All My Exes Live in…My Neighborhood

“The best sex is ex-sex.”

Or so the somewhat old saying goes…

A recent census bureau study shows that for the first time since these kinds of stats have been recorded, unmarried couples living together outnumber married couples that do. To that end, it appears we’re more hesitant than ever to make the make the ultimate commitment.

Expectations of relationships are similar to those of the Yankees. We can have a good regular season, break attendance records, and for the most part, enjoy a smooth ride to the next level. But like the Yankees, if one or two things go wrong when reaching that fork in the road, the season, or relationship, can end suddenly when perfection isn’t achieved.

So instead of trying to work things out, we take the easier route of breaking things off and finding the right free agent to serve as the final piece of the puzzle. After a few weeks or months, we may realize that perfect person may not actually exist, so we come to appreciate what we had in the first place. Sure, it may not have been the ideal situation, but it’s better than being alone, or so those with constant thirst for companionship believe.

The question is, when we reach out to an ex, do we genuinely miss them? Do we want someone back because who we loved for the conversation, caring and camaraderie? Or is it because we pine for the sex, having an easy wedding date, the sex, and having someone to share every inane thought with?

The answer in many cases is neither of the above. Instead, it is good-old fashioned jealousy that entices us to drop any integrity and pride to get our girl or guy back. It is oftentimes a case of low self-esteem, and outrageous ego that causes people to try to constrain the “legal” behavior of their former lovers (see: making out in a bar with someone else or holding hands on the street), when in fact those attempts at constraint (angry voice mail, email, text messages, etc.), and the emotions which rear their ugly heads are far more likely to damage the relationship that the victim of jealousy intended to rekindle. It may look we’re trying to show we care, but in the end portrays you as OJ without the knife.

Rob from Swingers says it best:

See, Mike, the only difference between giving up and not giving up is if you take her back when she wants to come back. But you can’t do anything to make her want to come back. In fact, you can only do stuff to make her not want to come back.


But Hoboken isn’t exactly Walnut Grove, right? More bars per square mile than any other in the world (or so says The Guinness Book of World Records), 40,000 residents, countless apartment complexes and an age range of datable people from 22-38 years old. Really, it’s almost like dating someone at Penn State. You could hook-up during freshman orientation and never see them until graduation night 4-6 years later.

Ah, but Hoboken somehow morphs into high school when it comes to escaping an ex.

Out of sight, out of mind?

Not in the Small Apple…

It’s as though we’re living Jennifer Aniston’s or Bruce Willis’ life: Everywhere you turn, there’s your Brad Pitt or Demi Moore with someone else who just happens to be our ex’s Angelina Jolie or Ashton Kutcher. Of course, they always seem to trade up, at least in our fragile mind, and of course are therefore better-looking and more successful than you.

40,000 people live here, with many of those thousands being single who are around our age. But we still always seem to be running into him/her at Pier A Park, at a Nets game, or in a dive bar that we’ve never set foot into before.

Did the ex put a Low-jack in our food before the breakup to guarantee they’d know your exact location at all times? Why does this keep happening? And why is it that when the inevitable bump-in does occur, we’re alone, un-showered and basically look like we just returned from Baghdad, while they and their new co-star emerge as if they just got off a Hollywood set and are dressed to the nines?

We all have experienced this scenario exactly once, and as we all know, the slippery slope of desperation usually follows like this: Long, rambling emails to him or her, usually written past midnight when alcohol has a cruel way of letting our fingers do the talking and internet access is unfortunately available. He or she horrifyingly sees the time stamp on the email and read the words they never heard when we were actually a couple, and, of course, proceeds to lose the last bit of respect they once had for you.

To make matters worse, that song from The Killers continues to play in your head as you stare at the ceiling in your bed, alone. It’s the same verse over and over…

I just can’t look its killing me And taking control Jealousy, turning saints into the sea Swimming through sick lullabies Choking on your alibis But it’s just the price I pay Destiny is calling me Open up my eager eyes ‘Cause I’m Mr. Brightside


The next day we finally wake up and check our email, hoping for a response. Nothing. Then again, it is Sunday morning so maybe the recipient won’t check it until they get to work on Monday. Five days pass. No response.

We proceed to check the email address to make sure everything is spelled correctly. It is. Maybe they left their job, we think…until we then realize the message would have bounced back if that was the case.

Jealously and line of sight to an ex, even in one with more social options than most in the country, is one of the more helpless issues to deal with in life…simply because as much as we want to try to manipulate the situation in our favor, the more we push to do so, the more the person you want to influence resists.

But because Hoboken has those aforementioned options, there’s hope in the form of trading up. And the only cure getting over someone, from being able to handle seeing them shopping on Washington Street or standing on a PATH platform with their new soulmate of the month, is to find someone better. All it takes is just one.

And in the Mile Square, like a bar or deli, that “one” could be right around every corner.