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Dating Advice from . . . the Recently Dumped

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Dating advice...

Sandra, 33

How much about my last relationship should I tell my new partner?
They don’t need to know how sexually active you were, or really personal things like that. But prior relationships dictate how your future relationships will go. If someone cheated on you, you’re definitely affected by that, and that needs to be aired because it’s going to affect how you act in the new relationship.

My ex has been blogging about our breakup, and I come off like a jerk. What should I do?
If you still have mutual friends, demand an apology. But if she’s just telling strangers, it doesn’t matter. Your friends know what the truth is.

How can I unlearn my ex’s email passwords? I’ve already checked his email seven times.
Say to him, “Listen, I know your password. You should change it, because if you don’t, I will stalk you.”

I just went through my first serious breakup, and I feel fine. I’m worried about how unaffected I am. Am I dead inside?
You’re in denial. You’re going to come crashing down eventually. If you need to go through your manic I’m-totally-fine-and-I’m-going-out-to-buy-new-furniture phase, do it. You might not even come crashing down until your next relationship. Everyone has their own healing time.

I just got dumped and I’m depressed. What’s the best remedy?
Random sex. You’re breaking the physical attachment you have to your ex. Keep it anonymous, and never choose a friend. You’ve already had this break-up trauma, you don’t need to complicate things by having sex with a friend only to find out he’s been working up the courage for two years to hit on you.

What’s the best way to get someone who’s recently been dumped to come home with you?
When you first break up, you need a distraction. If someone were to say, “Hey, I’m a great distraction,” I think that would be effective.

Yusuf, 27

My girlfriend is always asking me questions about my ex. How can I put the topic to rest?
If she’s that insistent, stay on the topic, but be diplomatic about it. Find a way to talk about your ex without putting forth the negative aspects. Even if the new girlfriend is pushing for negative information, if you give it, she’ll think you’re the type of person who holds a grudge.

How much about my last relationship should I tell my new partner?
It’s not necessary to tell them much. There’s a certain degree of honesty that can kill a relationship before it even gets off the ground.

Should I wait for my new ex to change his Facebook relationship status before I change mine?
It’s not a race, which a lot of people seem to mistake it for. It shouldn’t be about who has the upper-hand. There’s no reason to be racing to claim the title of who electronically moved on first.

How can I make sure my ex doesn’t get all our mutual friends?
They shouldn’t have to gravitate toward one ex or another. It’s going to be uncomfortable for your friends if they have to choose, so let them know that they don’t. At some point the two of you will have to be in each other’s company again, and that calls for maturity from both parties.

I just went through my first serious breakup, and I feel fine. I’m worried about how unaffected I am. Am I dead inside?
Don’t question it. If you’re not in emotional agony, it means this person wasn’t right for you. Some people dwell on relationships that never had any chance of going anywhere. If you can move on, that’s something to be happy about.

I still think about my ex sometimes when I’m having sex with my new guy. Is that okay?
It’s possible you just don’t understand your new guy very well yet, and the only way to measure the experience is to think of him in reference to your ex. When you start to know him more, you may build an affection that’s just about him.

I was just dumped and I’m depressed. What’s the best remedy?
I wrote a lot of poetry. It can become extremely whiny, but it’s therapeutic. I also bought a guitar. And video games helped a lot — you might prefer to rent bad movies.


Jennifer, 27

My new boyfriend is pushing for details about my last relationship. How much should I tell?
Every new boyfriend I have, they know everything about every ex. I always tell everything, and it’s always too much. They just need to know that you cared about each other, and if you’re still friends, they need to know that you’re friends. Stress the positive, not the negative.

If my ex hasn’t changed his Facebook status back to “single” yet, should I see that as a sign he might be unsure about the breakup?
That’s so shallow. I would just assume he hadn’t gotten around to it. I definitely wouldn’t plan on a reunion.

When is it okay to have sex with an ex?
When you know you will never, ever want to be with them again. If you never want to be together again, fine, whatever. But if you have any residual feelings, you’re only putting off getting over them.

What if we slept together and he thought it meant we were back together? What should I do?
Let him know you really like sex with him. Tell him that you’ve thought about it a lot, that he’s really good in bed and that you love sleeping with him. That’ll give him the message.

My girlfriend broke up with me two weeks ago, but her sublet didn’t work out and now she needs a place to stay. She asked if she can crash on my couch. Should I let her?
Let her stay for two weeks because you’re not a terrible person. Just be prepared for probably not acting like exes in the meantime — she won’t be on the couch for long.

What’s the best remedy for the break-up blues?
In order: Friends, wine, cigarettes, your hand, and a little bit of trickle over.

Trickle over? Ex sex?
Yeah.

What’s the best way to pick up someone who’s recently been dumped?
They’re obsessed with the ex, and they’re only going to be comparing you to that person. So if you have a lot of pride, don’t even go there. But if you want to torture yourself: don’t enable. They’re not allowed to talk about it. But they could also be in relationship mode, so they’re sitting ducks — you can lock them down really quickly.

I’m a serial monogamist. How can I break this habit?
You’ll have to see at least one other person when seeing someone else. But if you’re connecting with a person, why seek out a superficial connection with someone else? Embrace it. It takes a certain kind of emotional intelligence — be thankful that you’re capable of this. It’s way more difficult than running around town having one night stands.


Jan, 52

What’s a rule of thumb for telling my new partner about my last relationship?
Keep it light. Instead of saying, “I was so crazy about him and he broke my heart. He hurt me like nobody else!” say, “Yeah, he dropped me like a bad transmission.”

How can I sensitively tell my ex that I don’t want to be friends?
At the kitchen table, because that’s where all important talks take place. Let them know you’ve been trying to remain friends. Tell them, “It’s just not working, and I don’t know why. If I knew why, I would try to resolve the problem.” Maybe even exaggerate a little bit: “You don’t know how many nights I’ve stayed awake trying to figure out a way to let you know without hurting your feelings.”

I still think about my ex sometimes when I’m getting busy with my new guy. Is that okay?
Sure, as long as you don’t call him by the wrong name.

How long can my ex fantasies continue before I should worry that it’s a sign of something serious?
Three months.

I just got dumped and now I’m depressed. What’s a good cure for this?
Eat a Valium and go take a nap. Or, after my breakup, I forced myself to go to the gym. It was the last thing I wanted to do. All I wanted to do was sit at home, eat cheesecake, drink Kahlua and cry. But you have to muster up the energy to do something other than just dwell.

My best friend is having a particularly hard time getting over a breakup. What can I do for her?
I would say, “You are on my list of people who can call me anytime. You’re not going to be a burden to me. I know. I’ve been there. It sucks. If you want to get out, we’ll go. If you need me to bring over a six-pack, I’ll do it. I’ll be there twenty-four-seven.” When you get dumped, you feel like you’re the only person in the world, like there’s no one else around. Sometimes all anyone needs is someone to be there, and a real friend isn’t going to abuse your help.