The Unexpected Costs Incurred by Occasionally* Sleeping With Your Ex-Boyfriend**

by Eleanor Jane

$6.49 — one pint of Ben and Jerry’s at the bodega on the way over the first time you meet up again, because you are obviously just going to “watch a movie,” so ice cream is a logical choice, plus one seltzer, to make it healthy

$10.00 — a six pack of beer, because you’re cool, you’re chill, cool girls drink beer all the time

$24.00 — half of a Seamless order for sushi, which you put on your debit card even though that seems sort of unfair, because you always factor in tax and tip when you are paying someone else cash for a delivery order, but nobody else does and it seems kind of bitchy to ask for three more dollars

$2.72 x2/day — …but three dollars would cover an iced coffee, of which you need at least two more a day, because your ex works from home and has more of a “loose” conception of a reasonable bedtime

$8.92 — one travel size bottle of Pantene conditioner; one travel size bottle of Garnier shampoo; one travel size Dove deodorant, because he only owns that hippie Crystal Body stuff that actually works on him yet seems to work on absolutely no one else; one travel size bottle of a face wash you don’t really like that much, but you’re not going to buy a real size bottle because this isn’t a thing, it’s just casual, duh

$24.00 — one normal size bottle of Mario Badescu face wash, the same one you keep in your own shower, but honestly, it’s better for your skin if you stick to the same routine, right? And it really wasn’t that expensive because you got free shipping

$5.97 — a new toothbrush, for him, because you are a Responsible Adult who knows that toothbrushes need replacing every three months, and his is honestly just gross

$5.99 — one bath towel, from the dollar store, because his towels are starting to smell like a swamp and, whatever, if you’re going to be there a couple nights a week anyway you might as well have a clean towel

$10.00 (approx) — buying lunch at work, but to be fair, when you were single (you’re still single!) you still weren’t even bringing your lunch, but you could be, like, something healthy and cheap, like homemade pasta salad and overnight oats that you’d made the night before, which you would totally be doing if you weren’t at his place

$7.00 in cash (cash that you had to withdraw from the ATM on the corner so technically $9.00 if you include the ATM fees) — two iced coffees from the local coffee shop that doesn’t take cards, bought and brought back to his apartment while he was still asleep because you’re so fucking cute that even when you’re not dating he gets to wake up to an iced coffee, but no, you don’t want to date him again, stop asking that

$54.18 — your half of dinner at a nice restaurant in the Lower East Side — (you’re going out for dinner together now?) because you’re a modern, independent woman, and above all stubborn, and obviously you’re going to pay for your share because you’re not “dating,” and it doesn’t even matter, like, toss that fucking debit card on the table and go to the bathroom to transfer money from your savings account to your checking account via your mobile bank app

$125/month — therapy, which, to be honest, you were going to long before you even started dating this guy, so it shouldn’t really count, except now you’re not talking about your anxiety or your plans for the future or your relationship with your parents but instead you’re asking your therapist questions like, “Is great sex really worth it?” and “But if we’re not together together it’s fine if he’s texting other girls, right?”

$$$??? — The fairly respectable savings account of dignity that you’ve built up over the past few months; which dwindles each time you spend the night, dips dangerously low when you call your parents from your ex’s bed, and threatens to disappear every time your ex tells you that you’d be perfect, really, if only you could just change

TOTAL COST: $288.99 + dignity [variable amount]


**yes, him, the one you swore you’d never see again but you’re adults and it’s whatever

Eleanor is a Florida native who now lives in Brooklyn and works in publishing. She is also a senior editor at Joyland Magazine.

Support The Billfold

The Billfold continues to exist thanks to support from our readers. Help us continue to do our work by making a monthly pledge on Patreon or a one-time-only contribution through PayPal.