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Netflix.

Guidelines to using your ex's Netflix, and why it’s okay.

I’m 17, so I’m not going to pretend that I know anything remotely close to love. But, I was recently in a relationship with a guy two years older than me (we’ll call him Eli) that had a semi-okay job therefore, a Netflix. We were “together” for about 4-5 months and he was the first real boyfriend I ever had.

For a mostly non-motivated 18 year-old passionate about everything except school, Eli was pretty alright. We watched movies, made out, cooked, and did other stupid couple-y things. Eli never treated me badly and we never had a fight until after we broke up. Eli sweetly respected my strict boundaries and trusted me to an extent. (Cough.)

When I wasn’t with Eli, I was using his Netflix. Mostly for Scrubs, How I Met Your Mother, 24, etc. Then we broke up. Well there goes my Netflix.

It somehow came up later in conversation that I could continue using Eli’s Netflix as long as I didn’t watch porn. (There’s porn on Netflix? Even if I did watch porn, it wouldn’t be on Netflix. Ew.)

So, if you’re going to use your ex-boyfriend or ex-girlfriend’s Netflix, I’d follow these rules:


1. For the love of God, do not change their password. Depending on how the relationship ended, you’ve got about a 50/50 chance of being pegged as the “psycho ex”. (Not saying that you are.) Using someone else’s Netflix is illegal in itself, don’t cause yourself more trouble by trying to piss off your ex by changing their password. If you followed breakup guideline #2 and have agreed to remain friends, changing your ex’s password violates guideline #2 and makes your let’s-remain-friends-contract immediately void.

2. Be cool in what you watch. Hopefully you know by now that you’re able to look at viewing history on Netflix. And soon after a breakup, you better be sure your ex is spying on what you watch. Be cool, don’t watch movies like Anatomy of Hell, Exterminating Angels, or But I’m A Cheerleader. Stick to your regular sitcoms, chick flicks, or action movies... and steer clear of anything remotely close to porn. There’s streaming sites for that.

3. Don’t be alarmed by what they watch. So if they’re the ones watching movies like Anatomy of Hell, don’t freak out. This is their Netflix, not yours. It’s true that they may not know/care that you can see what they’re watching, but they can do what they want. They’re paying for it.

4. You’re not entitled to justify anything you watch. Besides the above-stated movies. If you want to watch High School Musical, do it. If you want to watch World War Two documentaries about art like The Rape of Europa, you can. Hell, if you want to dance along with Footloose in your bedroom, you can do that too. That being said, if your ex asks you why you watch so many episodes of Scrubs for so many hours of the day, you don’t have to tell them. It’s your life, not theirs. You can spend your time doing whatever you want, and it’s none of your ex’s business. If you need to cry, go ahead and watch The Notebook or even The Pianist. No one is stopping you.

5. If they ask you to stop, STOP. Being on good terms with an ex is a luxury not many people have. Being on good terms with an ex that lets you use their Netflix narrows down that population by about 70%. You’re already in a select few of very lucky people. Your ex might have legitimate reasons to ask you to stop using their Netflix, or they might have reasons that straight up suck. Regardless, if they’re paying, you’re using it under their rules. Thank your lucky stars they let you keep using it, and thank them for letting you use it as long as you did. Think of it this way: if they told you to stop, get your own. That way, when you start dating someone new, they’re under your Netflix rules.

Over & out. -M




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