How to Deal With Your Ex

You may still love and miss your ex, but that doesn’t mean he should be a part of your life. That’s the message of this Love U Podcast, in which I give you six ways to make a clean break from your former boyfriend. One thing’s for sure: I DEFINITELY don’t tell you how to get him back.

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Comments:

  1. 1
    dawn effe

    this is ABSOLUTELY one of the best pod casts I have listened to…probably because this issue s affecting me in my life right now. Evan somehow knows it all…thank you Evan.

  2. 2
    Noquay

    The wisest thing I did upon finding out I’d been overlapped with another is to immediately cut all contact which included missing out on this summers race series which I love to participate in and is my only means of meeting healthy men. Was well worth the sacrifice. Yep, it still hurts after six months but having any contact would hurt even more.

  3. 3
    ScoottH

    Evan- The caller asked if she should confront him about what kind of relationship he’s looking for and your response was that she should not and to see how he conducts himself this time.  I think she should have that conversation, ask him difficult questions, and see how the conversation goes.  Isn’t that what effective communication is about?  There were scenarios like this in Attached and the suggestion was to have the conversation and potentially save a bunch of time and investment that could go south for the same reasons as the first time.

    I enjoyed this podcast.   Breaking up has been the most difficult aspect of dating for me.

  4. 4
    Zoey

    I do the complete cut off.  Dr Pat Allen talks about this.  It is like leaving a chemical high!  Must cut off cold turkey !! Be ruthless in your actions, not your tone!

    Easier for your healing .

  5. 5
    Leena

    I loved this podcast/topic. I was however a bit startled at the advice to the caller, that she not have that heart to heart talk. I want to agree with this advice, it goes with my nature to let the past be behind us, and just be the best girlfriend I can. But, I feel very strongly, that following this advice would give the unspoken message that the ex’s past behavior was OK somehow. I believe it would make it more likely he would fall back into the same old patterns.

  6. 6
    LFH

    I agree. NO CONTACT is the best. The last thing I want is to see him popping up on my phone. Out of sight, out of mind.

     

  7. 7
    S.

    Good points about not dating a future man with the same flaws as your ex.  Get out quick!

    Good question: what evidence is there ever that the thing that broke you up won’t happen again? Exactly.

    I’m glad you compared how a good relationship should feel. Like your mom, best friend, etc. With the people you have ease with!

    I stayed friends with a few exes.  Those friendships have faded/ended now, but it was useful to me at the time. Sure, I wanted them back.  But I never gave any indication that I did.  Nothing physical ever happened after we broke up.  It was useful to me because once that rosy glow faded I could see them as they really were. See them living their lives.  I had whatever questions (not about the relationship but about who they were) answered. It stopped me from thinking of what could have been.  And one man annoyed the hell out of me enough that I ended the friendship a year after I had ended the relationship. I was so damned annoyed.  But I needed that annoying feeling because if I even thought about calling him, I’d remember and think, “Hell no!”

    I don’t need to do that anymore.  Why? Because I learned they don’t change.  Not in my experience. I don’t change either, not really.  So you either settle with who he is (I didn’t) or they settle with who you are (do you want that?) or you move on.

    There isn’t always a better guy waiting in the wings, either.  I meet pretty awesome men. But while yeah, finding a new one helps you forget the old, it only works if he is really better than the previous one.  That’s not always the case.  But that just means neither was right for me.  It is what it is.  My story hasn’t ended in marriage and family.  Yet.  But whether it does or not still doesn’t make those guys any better for me.

    Tldr:  Just move on from them. Even if the next few guys are flawed as well. Even if you are alone for a while.  If he’s not right for you, he’s just.not.right.for.you.

  8. 8
    Shasha

    Don’t settle or take anyone just to have someone and not be alone. Dating many people so you can see what personality works best with you.

  9. 9
    Sarah

    (This comment is over coffee on autopilot–not quite awake–just some thoughts)

    “Finding a guy with the fewest problems”–gold.

    I am being stalked by a long distance ex and there is nothing the police will do as the stalking is borderline. He lives about 4 hours away–he was going to join the sports team in the city I live while maintaining his household/job in the neighboring state over the course of about 6 months and leave the sports team in his state to be with me more and nail two birds with one stone.

     

    The relationship was rocky, lasted about 4 months, (he is also an insensitive asshole), I broke things off, have blocked all contact, and now–he has joined this sports team ANYWAYS and is driving here, telecommuting for 3 to 4 days a week now and will be here for almost 8 months!

    I have called the police and was told technically this is stalking but I am not being threatened, so we cannot do a restraining order and I have to sit here and wait for bad contact. I even called tow lawyers to go the civil route. I have done all I can, but the hard part for me is not to think over my shoulder.

     

    I actually broke things off because Evan–you mentioned “lack of anxiety” here and it was from your weekend webinar I missed that I remember you saying that somewhere was a big deal, and that was not something i considered. We always hear that relationships take hard work. Right now I have new friendships that are just falling into place, and friendships should mirror relationships–you should be friends with the person you are dating! I went on a friendly meeting with a friend of a friend when I was dating my ex, and I had an awesome evening, zero bad anxiety! And right there–the ligthbulb came on and I knew I as kicking my ex to the curb hard. There was no “I love you but” it was get the #$%@! out you inconsiderate POS.

    My ex isa mega jerk, but it was an easy choice–drop like hot potato. My ex kept begging, had an outcome too for our relationship in mind (I thought I was the girl, hah joking, kind of). But the person I was dating was so rocky and even commented I was anxious around him, and that over time, I would “get used to him”. Holy #$%@!  Intern fired!

    Also as a jump into the caller, my ex also tried to placate me to and was using obvious canned words to be that he had been parroting and used in the past on other women. They were very contrived, and sounded

    The issues I have with the caller is that I am a firm believer in that men and women cannot really be friends, and men always have some level of sexual interest when they are with women. Every man I have known as a friend has at one time admitted to me, years down the road–even if married–sexual interest. I’ve had friends I had to work with/in a band etc.

    Also, the thing the caller said is “he can change” holy crap. Change takes time. Also, you cannot change anyone, or make someone in to who you want them to be. There is a saying that goes, think about one thing about what you want to change about yourself and how hard that is, now apply that to you changing someone else’s bad behavior?! NO.

    “Things he can do..” What is she talking about? Kick to the curb! Signs?

    I am sorry she is drunk in love or something is wrong that she is still hooked on him and putting all of her eggs into his basket and pining for him–which is obviously sounds like.

    I wish my coffee would kick in already.

     

    Have a lovely day! (I am off to get a dog this weekend!!)

     

    You are right Evan–he is just trying to placate her and pull the wool over her eyes. She needs to grow up at 29 and be a woman. (I am older–40s).

    She should cut all contact. What the heck is she talking about? I am don’t trying to judge, but I do not serial date. I will go years without. She is talking to him because she is lonely, period. Get a dog. That’s what  I am off to do this weekend, heh.

    1. 9.1
      Sylvana

      You crack me up. Love the blunt honesty!

      Only thing I disagree on is the men and women can’t be friends part. I say that depends. In general, I agree with you.

      But, as a high testosterone woman, I’ve had mostly male friends my entire life. My interests, hobbies, the way I think and feel is absolutely not conducive to maintaining friendships with women (we have nothing in common) – unless they are the same as me. I simply cannot form any sort of bond with most women, because we think and feel very differently from each other.

      So there are some exceptions to the rule. I’ve also known some men who ended up having “brotherly” type of feelings for the women they were friends with for long times, even “normal” woman.

      The issues I have with the caller is that I am a firm believer in that men and women cannot really be friends, and men always have some level of sexual interest when they are with women.

      I don’t quite understand what you mean by this. Are you saying men are only friends with women because they want to sleep with them? Trust me, plenty of not-so-attractive women do not have that problem. They might sit on the sidelines while men chase the hot chicks, but that does not mean that men will not include them in their circle of friends if they have similar interests. I’ve known plenty of man/woman friends in my life who are obviously not attracted to each other at all, but are still great friends. They call on each other in times of need because the other is a person they trust, not because they want to have sex with the other.

      While most men are certainly more sex driven, you have to keep in mind that not every man is attracted to every woman.

      Even if there is sexual interest, I don’t see why that would stop a friendship. Unless the interest turns into an obsession. Just because a man would sleep with her under the right circumstances doesn’t mean his every thought is consumed by sleeping with her. She’s not interested, he moves on.

      I have male friends I would sleep with in a heartbeat – were they not attached otherwise. But I still consider them friends. We do things together because we have mutual interests.

      My male friends call me to go air-boating with them not to get laid, but to have another person there who enjoys it. If they wanted to get laid, they’d head to a bar.

      Respect plays a huge role here. It also depends on what you consider sexual interest. If your married friend casually mentioned that he would sleep with you if not for …, I see nothing wrong with it. If he straight up offered to sleep with you, however, or tried to get you to sleep with him, it is a whole other story.

      So, would a man sleep with a woman friend? Oftentimes yes. That might even be what started the friendship. But to assume that no man can be friends with a woman without having an ulterior motive, especially a woman who shares common interests, is wrong.

       

      1. 9.1.1
        Sarah

        I’m on my phone, pardon brevity. I’m parroting what all of my male friends have told me. I’m like you, friends with men mostly, but then they all, every single one, at some point, started to hit on me. One after being my friend for over twenty years, said he’s been pining for me this whole time!!! I feel that it’s wrong to be in one sided friendship like that, so I parted ways with all of my male friends.

        Unless someone is poly, how can you be friends with someone who has sexual interest in you, especially one that is married or in a serious relationship?

        One of the men I initially met on POF years ago. We went on a date, and I didn’t feel it, he did, but he lied. And since 2008, we’ve maintained a friendship, and talked on the phone often. He started flirting with me a few months ago, told me he always wanted to be with me, but lives with a woman, and is about to propose to her. He asked me if I could be a fling, and admitted to cheating already on his live in girlfriend, her house, with people from OKC and CL. He’s no longer my friend. Before I blocked him, he told me all men who give women attention want something, even if it’s not sex.

        One of my other male friends, says to me he’s been cheating on his wife almost ten years. She knows. He’s getting flirty with me. We would text, sometimes hang out and talk with a mutual friend, and I remember the exact day he was looking at me differently.

        My ex stalking me, even brought up When Harry Met Sally, and said as a man, he never talked to a woman and befriended her unless he wanted sex.

        My human behavior class, not one positive study about men being faithful or not wanting sex. There’s one study that had women approaching men on a university campus. The women asked the men one of three questions, “do you want to go on a date?” “do you want to go home with me? ” “do you want to have sex?” I’m not looking at that case study to remember specifics, but 50% sais yes to first option, 70% to second, and almost %100 to sex. When women were approached by men and asked same questions, %50 yes to date, 8% yes to going home, and ZERO to sex. When the men asked how they felt when they were asked by a complete stranger to have sex, they all said flattered. When the women were asked how they felt being approached by a strange man and asked for sex, they felt horrified and disgusted.

        I’m not religious. I grew up a Tom Boy. I have a higher level degree in biopsych, and I can remember Evan once talking about how typical men behave, and one response he said was “well then you’re not dating a guy, you’re dating a woman”

        I’m very progressive, in fact, I’m pansexual. And yes, they all asked to sleep with me. They all did. All co-workers, I used to model and I’m tall. The owner of the autoshop where I take my car has loaned me his Audi A8. He’s married with two kids. He doesn’t know me from the pope. He’s not done that ever I was told. I had to instruct A Microbio group.

        Why would a man, I never spoke to, loan me his 90k car for the day?

        I’m not wrong

      2. 9.1.2
        Sarah

        One of my professors I’m friends with found out her husband of forever, cheating with “friends”.

        One thing she said (and she is top in her field, an expert in behavior), biology will win. Biology always wins.

        One thing I’m not, and I will never be is a home wrecker.

        If you are friends with men, especially those flirting with you, how would you feel if you were the wife, regardless of if your husband was going for coffee with a friend he was flirting with?

        Consider telling the wife of one your male friends, a wife you’ve never met, that her husband told you, he “casually mentioned” he wanted to sleep with you.

        You seem young.

        I dare you. Tell some wife of one of your male friends her husband mentioned he’d sleep with you.

        LOL

  10. 10
    MilkyMae

    I’m a big believer in cutting all ties after a breakup.  If you happen to get back together, you know there will be another breakup and it will hurt your chances with someone else. It can be empowering when you are doing the no contact. You reinforce your decision when you completely end it. However, its a little unnerving when your ex also severs ties completely too.  The silence can make your mind wander.  I’ll start asking myself, “Was I a complete nothing to him?” or “Was I so special to him that he can’t bare to see me anymore?”

     

  11. 11
    Darby

    So glad you weighed in on this topic, Evan. And so glad to hear you argue for indefinite clean break. I finally managed to pull this off with my last relationship. My ex gave me a hard time about it – a very hard time (“but you’re my best friend,” and much worse in terms of lashing out) – for the first few weeks – even though I had been very clear and upfront at the beginning of our relationship that this is how I prefer to operate. Almost 2 years later, I still feel some pangs of guilt and responsibility (particularly since I very occasionally meet up with his kids but not him), but your response reassures me that this was the only way to go. He had called the shots the entire relationship, I constantly let him know how I was feeling, and I had really agonized over what to do in the final 6 months but knew it had to be done – for everyone. The only mistake I made was telling him “a few months to a year” rather than “indefinite.” There is a difference. And I realize now that one cannot know much time is needed to grieve and to put that last relationship into perspective. The breaker-offer is entitled to this time and space away – on an “indefinite” basis. Being true to oneself in breakups and setting proper boundaries is as critical to self-growth as doing these things during the relationship.

  12. 12
    Darby

    Also, how my boyfriend responded to me breaking up vindicated my decision to do it. He was petulant and petty as he had been with others all along (not usually me), instead of being / displaying genuine sadness (rage masking the grief — with no attempt to delve more deeply). I think making an “indefinite” breakup is also important, however, because it is also impossible to know what role (positive) that person  may play in the future. A clean break with my first love made for a solid friendship 15 years later — we have been very supportive of each other in our later-life decisions to adopt and bear children via IVF with our respective partners. I never would have guessed how much he loved being a Dad, let alone support system for alternative means for having a kid. Not holding my breath for any kind of friendship with my most recent ex anytime soon – our values and character are just too different – but you never know.

  13. 13
    Eve

    Evan, Thank you soo much for this podcast. It’s one of the BEST ones I’ve ever heard. Soo much so that I’ve listened to it several times already,  and wrote down on paper all important points and quotes verbatim of the entire podcast!

    This podcast is a gem that pretty much EVERYONE can relate to at some point in their lives. I can relate to it right now, as I’m going through something very similar to the caller! This wonderful advice was the catalyst I needed to finally make my decision to cut off the “friendship” with my recent Ex. Thank you again, Evan!!!

  14. 14
    Melinda

    Thank-you so much!  This podcast is exactly what I need right now. I know I will listen to it multiple times to make sure I am staying on track after a recent heartbreak.

  15. 15
    Marissa Chaseau

    Exes are freaking hard to get away from. I had three of mine all clingy and texting me non stop even though I dumped them.

  16. 16
    Adrian

    I really felt sorry for the 1st caller…

    Evan was basically telling her to dump him because he is no good but at the end she still didn’t want to let the guy go…

    Unfortunately it seems that he will have to break her heart again for her to learn to finally let him go

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