date my ex: egg white sessions, water features, and crotch shots

StraightUpDirty c

Being an ex a few times myself in this life, when discovering his next relationship, I’d secretly wonder what she had that made her so appealing to him. And now I know the answer: what made her attractive was that she wasn’t me.

We might not be conscious of it, but that first run out of the broken relationship gates lands us in the lap of anything other, anything different. What’s most important? "That you’re not him." But the more we get to know the person, we might just realize that despite our best efforts, we picked a carbon copy. We realize we were attracted in the first place–not just because he was an introvert while your ex was an extra-extrovert–because on some other level, we seek out what’s familiar to us. While on the surface it seems we’ve chosen the opposite end of the spectrum, if we’re completely smitten, we also realize that we’re seeking to get those exact same needs met. The needs don’t change, just the players. And we chase tail: our own.   

I’m going to alienate a good amount of people on this, as I’m totally going to say something about the Bravo TV show "Date My Ex," a spin-off, unscripted series focusing on one of the "broken" couples from "Housewives of Orange County." In Straight Up And Dirty, I wrote about men who wear scarves in warm weather, men who refer to a fountain as their "water feature," and, of course, the women who scurry back to them long after it’s over. Okay, so only the latter is true, with a focus on commentary about how when we look back and try things again, now in a different place in our lives, it’s still very much going backward.

Jo De La Rosa, the ex of the date my ex scenario, finally narrows the new playing field to two players: Lucas, the sweet vanilla guy whose superhero is most certainly Goofy, a believer in laughter, teeth bleach, and v-neck shirts; and Chris, a guy who sells himself (and apparently commodities) on the fact that his parents are still together and who knows how to play the anxiety card, threatening to walk away. Here’s the problem I have: I’ve been her, so many times, the girl who falls for the guy who can talk a good game. When you come to a point in your relationship where all you can do is talk about your relationship, even all the great stuff, I genuinely believe it’s over. You’re falling in love with an idea not a person. It’s when you just live, when you laugh, when you think, when you don’t need to be sold on all the things you want to hear that you two have actually got a chance. The rest is sales, fairy tales, and too much glitter eyeshadow.

Had I been a producer of "Date My Ex," I’d have somehow arranged to, in the final of episodes, have Jo meet one of Lucas’s and one of Chris’s ex-girlfriends, to get their opinions on what went wrong in their previous relationships. It’s only fair given that the whole show is based off Jo’s ex, Slade, letting go (a totally anti-climactic plot that the producers gave way too much airtime) and showing everyone how over it he is by setting her up with other men. All relationships, in the end, should come with autopsy reports. But would we believe, or sell ourselves, that with us it would be so much different, that with us, our new partner would never turn up as an old one?



  1. I think so many people always believe that the issues present in a relationship are the responsibility of the other, and in turn, end the relationship and skip on to the next one. Dragging those same issues with them, and thus repeating the patterns all over again.
    History repeats itself over and over, until you finally get it- or don't.
    I'm still trying to get it.
    Every single day.

  2. I totally agree with you on the issue of "men who wear scarves in warm weather and who refer to a fountain as their "water feature," – totally gay, goofy, dorky, pick a word, any word. To make things even dorkier (if that's a word) Slade's last name is Smiley :) ha..ha..ha…

    I do think though that Jo picked the wrong guy; she should have picked Chris, he was definitely the better of the two, although Lucas was a sweetheart too. I think Jo saw that Lucas was goofy and fun – the total opposite of Slade, (stressed and drama driven – if you watched them on 'Housewives of OC' there was a lot of drama that Slade was responsible for). She just wants to have fun now and Lucas is perfect for that…I hope she's happy and the relationship with Lucas lasts a very long time! :) (If Slade doesn't try to ruin it again.) So….., uh, does anyone know how to get in touch with Chris in Chicago or what his last name is?? He's a sweetheart and a hotty, I sure wouldn't mind meeting him!!

  3. i don't get it – how is this controversial? what about this is going to "alienate" people?

    a friend of mine used to watch some low-budget dating show that had exes coaching the girl/guy on their first date with the ex – i watched it once, it was pretty funny b/c the ex had cheated on his girlfriend and she was still super bitter so did everything she could to get the date to see that he was a a**

    FROM SK: I just meant not everyone watches the show

  4. Wow, I hadn't heard about this show but "Date my ex" seems a horrific concept to me. Even though I have no desire to get back with my ex, I still wouldn't want to try and help him get a new love. There are good memories and bad memories from our relationship. The bad are reasons why we split, so no selling points, the good I want to cherish and keep for myself.
    Oh, and both of her options sound like total drags, I wouldn't even get out of the door for either one of them.

  5. I'm sure my report on some of my exes would be just as bad as their report about me because we all like to view things the way we like to view them.

  6. Terrible concept, terrible show, terrible acting… I agree with you 100%.

    I used to enjoy dating shows.. there used to be one called ShipMates… they take two strangers and they send them away for two or three days on a tropical cruise.. I used to watch all the time until I saw my ex on it… True story. He was still a major loser, but that was the end of me and dating shows.

  7. While I never watched The Real Housewives of Orange County, I suspect these two just wanted more than their 15 minutes of fame.

  8. I'd set my X up, in a heartbeat! (Just to get hom out of mine and my present husband's life a little more. He's the kids' Dad, so we're stuck to a degree, dealing with him.) The catch is, I'd have a hard time selling him to anyone, since all I see at this point, are the million and one reasons why I made him an X. Plus, he's the X that just won't go away and get a life of his own.

    HEY, you have a lot of readers Stephanie. I have an X ladies, who is 51 yrs old. is capable of being very sweet, (although he usually has an ulterior agenda)is overly involved in both of his teens lives, (to the point of being dysfunctional)works as a pharmacist at a heart hospital, (that; he excells at)owns a couple of homes, is a strong Christian, (to the point of boring one to tears, talking, talking, talking, about scripture and his interpretation of it)is physically active, (runs with my daughter and my new d-i-l) plays tennis and basketball, loves to hear the sound of his own monotone voice babble on, is ego-maniacal, makes cheesy movies which he always writes the script for, making our daughter the star of. He's controlling, but passive aggressively. Manipulative and always plays to the crowd. (Except the "crowd" usually isn't paying attention anyway)Thinks he knows it allll, and doesn't know how to listen to anyone else. He's 5'9" but usually lies and adds an inch or two to his height. Our youngest turns 13 today, so he's almost done raising his kids; which he has joint custody of. He would love to have a girlfriend, but usually never gets more than one or two dates, before they move on. Starts talking "long-term-relationship" by the second date. Is very devoted to his mother, who followed us here to AZ from WA state. (A point that does make me happy, since it means the kids have a grandmother here)He refuses to plan ahead for anything. His home life is chaotic, he's always on-the-go, doesn't respect authority, mainly since he thinks he has all the answers. Is sensitive, (he cried after his vasectomy, for all the unborn children he would never have)plays the martyr often and doesn't respect anyone's boundaries. One warning though, his mother has point-blank stated that if he remarried, she would move back to Washington. While we were married, his mother went on 90% of our vacations and dropped by unannounced whenever she felt like it. Usually to criticize the way I did things. And she always plays HIS X's against whatever woman he's dating at the time. While I was with him, the photos of his previous fiance were displayed prominantly throughout her house. NOW, my photo adorns her walls, for any new women to see and hear about. (We didn't get along while I was with him. But you won't hear about that, just all the things she loved in me. She'll overkill this one, until you resent ME. If this sounds like your dream guy, let me know!

    Obviously this wouldn't work very well. (And yes I realize he probably has a list of my weaknesses that runs just as long)Well, maybe not. Since he never really knew me; we were only together 16 years. We do celebrate holidays and the kids' Birthdays together. His mom, him, me and my new husband, together. Which wouldn't be all bad, if he would learn to respect boundaries, and occasionally kept his opinion to himself. (I do believe hell would freeze over, first)

    To be a little fair, he's considered a good Dad. He supports all of his children's dreams, and is there for his widowed Mother whenever she needs his help. He is more than fair in what he pays in child support. Although he feels this entitles him to a say in what goes on in our home. Overall, he's very generous.

    I should have just made this a post on my site. ;-)


  9. I don't watch the show, but I watch a lot of HGTV, and I'll chime in to hate on "water feature." Along with "wall art" or "art work". It's either a painting or a graphic or a mural or a photograph or a piece of fabric in a frame. I also hate it when a couple walks into a lovely kitchen or bath and announces "it has to be updated" like it has a woodstove and hand water pump. I also can't stand "makes it pop" in reference to home decor. Toast pops. If a sofa pops, something's amiss.

  10. Hey, Stephanie, I don't know if you looked at the blogs on Bravo but it doesn't even seem that Lucas dated Jo once the show wrapped. And both Lucas and Chris (who sounded pretty sour grapes in his interview) have GFs now. When you read between the lines, it looks like the whole thing was pretty fake–although I do believe Slade is still completely into Jo (as much as someone with his ego could be into anyone but himself). All said, I can't believe I even care enough to have written this!! Cheers!

  11. I like the spin on asking an ex for their input. That would make good tv.
    In real life though I would opt out of that for the same reason I rarely take any relationship advice – people project their own expectations and experiences on to your situation. Even the most attentive, caring friends can do this. The chemistry between two people can't be duplicated. The issues that made two people clash in one relationship could mesh beautifully in another. I know that my husband and I both have issues; we often laugh about our neuroses fitting in a way that makes us look at each other and smirk instead of scream.
    It's like peeking at pictures or letters from an ex. I wouldn't open that can of worms. Nothing good can come from that and I prefer to trust my instincts instead. The worst thing that could happen? I'd just learn a lesson the hard way about what (and who) wouldn't be compatible with me. It would be a difficult experience learning things that way but it would guarantee I wouldn't repeat my mistakes again.

  12. I haven't yet seen the show though I do agree with your insight into real ex-relationships. But I did want to say, "Look at you!" You've definitely been working with tv developers, you're beginning to sound just like us (though I'm an EX developer). Good for you. I hope you're having a great experience in LALA land. Enjoy it.

  13. I wish I was still good enough friends with my ex to set him up with someone. He really was a great guy, we spent 3 years together, but we were too young to let a relationship hold either of us back from all the other things we wanted from life. The guy I married actually seems equal parts of the two guys I dated before him. The first was smart, but needy, possessive and insecure. The next was artistic and independent, but to be honest wasn't smart enough to keep me interested for the rest of my life. Call me Goldilocks – my husband is "just right" – artistic, affectionate, intelligent and ballsy enough to keep me on my toes.

  14. Okay so I watched Real Housewives of Orange County and also have checked out a few episodes of Date My EX. I don't remember Slade being that gay in Real Housewives. And where are his two kids that were briefly shown in Real Housewives? And I don't get why they are still friends, didn't he dump her in Real Housewives because she was to immature and flirty with other men. I sort of liked Slade in Real Housewives but now not so much. He needs to move on and don't think he has.

  15. I hate to admit that I have met this girl in person. She's even more vapid in real life. Yet I can't stop watching the damn show. I think it's that deep down, we want to see people go through shit but in the end come up with something positive, because it gives us hope for ourselves.

    BUT, I can't STAND Myia's Vanna White impression every week. Are you the host or are you the friend? Decide! Your 15 minutes are up.

  16. So timely for me, Stephanie. I broke up with the rebound guy today, realizing after a year that he, though different in many ways, destined me to feel the same way about myself my ex-husband did. He is loved by all but somehow make me feel bad about myself and my values.

    I will take some time to sort through it all since I know what I don't want… but what the hell I do want is yet to be determined. This post made my day.


  17. I liked both Slade and Jo better on Housewives. I didn't like Date my Ex, at all. I think I watched 2 or 3 episodes and then I just couldn't take all the Jo adoration and Slade…

    Slade and I share the same problem…Letting Go!! In the past, I've had a hard time letting go of relationships, jobs, and just people and situations in general that were not positively contributing to my life. I've recently been put in a position where I have to address this fear and I sincerely hope he is able to also or, god forbid, there may be a season 2.

  18. Ugh! I hated them as a couple of Real Housewives and they made me want to go all Laila Ali on my own uvula in this show. She is lame, she can't sing, and, like Laura, don't remember Slade being such a puss.

    True, it is a reality show and I accept that it is un-real on so many levels. But a let TRY to make me root for someone! Give me someone that makes me grip my throw pillow in anticipation, jump on my couch like a Dallas Cowboys cheerleader, and send me a glimmer of hope that we will eventually get to collect $200 at the end of this game.

  19. Stephanie, I hope with hurricane Ike bearring down on your area that you, Phill, and the beans are safe. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

  20. Hi Stephanie,

    Just want you to know I've been thinking of you and your family and hoping you got through the hurricane safely. I can't imagine how scary it must have been. I've never been to Texas and don't know how badly your area was hit, but I just hope you are all together and doing your best to get through what must be a very difficult time. My best wishes to you and yours.

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