Thursday, October 20, 2011

When Exes Come Back to Town

When 2009 rolled around and we still hadn't seen each other since that awful August day, I figured the possibility of Mr. First and I ever getting back together was pretty much gone. As time marched on, I slowly realized that I was falling out of love myself and that the long distance that tormented us during the relationship was actually a blessing once we'd broken up. Without the worry of running into him on the train, at the park, or anywhere in all of New York City, I was able to relax, let go, and eventually move on.

But I'm a girl so I'll admit that over the years I've wondered what it'd be like if we ever did see each other again. Would it be awkward or would I realize that I'm completely over it? Would he have someone else holding his hand? Would I look hotter than The Other Chick and would he secretly think, "I've made a mistake!" (Oh, you know you secretly wish that, too.) Do we have to act like we never happened all those years ago? I mean what do you say to someone who unwrapped all your secrets, who saw and heard your everything before becoming a stranger? A sheepish "Um, hi?"

Last week, and more than three years after I saw him last, I had the chance to see the ex again. A small group of grad school friends decided to gather in the city for dinner and drinks - Mr. First included. A part of me was curious as to what the encounter would be like, I wanted answers to all those questions even if it meant stirring up feelings that need not be stirred. But even though I closed that chapter, in the end I just didn't want to be reminded that I was ever there. Deep down I knew that it'd probably do more harm than good to see him again and that I'm still not ready to be his friend.

The evening came and went and I didn't feel like I needed to be there. Perhaps it would've been nice to see him again, to chat face-to-face rather than the random message out of the blue that we send from time to time. I guess at the end of the day, I just didn't feel it was worth the risk. I fell in too deep and did too much climbing to willingly put myself in a situation I'm not yet ready for.

"Happy birthday," I texted a few days later. "Hope 28 is a good one."
"Many thanks! You were missed on Friday night."
"Yeah, ended up being on the fence about it and then decided to do something else..."

And so it goes. We can continue this friendliness at an arm's length, but not much closer. Maybe after three more years I'll feel differently. Maybe then we can laugh about it all and I can be his friend no matter who's hanging off his arm and no matter what any of us looks like. That's if we're even still relevant to each other at that point.

So tell me, have you ever run into an ex? What was it like? And are you still friends with any of your exes?



  1. I haven't seen my ex since we broke up, and I don't want to!

  2. P.S. It's been about 10 years now, and I still feel that way... Just saying!

  3. Well, what defines an "ex" here?

    =) A 'serious relationship' that failed?

    No, not run in to them - and don't want to - and fortunately am geographically spaced from them (now).

  4. I have never run into any of my exes. I'd be fine running into most of them. Except the last one. I still have a lot of hurt from that one and, as much as I would love to see him again, I know it would be too painful.

  5. I run into my ex every now and then...we work for the same company though he works for Europe (and live in Paris) and me for NA but we acknowldege that distance is a big issue so after a couple months of hurting looks the pain began to lower and now even though not friends we are OK on working together every now and then.
    And yes I am friend with my first was long time agooooo LOL

  6. I don't know how much I've forced on you about my opinions on exes....but NO. I do think being friendly with exes is futile, especially for future relationships. We like to think we've evolved past the "man date woman, woman date man" simplicity of what romantic involvement IS. I do not. I think there are innate things relationships are in our lives for, and trying to be "more than what we're DNA'd for" is somewhat egotistical of us.

    Do I sound crazy? Probably. I know many "new age" people don't get what I'm saying and think I'm being immature to think man and woman can't be friends after being lovers.

    But just because both parties can ACT as if the break-up was exactly mutual from both sides, it rarely is. And one party is generally hiding these "what if" and "maybe" feelings from the other party. How does that make anyone healthy enough to forge new feelings, and fully concentrate positive growth with someone new?

    Call me crazy. :) It's okay. I don't see my exes, and while as a chick I sometimes wonder "hmmm...what if they knew I'm now...this or that...or experienced this or that...", I never really care to see them or work out unresolved feelings. If they had been resolved, maybe I wouldn't be where I am. But they remained unresolved for a reason. Didn't they??? Just sayin'....

  7. toriz, welI then I hope you never do!

    intense guy, yes, a serious relationship that ended though I'm sure there are casual dates that some of us never care to see again, too.

    karen, I hope you heal from that one soon. It's tough and sometimes takes a very long time before we accept and move past what happened. At least you recognize that it might do more harm and than good seeing him right now. During my debates on going, A. said this was something I had to be sure I'd be able to handle (including any news or date he'd come with) before I went over or else I could find myself feeling awkward and uncomfortable.

    rod 33, I absolutely hated hearing it while I was still suffering through it, but time and distance really help in getting over someone. That whole trying to keep in touch thing right after a break up was just too confusing and dragged out the process of moving on.

    tooje, oh I know YOU would've been like hell no, you're not going. You would've said there's no point in any of that OR you would've told me not to let it keep me from enjoying my time and going if I felt like it. Either way you would've told me to get over it.

    I do admit I would have gone in search of some sort of closure or answers to things, but ultimately, I guess the window for any such discussions has closed and I'd just feel silly bringing up any of it now. No use in flipping through those pages now.

    And I totally agree on the lopsided break-up situation. Though it still makes me wonder if the other side wonders the way I do. Not that I'd do anything about that crap now. I think it'd just be for the satisfaction of having been someone's "one that got away."

  8. Hello every one my name Jessica from Canada i have just met with this priest Dr Okpoko of the and i finally find out that he is really a truthful spell caster and so powerful and he is the most powerful spell caster that i have ever met. i wish i have met her before. and husband have just come back to me and every thing happened just the way he had said it i am so happy that i have met with him and now i have my husband back to my self.if you all that are here have not tried him you just have to do so and get your heart desires fulfilled. stop been doubting i have tested him and i am now a fulfilled woman.Email: ( ) promise I told tata, about my problem and told him needed a spell to get my ex back. He assured me he could help me, so i did all the necessary things he asked me to and i made payment for the spells. He told me he would come back to me in 3days.i waited and on the 3th day, behold i saw him Crying, begging for forgiveness.