of view of someone who’s moved on—and ultimately, just singing about herself. So yeah, do be more like Ariana Grande. Move on from relationships that didn’t work, stop emotionally investing, and celebrate yourself. Apparently, the world has a much harder time tearing that down.
Images: Giphy (2)
To all my NY-based friends posting insufferable inspiring pictures of recently acquired diamond rings, I have a warning for you. You better make that marriage work, or the ring is going right back in your boyfriend’s pocket. (You hear that, Lala? Hold that $150k engagement ring CLOSE.) At least, that was the case for New York woman Jennifer Rutten, who was court ordered to return her $40,000 engagement ring to ex-fiancé Rodney Ripley last week. The couple split back in 2011, after being engaged for a little under a year. But due to some extremely
brilliant shady evasion tactics by Rutten, it took Ripley nearly five years in court to get this result. (I wouldn’t have spent five years in court with my ex for anything less than a million, but to each their own.) So, how did this get so drawn out? Let’s dig in.
From all accounts, it sounds like this couple was OD dramatic with everything they did. They fell in love while being halfway across the country from each other (Ripley in Wisconsin, Rutten in New York), but decided to get engaged anyway. What could go wrong, right? Rutten balled out on a 3-carat cushion-cut ring, and staged a proposal on the Brooklyn Bridge, a place that’s probably now ruined for both of them and makes inter-borough travel very difficult. For unknown reasons, they broke up less than a year later. Ripley asked Rutten to return the ring; Rutten’s response can essentially be summed up like this:
Rutten came up with a number of excuses over the years for why she wasn’t returning the ring. First, she claimed that she was “dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy” and didn’t have time for her former fiancé’s “harassment.” This could be very sad and true, but given the extent of Sandy’s damage is probably just a ridiculous lie, unless Rutten was living out on Long Island or in Jersey. But whatever, if given the option, I would definitely use a natural disaster as an excuse to hold on to jewelry too.
Rutten then tried the argument that the ring wasn’t worth enough to warrant legal action. But Ripley had taken out a $40,000 insurance policy, so she was kind of out of luck. Finally, she claimed in court that “ became more typically abusive, emotionally abusive” as the relationship went on. While I always want to take claims of abuse seriously, whether or not Riply was abusive has no bearing on her legal right to keep the ring. Finally, Rutten stated plainly that she was “angry” and “didn’t want to return it.” There it is. Don’t get me wrong, feeling angry and vindictive is v understandable, but most of us would just bury those feelings in ice cream instead of legal fees for a case you will almost definitely lose.
Ultimately, the judge ruled that she has 45 days to either return the ring or pay her ex the equivalent. If you learn anything from this, it should be following. According to NY state law, engagement rings are conditional gifts, and “if no marriage occurs, they must be returned.” So if you’re out there dating with the sole intent of putting a year’s salary on your finger, just make sure you actually get to the “I do.”
Images: Giphy (2); Jasmine Wallace Carter / Pexels
Everyone has a slightly different opinion about how much dirty talk is acceptable. Some people have a strong preference for non-verbal cues; others want spoken word poetry performed about their bodies until completion. (Don’t believe me? Attend Wesleyan for four years and get back to me.) So, while the best recourse is always to check with your partner about what they prefer, dirty talk is not a science. There’s no one-size-fits-all on what people are turned on by hearing. There is, however, a fairly definitive list of what people are turned OFF by hearing. Here’s a list of the top 5 things you should never say in bed.
1. “Are You Close?”
“Are you close” is the sexual equivalent of “are we there yet,” and both are equally annoying. Obviously, when you gave up on an orgasm came 20 minutes ago and they’re still going at it, this thought will be on loop in your mind along with “oh god I think I’m starting to chafe” and “I think I can feel myself getting a UTI.” But when you basically announce “I wish this were over, can we wrap it up?” you’re setting both partners up for a shitty experience. You’ll either feel like a martyr for allowing them to continue or resent them for not offering to stop. They’ll feel embarrassed and hurt for not realizing you were no longer into it. (And they’ll also probably be way less close than they were a second ago, because they’re now self-conscious AF.)
In all fairness, this question can be asked with good intention. If you think of sex as a workout, hearing “I’m close” can be the equivalent of the burst of energy you get when you hear “final set” from your trainer. But odds are, they can’t predict the exact moment of their orgasm any better than you can yours. So save yourselves both the embarrassment, and just be upfront when you have to stop. A simple “this feels amazing, but I’m getting really sore. Can we pick this up later?” is much more effective. You may have to deal with a few minutes of blue ball-induced grumpiness, but anyone worth your time will understand.
2. “My Ex….”
If you’ve scored a second date at any point in your life, you know not to talk about exes. But there is truly no worse time to do so than in bed. Even if you consider it a compliment, saying “you give much better head than my ex did” will only ensure that both you and your partner are now thinking about your ex giving you head. And your partner will start wondering how long you’ve been thinking about your ex giving you head, and why you’re thinking about him at all, and you’ll be thinking about all the fights and weird avoidance strategies you employed with your ex because he was bad at giving head. Congratulations, now no one is enjoying themselves. Save this kind of talk for brunch with your friends.
Remember the episode of Friends where Rachel keeps bursting out laughing whenever Ross tries to make out with her? Granted, Ross is a man-child for the ages, but his reaction isn’t all that unfair. Sure, weird shit happens during sex and it’s actually a healthy sign if you and your partner can laugh together. But the key point there is that a) it’s together and b) it doesn’t kill the mood. If you bust out laughing while your partner is making a genuine effort to be intimate—like doing a sexy striptease—it’s super hurtful and unlikely to be something you recover from. (If they fully fall over because their clothes got stuck over their eyes, I give you permission to giggle quietly. Then go make sure they’re okay.)
As a general rule, if only one person is laughing, the other probably feels pretty shitty. And unless you’re actively trying to discourage someone acting sexual with you, don’t make them feel like it’s hysterically funny that they thought you were actually turned on.
Don’t pretend you don’t know what “whatever” means—you probably use it 16 times a day. It means “I don’t care,” “I wasn’t listening,” or “I’m too tired to explain it to you.” While wildly useful in other circumstances, it’s the worst possible response to any question asked in bed. If your partner is asking “what do you want” or “does that feel good,” that’s GOOD. (Actually, the former is a mixed bag. But “I’m not sure” is way better than “whatever.”) “Whatever” is the verbal equivalent of starfishing. It indicates that you’re not into it, that you’re only there to wait it out until they finish, and that there’s nothing they could possibly do to change that. Assuming you’re not fucking someone who’s cool with those terms, you just ruined the moment, HARD. But TBH, if you’re saying “whatever” during sex, you’re probably looking for an out.
5. “Does Daddy Like That?”
Yeah, I’m sure there are some cases in the Trump family where this is a major turn on. But please god, let your partner bring it up before dumping them giving it a shot. The thing about calling someone “daddy” is that if they don’t like it, they REALLY don’t like it. Like, dry-heaving, reduced blood flow to the genitals, and serious questioning of how deeply rooted your daddy issues are don’t like it. Maybe they called their own father “daddy” as a child and are now thinking about that. Maybe they one day hoped to have children of their own who refer to them as “daddy,” and they don’t want it sullied in advance. These are all legitimate reactions.
IMO, there are just too many gross interpretations for this to be a risk worth taking. I can’t speak to the people who do like this, because I don’t know any, but it’s possible that this is a high-risk, high-reward move. For now, though, I can only say with confidence that it’s extremely high risk, and if this isn’t a NEVER, it’s at least an extreme “proceed with caution.”
(^acceptable here, since she’s probably fantasizing about Hiram Lodge)
As I said before, the easiest route to successful dirty talk is always finding out what your partner wants. But since actual conversation delivering the sex equivalent of an HR survey can be daunting, the above list should ensure that you at least don’t embarrass yourself or hurt anyone’s feelings—no awkward discussion required. You’re welcome!
Images: Giphy (5)
He doesn’t have to be an actual ex-boyfriend to have fucked with your head.
Whether you’ve just gotten out of a real relationship or a pseudo one, you still committed your thoughts to one person. And now that it’s over, your thoughts naturally must go elsewhere.
Sure, you have an uncanny ability to talk at length about this season’s Essie colors, or whether Kourtney and Scott’s love for one another is eternal, but your mind will eventually find its way back to the guy you couldn’t stop thinking about a week—or even a month—ago.
But you have to stop thinking about him before you can let yourself start thinking about someone else (besides yourself, obviously).
“Power is being told you’re not loved and not being destroyed by it.” —Madonna
If you had it easy and had actual closure to your relationship, all you really have to do is wait. Time, Netflix and SoulCycle heal all wounds. Embrace them.
Keep reminding yourself that your breakup was for the best, and that even though life sucks right now, it will be so much better later on when your mind is clear of your ex, and onto better things like the hot guy you’re hooking up with or the new Chanel bag your mom got you for Christmas.
The real way to get over someone you have been under for so long is to find ways to stop thinking about him. But when you do find your mind wandering into ex territory, which typically happens when your phone dies or when the Brazilian-wax technician isn’t particularly talkative that day, just let yourself go there.
Allow yourself to feel sad about the situation, that you miss him, you miss having a boyfriend, blah fucking blah. A little sadness is normal, lean into it for a few minutes.
The Boyfriend Mourning Formula
Dated under a year: (The amount you liked him from a scale 0-5) x = weeks to get over him.
Example: You fell out of love. So you’re basically over it. Zero multiplied by anything is zero. Congrats, Betch, you’re ready to move on.
Second Example: You were together for nine months, you loved him and he broke your heart. 5x=22.5 weeks, or 5–6 months. Remember this is a maximum. If you take longer than this, spare your friends the agony and seek professional help. Please.
One to three years: You have six months to one year. You’re allowed one month to wallow in your own self-pity, but that’s it. Use the rest of this time of mourning to get back to your old self.
Over three years: You have one year and that’s it. Okay MAYBE one and a half depending on the dramatic nature of the breakup. Just remember, Botox can’t stop your eggs from aging.
But don’t ever pity yourself. You are not hopeless; you will bounce back to your normal self. Allow yourself those few minutes of sadness, but then snap out of it. Remember that you don’t need to be in a relationship to be happy. Don’t forget, you’re a betch. Don’t make us look bad.
Eventually the sadness will subside and you’ll be able to think clearly. Make it a point to go out when you would have typically stayed in with him. If you had a favorite restaurant at which you two always ate, go find an even better restaurant and make a fucking new memory with your besties.
Fuck, we feel like sad pathetic losers even writing this. But it’s fine, because being depressed over a guy is a super pathetic sad and loser-y state to be in. Once you are able to look back and laugh at just how sad and pathetic you were during those long weeks or months (hopefully not years, time is the only thing you can’t ever get back), then congrats because you are so over it.
Other signs you are over it: Hearing his name and not getting a weird nauseating feeling in the pit of your stomach. Good sign. Seeing him in public without peeing your pants. Another good sign.
You may also be over it if you go on a date with someone and not once even think of your ex. But by date, we don’t mean a one-night stand.
Sure, go out and have sex with a stranger, we don’t discourage it. But don’t assume that just because you fucked someone else, you’re through the mourning process. Fuck for yourself, don’t do it out of revenge or sadness. Because eventually the sex will end (probably too quickly), and you will go back to the rut from which you came (or more likely, didn’t come).
However, if you didn’t have closure to your relationship, that’s an entirely different fucked-up playing field. This guy either ghosted you or never really gave you a concise, believable answer as to why he ended things.
When this happens, you have to make your own closure, which is about as easy and exciting as a juice cleanse or having a conversation with a cabdriver. Lucky for you, we have a handy guide for you to get over this loser.
The name of the game is replay, reconsider and repeat. (Yes, it’s a play on lather, rinse, repeat.) Unless you’re dirty AF, the goal of a hair-shower (not to be confused with a body-shower, which you should do daily) is to get rid of the dirt and oils that have accumulated on your scalp and hair throughout the day(s).
Now think of that dirt you’re removing like the guy you’re seeing. If you can get rid of him with just one rinse, congrats. But if you can’t, keep repeating, Betch. He’s bound to get out of your hair eventually.
Step One: Replay
Replay the relationship in your head. But instead of looking at it from your biased and slightly fantasized perspective, look at it from his. Don’t be too hard on yourself, but imagine what he was thinking during each conversation or situation that you think may have taken part in your relationship’s demise.
When you were saying, “I’m having a birthday party Saturday, you should stop by if you want,” is it possible he heard, “I want you to meet all my friends and celebrate a life milestone with me, and I’m just tricking you into a relationship?”
Step Two: Reconsider
Now that you’ve seen his perspective, it’s time to be realistic and reconsider the situation. Delve deeper into what the actual truth of each situation is. Only then will you uncover what was actually wrong with the relationship and your communication.
Here, even though it hurts, try to be as real as you can. Maybe after some consideration you realized that you didn’t really know him, and he didn’t know you at all. You even asked your friends what they thought of him and they’re like, What’s he look like again? Perhaps you were obsessed with the idea of him and not actually him. You know that saying that goes “there’s your side, his side, and the truth?”
Well the goal of this process is to see the truth. You’re not a 45-year-old alcoholic homemaker from the 1950s; you don’t need to lie to yourself.
Step Three: Repeat
Repeat this until you come to the inevitable conclusion that you two just weren’t right for each other and, more important, he wasn’t right for you.
So whatever happened during whatever period of time you were dating eventually ends up irrelevant, and you accept the fact that you don’t even need to hear his side of the story because your version is about one billion times more profound than any bullshit he will have to say.
You’re a betch, so you’re pretty fucking smart, or at least smart enough to figure out that guys are pretty fucking stupid. As long as your reasoning isn’t entirely delusional (again, lying to yourself isn’t cute and is instead marginally psychotic), then you’ll be able to get over him 100 percent of the time.
Unless he like, died—then take comfort in the fact that at least you weren’t dumped and like, see a real therapist.
What Would Karen Do?
The complete opposite. She will use this time to dwell on how perfect his jawline is while rereading every text conversation the two of them ever had. She will then Google “how to hack into Snapchat’s database to recover selfies of ex-boyfriend.”
After she sees Results Not Found, she will continue to talk about him until her friends kindly tell her to stop bitching about that bro, he was an asshole and never liked you.
She will storm away, feeling offended and over it for about five minutes. When she gets home, she’ll troll Tinder until she finds him, will take a screenshot, send it to him and say, I CAN’T BELIEVE YOU’VE MOVED ON SO FAST. DIDN’T I MEAN ANYTHING TO YOU!?!?
He will not respond. She’ll think, he prob just didn’t get the text.
This is an excerpt from the Betches second book, ‘I Had a Nice Time and Other Lies,’ available now. Order the book here.
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If you really think about it, “Winter is coming” is just HBO’s fancy way of saying “Get ready for cuffing season.” At first glance,
Slutty Dungeons and Dragons Game of Thrones just seems like some nerd fantasy come to life, but this is 2017 and Dave Franco’s character in 21 Jump Street taught us that hot people can like nerd shit too. Anyway, those of you who are in the Venn diagram of clubbing and Chess club have probably considered who you’d date should you find yourself between Westeros and Winterfell. Like any good war hero entering battle, you must consider the aftermath first. So here’s which GOT characters would make the worst ex, because if Danaerys has taught us anything it’s that everyone will get burned at the end of this.
10. Tyrion Lannister
Tyrion is the bro you dated for much longer than you actually wanted to just because you were bored or drunk and then like, didn’t actually hate him. Despite his reputation of getting around, he’s actually kind of sweet when it’s just the two of you, and he buys you shit all the time which is nice. You never saw a future with him and probably dated around when you two were hooking up, so when things eventually fizzled out, you weren’t that devastated. He’ll occasionally send the late night “yo where r u” text but for the most part he’s harmless. When you do run into him at parties you enjoy the attention you know he’ll give you and then move on with no feelings hurt. Tyrion’s the best ex to have because you barely even count him as an ex, though technically you were hooking up and going on “dates” for a period of time long enough to theoretically get pregnant, so it kind of still counts. You also never really got that invested in him, so you feel no pain when you see him with another girl, which is constantly. Oh yeah, and he always paid for Plan B, what a gentleman. The only downside to dating Tyrion is you probably should get tested ASAP every time you hook up.
9. Daenerys Targaryen
Daenerys will fuck up her exes, but only if they’re male. If you dated Daenerys you took a lot of Instagram photos because you two were a power betch couple that even your homophobic uncle would have been proud of. However, she’s too ambitious to actually care about a future together, and try as you might to picture a domestic life together, neither of you wanted to be the “housewife.” So you parted ways. While she will burn down any man that stands in her way, she has a special place in her heart for women, so having Dany as your ex isn’t as bad as you’d think. You might just have to endure the fact that she keeps showing up everywhere, because she is eventually going to take over the world. Plus, if you didn’t publicize your relationship, you’re both probably on the DL about the breakup, which makes it even more annoying when your friends are fawning over her as she walks by covered in flames and dragons.
8. Daario Naharis
Daario is the James Marsden of the Game of Thrones universe. He was a warrior and hot and like, perfectly capable of pleasing you for the rest of your life, but you were just like… nah. Because he’s always there, you don’t want him. He’d be slightly annoying to have as an ex because every once in a while he’ll remind you of a life you could have if you just gave up on your dreams and stopped caring about taking over the world. Ultimately, he’ll be more annoying to have around because you have no reason to cut him off, and rejecting him always makes you feel like a bad person.
7. Jamie Lannister
Jamie is the whirlwind romance you had and then suddenly fell out of. Maybe it’s his air of trust fund privilege or just general inability to pull off anything right, but you realized his fawning over you wasn’t enough to actually keep you satisfied. He’ll end up marrying a less hot version of you and you’ll be okay with it because everybody agrees she’s less hot than you.
6. Benjen Stark
Benjen is the older guy you dated in your twenties that you thought you successfully ghosted, but you were wrong. It wasn’t that he wasn’t great to you or kind and loving, it’s just that he reminds you of a time in your life that is lightyears from where you are now—a time when you got blackout in bars and made out with 38-year-olds and threw up in cabs and honestly, you’re just better than that now. If only he were just a deleted number in your phone, but instead, he shows up years later back from the dead to haunt you. Sorry, but can’t you see I have a masters degree now? Leave me alone, old man. Go back to your first family, or settle down with a cougar, I’m young and I don’t need to be reminded of my mistakes, thank you.
5. Jaqen H’ghar
Jaqen H’ghar is the artsy bro you dated when you were “finding yourself” in Williamsburg or Silverlake. It was probably shortly after studying abroad and like Belle, you wanted more than this provincial life. He was a stoner but also highly intelligent and you were drawn to him because he just seemed so much more well traveled and interesting than any of the frat boys you knew freshman and sophomore year. Like, he knew all about ancient Hindu drugs and ancient Chinese drugs and now that you think about it, mostly everything was drug related and ancient. He did make some cool-ass art and his apartment always looked like a science experiment. He claimed he has “many faces” but eventually you realized he was just talking about his personality disorders. Also, he had an exotic name even though he was clearly white, which now you realize is probably because he was appropriating some Native American culture he studied once in a Reddit post. The only problem with having him as an ex is that he never stops watching you. He’s the bro that will keep liking your Instas like a phantom, not texting you or calling you ever to say anything, but constantly surveying your social media to let you know he’s got his eye on you. He’s got some crazy conspiracy theories about the government watching you, and you’re pretty sure he actually has access to equipment to listen in on your conversations all the time. As creepy as this sounds, he genuinely wants you to like, do well, and he’ll probably never hurt you. He will however, be the first to know when you’re engaged to someone else because like we said, he’s watching TF out of you.
4. Littlefinger aka Petyr Baelish
This is the guy everyone underestimates because he looks beta AF while in reality being a manipulative fuckboy that you can never trust. For some reason you fell for it, probably because he’s a sociopath and tricking people is what he does best. When you eventually end things with him, he’ll probably make you feel like it was his idea to end things, leaving you wondering if you should try to make it work just to get him to fall in love with you again. You have no interest in actually dating this guy ever again, yet he won’t leave you alone. He manages to “organically” stay in your life by befriending your outer circle and working his way into your inner circle. Before you know it, he’s the one telling you about your friends’ baby showers and asking you to be a plus one to your freshman year roommate’s wedding, which you weren’t invited to. This guy is trouble because he somehow manipulated you into sending some particularly raunchy nudes and you don’t want to piss him off, so you continue being nice to him even though he disgusts you.
3. Tommen Lannister
This is the guy you dated that was much younger than you because you met at some dope Black Amex party or something, but then you got to know him and realized he’s immature AF. He throws a hissy fit whenever he doesn’t get his way, and his mother is always trying to be your best friend but you know it’s only because she wants to keep her son close. He’s a rich kid born into privilege who says the most ignorant things. Every time you see him, it’s a reminder of your mistakes and you shudder. Unfortunately he grows up to become Jared Kushner and his mistakes will threaten
your reputation the free world.
2. Samwell Tarly
This is the chubby nice bro you dated after a horrible breakup because you told yourself you’d “try” settling just to see if you could. And guess what? You couldn’t. He was all about you and never complained when you would disappear for days because you “needed space” but part of you just wished he would fight back and be less of a pushover. He always wants to like, raise a baby with you and meet your parents and when you eventually dump him because you get your self-esteem back, you tell him you’re willing to stay friends in a moment of weakness. He takes this to mean you’ll eventually come around and now he’s buying you birthday gifts that are way too expensive to be from just a friend. He’s particularly awful as an ex because you don’t even actually like him as a friend. He probably only slept with three women before you and is constantly asking you for advice you don’t want to give.
1. Cersei Lannister
She is one frigid ice queen that will take revenge to a level that even Taylor Swift couldn’t dream of even in her songwriting brainstorm sessions. To be fair, if you dated Cersei you probably are power hungry and into crazy bitches yourself. You play with fire and you get your city bombed, according to Cersei. You did also publicly shame her and put her nudes up on a revenge porn site, so honestly that’s on you. She literally gives no fucks, though, because she’s been through so much already, and nothing you do can possibly out-crazy her. She is into #winning in a way that you’ve never seen, and you are not only going to lose with her, everyone around you is going down too. Unfortunately, there’s no way out of this one, because even if you stay in the relationship with her, she’s going to implicate you in some seriously crazy shit. So basically fuck with Cersei and either way, you’re fucked. Have fun with that!