A fan recently asked us a good question. This is notable because more often, fans ask us less good questions like “I want to get marry can u help me please?” Anyway, the good question was: “How do you tell your ex you’re involved with someone new?”
So we came up with a guide for telling your ex that you’re dating again. It’s real life advice, but since advice for living a real life is often quite boring, we’re also giving you the more exciting alternative “if your life was a movie” version as well.
A Guide to Telling Your Ex That You’re Dating Again:
1. If you have kids…
Real Life: Sharing children with your ex is the most compelling reason to tell them you are dating someone new. Why? Because if you don’t tell your ex, your kids will. Which of these two options sounds like it will cause conflict: Your 5-year-old daughter telling your ex wife that ” Daddy has a new friend who is prettier and taller and thinner than you” or a calm, rational discussion with your ex that explains that you have been seeing someone, and you’d like to introduce him or her to the kids? Trick question. They’ll both cause conflict. But at least if you do the latter, you can pretend you’ve taken some higher moral ground.
Movie Version: Make sure that your new boyfriend or girlfriend has a spare kidney and is an organ donor match for your ex-spouse. Also, be sure your ex-spouse has a terminal kidney disease. I think you see where this is going…Ex-spouse is dying, new lover enters, lover offers kidney to ex-spouse, BOOM. Everyone is friends. Everyone wins, but especially you.
2. If you’re still “friends”…
Real Life: First of all, why are you still friends with your ex? If you’re one of those people who goes to the occasional lunch with their ex and says things like “I don’t understand why we WOULDN’T be friends – we were MARRIED after all!” then we have no respect for you and don’t understand you. You don’t need our advice. You’re such good PALS this shouldn’t be any problem at all. Just tell your ex-husband “friend” that you’re getting remarried over a beer, just like you would any old buddy. You crazy kids.
Movie Version: You’re out to lunch with your ex. RIGHT when you are about to say “Guess what? I’m dating someone new” over a couple of watercress sandwiches your ex SIMULTANEOUSLY says ” I’m still in love with you.” Uh oh. Guess you shouldn’t have tried to be friends after all! Dummy.
3. If you’re still “seeing each other” for some ungodly reason…
Real Life: Stop that.
Movie Version: STOP IT.
4. If you’re totally through except for the occasional email about insurance or bills…
Real Life: THEY DON’T NEED TO KNOW YOU’RE DATING SOMEONE NEW.
Movie Version: In the movie version, you are Reese Witherspoon and you occasionally email your handsome ex-husband, Matthew McConaughey. One day you sit pensively at your computer before composing an e-mail telling handsome-ex that you are now dating someone very handsome but slightly less likeable, like, Christian Bale. Upon receiving this email, handsome-ex sets off on a trip across America where he reflects a lot on the mistakes he made with you and, more importantly, learns to love himself. All the while, Christian Bale proves himself to be even less likeable than we originally thought. He probably yells at a waitress or something and you have doubts about whether he’s the man for you. Months later, you run into handsome-Matthew-ex–randomly– at a small Parisian cafe. He just so happens to have your favorite kind of flowers (orchids) which he presents to you as he makes a speech about his undying love for you, loud enough for everyone to hear. You smile and throw your hand up to your tiny, yet strangely pointed Reese Witherspoon-y chin. You tell Christian Bale to go be Batman somewhere else, and you jump into Matthew McConaughey’s arms and tell him you’ve always loved him, and then whisper in his ear that you’d really appreciate it if he would work on getting back into “Magic Mike” shape.
5. If you have deleted their number and blocked them from Facebook…
Real Life: We aren’t aware of any methods of communication that don’t involve Facebook or cell phones. We don’t know, maybe write your ex a letter? Do people still do that? Take out an ad in the newspaper? Rent billboard space? This could get expensive, so be sure to win the lottery first.
Movie version: This situation is too boring to ever be a sub-plot to a movie. Sorry that you’re so boring.