Everything you always wanted to know about your ex

Tuesday, November 03, 2009
By Julie Wiegan

Before Sex and the City, there was a book that came out forty years ago that revolutionized how we thought and talked about sex and that book was Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex (But Were Afraid to Ask) by Dr. David Reuben. But what happens when sex and love are over, and you’re left with an Ex? Therapists Heather Belle and Michelle Fiordaliso tell us this and more about the Ex relationship in their new book Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Ex.


Here are Belle and Fiordaliso’s ten signs that you’re not just friends with your Ex:

You think about him all the time (it doesn’t matter if those thoughts are positive or negative)
Sofia sits around daydreaming about her Ex-boyfriend. The only problem: he’s her high-school sweetheart and she’s about to turn thirty-two! That’s too much thinking. Who’s on your mind?

He still pushes your buttons
Cindy is making her fifth trip to the AT&T store. Every time her Ex-husband hangs up without saying good-bye, the phone ends up in pieces. He’s literally pushing her buttons– energy better spent investing in AT&T. Who sets you off?

You hide your contact with him
Kayla’s phone buzzes. She won’t tell her best friend who’s calling. Kayla knows that if she says it’s her Ex one more time, her best friend will be an Ex-friend. Maybe her friend was onto something. What do your friends think about your “friendship” with your Ex?

You flirt even though you don’t want him
Stella knows her Ex is pining for her, but she never considers going back to him. Yet when she’s bored, flirting with him is just the fix she needs. Everyone has done it, but it’s bad manners. Do you lead anyone on?

You’re ragging on his new girlfriend
Lianne can’t reference her Ex’s new girlfriend without using adjectives like “cheesy,” “trashy,” or “low-life.” Why does she care? Seller’s remorse sucks but indicates you’re unresolved. Who do you diss?


You use his friends to get to him
Jane stays friends with her Ex’s friends just to have a constant stream of information about her Ex. The news keeps her hooked into heartbreak. Are any of your friendships disingenuous?

You want to get back together
Lucy isn’t over the fact that Sean left her. He’s great to her– thoughtful, sincere, and always checking in to say “hi.” She reads every interaction as evidence of his possible interest. He’s leading her on and she’s wasting her time. Are you in denial?

You’re not in a new relationship
Constance still considers her Ex her go-to guy after every unsatisfying date. Her Ex is on the back burner: someone’s bound to get scorched. Are you keeping anyone around just in case?

You don’t introduce your Ex to your new boyfriend
Janna’s new beau wants to meet the Ex she claims to be such good friends with. She avoids it, and no one, including Janna herself, is clear why. We’re clear: she wants to keep the door open. Are you hiding your Ex from anyone?

You’re still having sex
Joanna and Jimmy are having more sex now than before they broke up three years ago. How many of your friends do you have sex with?

“Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Ex” (SourceBooks Inc., $14.99) is available in bookstores now. Visit their website EverythingEx.com.

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