Anyone who knows me knows that I think Gossip Girl is the holy grail of terrible TV, and in these times, it has brought me a lot of comfort. Seriously, when I’m down and feeling blue because I haven’t seen another human being IRL since mid-March, just got laid off, and have been subsisting on DiGiorno for way too long, I think about that episode when everyone found out that Blair boned Nate and Chuck, and even Jenny didn’t want anything to do with her. Like, what’s a pandemic compared to Blair Waldorf’s slow and painful demise in the first season??
Anyway, if it isn’t clear, I re-watched the entire series over the course of the last two months and am blown away by the fact that none of the characters are bothered that everyone hooks up with everyone’s exes! Like, am I too old-fashioned for not wanting my best friend to f*ck my ex?? This got me thinking: GG definitely isn’t the only show whose cast is horny af for each other. So join me in taking a walk down memory lane.
I obviously had to start with the messiest show of all time. In the first and best season, the couples kind of make sense since the characters are all supposed to be juniors in high school and the writers have lots to work with. Nate and Blair have allegedly been dating for 10 years (which means they started seeing each other when they were six, k) and Dan and Serena start dating. Again, this all seems normal. I stan! But then, the rest of the seasons happen and it is very clear that the writers were just kind of like, “idk whatever.”
Without going into too much detail because I have a word limit, I’ll just say that pretty much all of the guys in this show are eskimo brothers. Dan and Nate both hook up with Blair, Serena, and Vanessa; Jenny hooks up with Chuck and Nate; and Ivy, a random character who doesn’t matter, hooks up with Dan, Nate and Rufus (!!). I’m not necessarily judging because everyone on this show is disturbingly attractive, but still, it’s a little crazy. These people are supposed to live in New York City and can’t find anyone outside their social circle to hook up with? Unrelated, but after season four, everyone just stopped going to college and no one acknowledges it.
There is definitely some cross-contamination here even though it’s more subtle than that of GG. On a show with 10 seasons, it’s easy to forget who hooks up with whom, but luckily, I remember. Obviously, the two main couples are Ross and Rachel and Chandler and Monica, but there’s some overlap I haven’t forgotten about. Yes, I’m talking about Rachel hooking up with Joey. Let’s not forget that Phoebe also kissed Joey, although they never ended up together, even though Joey did propose. I’m also convinced that Monica and Chandler only got together because the writers didn’t feel like bringing in a new character crazy enough to date either of them.
There obv aren’t so many inter-cast relationships on Friends as there are on Gossip Girl, but there are def a few instances of the Friends dating the same people. For instance, Joey and Ross both dated the hot science lady, Charlie, and Joey and Chandler both dated Kathy. Ugh, come on, you guys!
I truly believe this was one of the best shows literally ever. If you haven’t watched it because you were too young to understand what was happening when it was on TV, give it a watch now. It’s on Hulu. Anyway, as its name implies, the main characters are all married, but there is one singleton who I absolutely live for. Edie Brit is the Samantha Jones of Desperate Housewives, and she has loves to f*ck her friends’ ex-husbands. Is it just me or does that sound like an intro on a Bravo show? She dates Gabby’s ex, two of Susan’s exes, and makes out with Bree’s ex. Yikes! Even though I love Edie as much as I love this show, which is a lot, I always thought that plot line was kind of weird and pointless.
There were two really weird love triangles in this dumpster fire of a show: Adam/Jessa/Hannah and Ray/Marnie/Shoshanna. First of all, the whole premise of Girls is that, at least for a little while, they’re all bound by their strong female bond, so why are they all so quick to date each other’s boyfriends? Also, I’m confused why two gorgeous, cool, impressive women are both so into Old Man Ray. We’ll never know.
‘One Tree Hill’
Unlike my experience with Gossip Girl, I watched this show when it was on television and have not thought about it since, so my knowledge of inconspicuous details is pretty unimpressive. However, one thing I’ll never forget about this iconic mess is the love triangles. First we have Lucas/Peyton/Brooke then we have Nate/Peyton/Brooke. Uhhhhhh. Brooke and Peyton are the Blair and Serena of the early 2000s, so I guess it makes sense that they’re both down to hook up with each other’s boyfriends. The Nathan/Brooke situation was never super serious, but Lucas and Peyton got married! After she seriously dated Nathan! What! Does that make them the Dan and Serena of this show?
What did I miss? Are there any other shows where the cast loves to bang each other? Let me know in the comments!
Images: Everett Collection / Shutterstock.com; Giphy (5)
You’ve probably been there: a couple of vodka sodas deep, contemplating leaving the bar, when you get that familiar “wyd?” text. Or maybe you’re alone on your couch watching your favorite Netflix show and scrolling through memes, when you come across a meme you know your ex would find hilarious… so then you’re the one who’s tempted to send that “wyd?” text. When it comes to the question of hooking up with your ex, the answer that immediately comes to mind is “no”. Or to be more precise, “hell no!” Whether you’re asking your friends for advice, talking to your therapist, or doing your nightly internet search for the very specific problems that only affect you, the general consensus seems to be that it’s best to steer clear of hooking up with an ex. Which is totally valid, considering they’re your ex for a reason. While I never advocate for backsliding, dating is not black and white—one could even say that when it comes to relationships there are, well, 50 shades of grey (sorry, couldn’t resist).
Like pretty much every girl ever, I hooked up with an ex. Let’s call him Jake, because that’s his name. (Sorry dude, but you have a really common name, I’m not changing it). Jake and I reconnected, aka Jake slid into my DMs. We broke up forever ago and stayed friends, meaning that I don’t currently have a Voodoo doll of him and didn’t burn all his pictures. Curious enough, I went, and four drinks and some serious eye contact later, we were “reconnecting’” in the backseat of his car. I’ll stop the story there, because, like, TMI. In the wake of judgmental stares and a barrage of “No, tell me you didn’t!” from friends, I figured that I could A) turn this hookup into an article and fulfill my lifelong dream of being Carrie Bradshaw, B) make my friends calm the F down, and C) do my part to eliminate the shame that is associated with hooking up with an ex. I researched, and then researched again (bravo, Jake), and discovered that hooking up with an ex doesn’t always have to be a negative thing. While a majority of the time the case for sleeping with an ex can be made to be a horrible-no-good-very-bad idea, I dared to wonder, could there be an upside? And if you’re going to do it, is there a healthy way to go about it, rather than shadily sneaking off from the bar and not telling your friends where you’re going? In order to answer that question, I spoke with dating expert Judge Lauren Lake of Lauren Lake’s Paternity Court, about the right way to hook up with your ex.
First things first, a big disclaimer: If your ex was a toxic, abusive, and/or a negative influence in your life, then do not go back to them in any way. You should keep that door locked, fly to a foreign country, and throw that key into the bottom of an ocean. Lake echoes this: “If you feel like the person will be able to manipulate you or play on your emotions, stay away. You should only interact with exes when there is mutual respect,” she says. This so-called “mutual respect” between exes may seem like a myth, but if you have experienced it and are considering diving back into those familiar waters, read on for some advice.
Be Realistic With Expectations
please present the signed permission slip from your therapist before approaching me romantically
— cranky beth (@marybethbarone) October 3, 2019
First and foremost, you should be honest with yourself. Figure out why you have the sudden urge to slide back into your ex’s DMs or to answer that “I miss you” text. Go ahead and check all that apply: Are you bored? Lonely? Horny? Do you actually miss them? Actually miss their genitalia? There are no wrong answers, but it’s important to know yourself. According to Lauren Lake, “Hookups with exes are common. Sometimes it’s about unresolved feelings and sometimes it’s just about missing the physical connection.”
With that foundation set, you then need to be realistic about what you’re expecting from these (probably) two minutes of passion. Do you want to rekindle the relationship and get back together? If that’s the case, then I highly suggest that you communicate this to your ex beforehand, because sex will not fix a broken relationship. Lake advises, “If things are heating up, it’s best to pause and make sure you are on the same page. If not, one person may think it is the first step to getting back together, or that it may be an ongoing hookup, while the other may have no intentions to ever hookup again.” To put it bluntly, just because your ex has sex with you doesn’t necessarily mean that they will want to get back together—they probably just wanted to have sex. Sorry, but it’s true. Best to save yourself the back-and-forth and figure that sh*t out beforehand.
On the flip side, if you’re just a human with urges and want someone that feels familiar, comfortable, and who knows what you like, then sex with your ex can be a positive thing. If both of you are on the same page of your soap opera romance, then you can relieve any pressures about pursuing an emotional connection and just enjoy your carnal lovemaking (no details pls). Lake puts it best: “Just because the relationship went bad, doesn’t mean the sex did.” She’s got a point.
But, before you book an Uber to their place, remember that communication is always key. It’s pretty much impossible to have a one-night stand with someone that you have a history with, typically because a one-night stand does not come with an entire matching bedroom set (i.e. your past and baggage). “Since you’ve already had a relationship with the person, it wouldn’t be a one-night stand, but it could be a one-more night stand,” says Judge Lauren Lake. So like, just be clear as to why you want this and what you want out of it.
Caution: Mixing Business With Pleasure
Me and my ex communicating like…. https://t.co/8ysg6N9ZT7
— Ruby ✨ (@Rubyyyyy23) August 19, 2019
Once you’ve established your intentions, at least within your own mind, you should then consider the implications of jumping back into old roles. This mainly applies to those of us who would like to explore a strictly physical reunion. If you want to avoid any mixed signals or catching feelings, then it would be wise to avoid slipping back into the original dynamics of your relationship, like going on dates. Groundbreaking, I know. Sure, you can go to their place for a glass of boxed wine or a casual night of “Netflix and chill” (do the kids still do this?), but be wary of going out to dinner, a movie, the bowling alley (I don’t know what you do in your free time). Basically, don’t do things that can, by any measure, be considered a formal date. I know that going out to brunch the morning after and letting your ex pay sounds tempting (and like a good way to save money), but if you do that, you risk blurring the lines of what is just a hookup and what is the beginning of a relationship. Do you know what they call two people who go out for a night on the town and then have sex later? A couple. Sorry, but you’re dating.
It can be easy for both of you to revert to how you were when you were in a relationship, holding hands and packing on the acceptable amount of PDA. But if you’re just looking for a casual hookup, then this isn’t the foreplay you should be doing. Lake explains, “‘Playing house’ for a few days may allow you to feel the euphoria of the honeymoon phase in your relationship without remembering all the problems and issues that drove you apart. You may begin to feel attached again, only to realize later that the relationship still doesn’t serve you.” Even if you aren’t planning on continuing this pattern, having a one, two, three day, whatever-it-may-be relationship with your ex isn’t any better than getting back together and breaking up again. You’re still doing it, just not officially, leaving more room for confusion and (ugh gross) feelings.
Well, Is there An Upside?
Ultimately only you can decide if hooking up with your ex is a good idea or not. Every relationship is different, and what may be right for you may be totally wrong for your friend’s roommate’s cousin or whoever. That said, if you and your ex parted ways mutually, respectfully, and otherwise amicably, then getting with an ex can be fun and something to chat about at brunch with your friends appropriately named Samantha, Charlotte, and Miranda. Judge Lauren Lake says, “The upside would be that you already know one another, care for one another, and have mutual respect. All of these things can lead to an enhanced sexual experience, and the opportunity to experience the connection again, even if it’s just for one night.” In other words, it doesn’t have to be an automatic no… just be smart about it.
So there we have it. Go ahead and take the shame out of going back for seconds and feel free to engage in a super-hot moment in the backseat with someone that knows you (emotionally and physically-wink, wink), respects you, and has the same intentions. Provided they do respect you and have the same intentions. When all that is accounted for, hooking up with an ex can be great, and possibly worth a standing ‘O’vation.
When contemplating your next move, just ask yourself, is the box of condoms half empty or half full?
Images: Sky Cinema / Shutterstock.com; @marybethbarone, @Rubyyyyy23, / Twitter, Giphy (2)