How to Discuss Your Ex Without Doing The Cell Block Tango

Breaking up is always difficult ­– it takes time to reconcile with the fact that you wasted so much time and energy on such a lousy man. If you’re the kind of girl who’s sick of getting banned from local brunch establishments for performing the complete “Cell Block Tango” routine from Chicago every time a friend asks you about your breakup, then here are some ways to work around this totally common issue:


Focus on the Positive

When your friends ask what went wrong, try to remember all the good memories from your time together. Like that time he took you to the mall and told you to buy whatever you wanted, because he’d forgotten to get you a birthday present. Or that other time you took a trip to Wyoming, even though the only Grand Tetons he wanted to see belonged to his on-again, off-again ex from college. As you look down and realize you’ve been stabbing your eggs benedict so violently that bits of yolk are flying all over the table, pause and think about the fact that he is gone and there is no need to commemorate him in song, no matter how satisfying it would feel to yell “Pop! Six! Squish! Uh uh! Cicero, Lipschitz!


Move Forward

Recognize that you did the right thing by dumping him. After you and the waiter have flirty banter about Game of Thrones, just imagine the future you could have with him. Do your best to ignore the movement of your toes, tapping in perfect rhythm while your friends ask if you’ve gone to his place to retrieve your belongings. After you rush to the bathroom to save yourself from dramatically straddling a chair before performing some elaborate choreography, splash a little water on your face to calm down and try to think of your plans for the coming weekend. As you look in the mirror, try not to scream, “He had it coming,” even if a spotlight just turned on and your hair did just magically transform into a sleek, 1920’s bob for some reason!



Listen to Friends

Don’t be afraid to ask your friends for advice and support; they know you better than most and can help keep you sane. If you want to give your sisters a hug, keep your fists balled so they don’t suddenly burst into jazz hands. Hear each of their dating horror stories and recognize that you are far from alone. As it slowly becomes evident that you’re all on the same page, recognize that a song-and-dance routine is now imminent and that you need to leave the restaurant as soon as possible. Let your friends rhythmically trash men, before you launch into “I guess you could say we broke up ’cause of artistic differences. He saw himself as alive and I saw him DEAD.”


After a breakup, it’s inevitable that you’re going to do the Cell Block Tango from time to time. But try not to do it all the time. Otherwise you’ll end up ruining relationships with trusted friends and dining establishments.