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How to stay friends with an ex in It's Not Me, It's You

If you’ve ever butted heads with an ex, you and Avery Dennis would really get along. She’s the main character in It’s Not Me, It’s You by Stephanie Kate Strohm—and she’s had a really bad week. She’s popular, athletic, head of the prom committee and the type of person who can walk into prom with a stunning date on her arm. Which is what *would* have happened, too—if her boyfriend hadn’t dumped her.

This has never happened to Avery. Ever. She's always been the one who does the dumping, not been the one getting dumped. How could this be?! 

The answer to that question is exactly what she intends to find out through a project for her history class. Her plan? She'll interview all of her ex-boyfriends to discover what she’s been doing wrong. (Never mind the fact that this does *not* meet the requirements of the project. Like, at all.)

With the help of her bestie Coco, Avery discovers a lot of new things about herself, her exes...and what being happy is really all about. It's a totally relatable read with life lessons *every* girl should learn.

Finding friendship with your former flame...
Happiness is something that we can *all* stand to have a little more of in our lives, and making amends with former flames is one mega helpful way to do that. Sure, it can be tough to be around someone that you used to be so close with—but unless they're a complete jerk, think twice about cutting them out of your life completely. They used to be *really* important to you, and there's a reason for that. Plus, it's pretty likely that you still have to see them all the time either way. If you follow these few tips, you might just find yourself with a new friend (and not end up like Avery!).

1. Be honest with yourself. Do you want to be friends with your ex because you need a chem study buddy (those exams are killer), or is there a part of you that secretly wants to rekindle your relationship? If it’s the latter, hold off on hanging...at least for a while.

2. Take some time. Even if you just want to be friends, any “we broke up yesterday, but let’s watch Modern Family tonight as friends!” texts are no-nos for now. Instead, make up for lost time with your besties, avoid stalking your ex-BF's Instagram and keep it chill on the communication front. Giving yourself at least two weeks of solo time is a mature move you won't regret.

3. Send a text. After the appropriate amount of time has passed, send him a text saying you would be open to being friends. However, be prepared for the fact that he might not be ready for that—or might take your text as a sign that you want to get back together.

4. Meet for coffee and a chat. Keep the conversation light: You don’t want to start fighting and dissolve into a puddle of tears over your salted caramel frapp. Instead, aim for cool and casual—you're just catching up, no pressure, no feelings.

5. Start slow. If all goes well, you can start saying hi in the hallways between classes and get together on the weekends with your friends (without the dreaded awkwardness). But beware of falling back into what you guys used to do together: Texting constantly or hanging out one-on-one can lead to mixed signals.

6. Cross your fingers! As time goes on, you’ll eventually start to see him as less of an ex and more as a friend. And who doesn't want more platonic pals?

Are you friends with any of your exes, or do you keep them at bay like Avery? Let us know below. But first, grab your copy of It's Not Me, It's You, available now from Scholastic I read YA in bookstores everywhere and HERE.

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by Amy Garcia | 10/25/2016
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