AdviceColumnsSelf Care

When You Have to Live With An Ex After You Breakup

By Jonas Barnes 

Here’s a little back story about your author and how I settled upon this metropolitan garbage heap known as New York City. See, some years ago, I met a woman and we fell in love in Portland, OR and had a great relationship and decided that our career (comedy) couldn’t continue to thrive without moving to NYC.

So, we packed up a U-Haul with an unnecessary amount of shit, our cat, our rose colored glasses and drove across the country to NYC. In hindsight, driving was our first mistake. Don’t drive across the country with someone that you think you’re in love with. It’s stupid. You need a suitcase, at best, when you move to NYC. You’re going to live in a bedroom unless you make an obscene amount of money. But drive we did, finally settling upon our new life as a couple in the concrete jungle. And then we lived happily ever after. Well, maybe not exactly…let me explain.

New York City is so many things to so many people. Some call it home. Some call it an adventure. Some call it the best city in the world. NYC is expensive, busy, amazing, terrible, filthy and incredible all at the same time. It’s all those things and more.

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If you’re ever bored in NYC, you’re simply not trying. There is something to do at any time of the day on any day of the week if you simply open your eyes and look around. It truly is the city that never sleeps. This is both a blessing and a curse when it comes to being in a relationship. On one hand, you’ll never run out of things to do.

On the other hand, there are literally millions of people to fuck in this city. That, my friends, is a lot of temptation that will test even the strongest of relationships. Sometimes, even the strongest of relationships fail that test. So what happens when two people move here in a relationship and that relationship dissolves? Well, that really depends on how strong the friendship is. In my case, the friendship is strong and luckily, our relationship didn’t die in a pool of its own blood.

It was more of a “This shit isn’t working anymore, is it? No? Alright *high five* lets go fuck other people!” situation. Lucky us! But now what do we do?

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Up above, I told you that NYC is expensive, and I wasn’t lying. Everything in this city costs money and going anywhere costs money. As soon as you leave your house, you’re going to spend money. Between rent, bills, food, metro cards, busses and any nickel & dime situation that comes up, you need to make a shit ton of money to live by yourself here. It’s the city of roommates.

Only the rich live alone or have their own place. So that left us living together as an estranged couple in a city that bleeds your wallet dry.

Miraculously, both of us are still alive with few wounds to show from the situation we’ve been plunged into. We make it work. We date other people and only fuck at their houses. We have different schedules. We’re still best friends, so we still hang out and do shit. We don’t hate each other, so being around one another isn’t a chore. When it comes to a relationship dying, we honestly lucked out. But the situation we’ve been put into is sadly a byproduct of the machine that is New York City.

The NYC struggle is real. This is a city that can chew you up and spit you out if you let it. Luckily, I moved here with one of the best friends I’ll ever have, so we’ve made it work. Some aren’t so lucky and to those people, I’ll simply say this: Don’t give up. When the city tries to chew you up, bite it back and send it on its way to another victim.

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