Advice From the Trenches

Stuck with an Ex: They broke up, but he looks so hot — should she give in?

Dear C and Dr. B;

Lock down is bad enough, but my situation has become ridiculous. Gary and I have been living together for about four years, but about six months ago, things petered out. I’d finally made up my mind that he just wasn’t what I wanted in a partner, we’d had The Talk, and Gary had just started to look for a new place when the pandemic hit. Now, it’s impossible to find an apartment. He’s made calls, but he gets the same response every time: “Oh, I posted that before…” No one has to say before what.

So, here I am, stuck in lock down, with a guy I just broke up with, and we’re pretty much stuck for the duration. Sounds like a drag doesn’t it? But wait, there’s more! I think it’s mostly because there is NOTHING to do, but as the days go on, I am really getting horny. When Gary walks in the room, I want to say, “You up?” then I remember we broke up. I’ve been masturbating, but it’s nothing compared to the memories I have of our hottest sex.

Result? A situation that was already difficult is now a special kind of hell. At least there’s a spare room for him to go to, but there isn’t anywhere else. Please don’t suggest a hotel, we’re both dead broke and neither of us trusts them right now. So, what should I do??? Would it be wrong to have sex just to relieve the tension? I have no idea how long this will last.

Lucy Limbo

Dr. B says: I advise against having sex with him. Scratching this itch would be the best way of sending mixed signals and self sabotaging. If you want to be taken seriously, no means no for both of you. Look at this as good practice for being able to keep boundaries without letting hormones or emotions run your life. According to Freud, sublimation is what spurns all progress.

You are roommates now. Sit down and write a set of rules and expectations, along with what the consequences are if not followed. Have both of you sign it and read it online to a few witnesses. It is then a contract and legal document.  Make sure you include roles and duties within the house, sexual expectations (none) and financial expectations. If you choose to break it, that’s your business. But as this will be going on for a while, don’t complain about the consequences. If Gary refuses to do this and the apartment is under your name, and you can afford it, kick him out.

C says: Hey, let’s go easy on poor Gary! So far, all he’s done is walk in the room and look hot. Listen, Lucy, I totally understand. You’re walled in, sexual tension is building and there’s nowhere for it to go. There’s usually a lot of residual attraction mixed in with the bad stuff that breaks up couples, so the sex probably would probably be really hot. If you could kick Gary out afterward, it might be worth considering. But he will still be there tomorrow, and the day after that and the day after that and for god knows how long. Something to consider.

Here’s something else you may not have thought of – what if Gary doesn’t want to have sex with you? If you are the one who ended things, that can have a dampening effect on a guy’s libido. Then what?

There’s obviously a need to establish some house rules here, but before you slap a legal contract on your ex, why not try to sit down and have a talk like two human beings? He hasn’t given you any problems. He just can’t get a place of his own, and you have raging hormones. It’s nobody’s fault, plus, reality check: We don’t live in a world right now where you can just kick other people out to suit yourself. So sit down and talk it through. You and Gary started your relationship out as friends. If you can deal with this as friends, then whatever you do, it’ll probably turn out alright.

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