Ex-tra Credit: Are You Comfortable Hooking Up Your Ex With Someone Else?
A few weeks ago I was having some wine and decided to watch a little Netflix. I ended up choosing some random low-budget “Couples Retreat Trapped With a Serial Killer In A Log Cabin” type film. You know, the ones where there’s the beautiful in love couple, the raunchy couple who just met and wants to have sex on everything from the porch swing to the fireplace mantle and the random token who came along to keep the whole thing moving with a punchline precisely scheduled every ten minutes?
Well anyway, in this particular movie, the female half of the “beautiful in love couple” ends up inviting her ex whom she has played a key part in hooking up with a mutual friend of the whole group. I’m pretty sure I ended up falling asleep not too long after the first sex scene and waking an hour later to see that “beautiful” girlfriend was the lone survivor (big surprise). But it did get me thinking: Could I honestly see myself roasting marshmallows over a roaring fire with my husband, my ex and his new boo that I’ve hooked him up with?
I’ve been married for a few months and it’s somewhat changed my outlook on past relationships, but the truth is whether I’m rocking a wedding band or just consciously coupled, I don’t think I would ever want to play my ex’s personal matchmaker. I don’t want to play anyone’s matchmaker actually and I damn sure don’t want to double-date and “kee-kee” it up with the new girl my old boyfriend is currently d**king down.
Does being so against that mean there are lingering feelings of unrequited passion? No, but I do feel that when it comes to exes there need to be clear boundaries. Whether you ended still able to have a couple of Coronas and kill each other in Candy Crush without actually wanting to kill each other or your former beau + a Trey Songz single = you damn near tripping out of your draws, things can get messy when playing matchmaker for your old mate.
I don’t have a whole lot of exes. I’ve never been what you would call a casual dater and since high school, most of my relationships have been pretty serious and long-term. Secondly, I don’t tend to keep my exes as friends. The break ups were usually too intense, so much that we could barely be Facebook friends and our interactions are limited to inboxing their family members like, “Hey, I heard your brother has two kids now. That’s super!” Needless to say, you’d never catch me looking at another girl thinking, “Her submissive disposition and slight fondness for sex in public restrooms? My ex would LOVE her!”
I mean fo’ why? Do you get some kind of “Ex-Games” card punched every time you link your past love up with a winner? Or maybe you’re battling some type of guilt because YOU were actually the a-hole who contributed to the union’s demise. I guess I just feel like hooking your ex up with someone you’re hoping will take the focus off you (and then furthermore trying to group date with them) only ends up making everyone involved feel awkward. There will inevitably be the moments when you and your ex have an inside joke that leaves your current partners with the “WTF” face while you die from uncontrollable laughter lost in your own little “this person has seen me naked before” past. And even if you’re completely over and done with the relationship, there’s still a good chance your ego might get a little bruised when new girlfriend starts talking about all the incredible dates they’ve went on which are suprisingly identical to yours. Yep, you’re not special, apparently he takes every girl that’s giving him some to that fountain with the hydrangea bushes in the park.
Getting overly involved in your ex’s love affairs is ALWAYS bad business. Your advice will always be tainted in some way and you’ll keep comparing it to all the rights and wrongs of your old relationship. Leave the matchmaking to truly platonic friends, mommas and aunties at church and make peace with the fact that being the ex-girlfriend automatically means that any way you relate to your ex will always have the lingering aroma of “Eau De When It Was Me”. Besides who really wants to be the reason behind not just one, but two bad break ups?
Have you ever hooked up an ex with someone else? Was the relationship successful or ended up swirling down the drain right along with yours?
Toya Sharee is a community health educator and parenting education coordinator who has a passion for helping young women build their self-esteem and make well-informed choices about their sexual health. She also advocates for women’s reproductive rights and blogs about everything from beauty to love and relationships. Follow her on Twitter @TheTrueTSharee or visit her blog, Bullets and Blessings.