You’re on your way to your local watering hole one evening and you spot something familiar in the gait, the walk, the hand gestures of a person heading your way on the street. You realize with sudden, sinking dread that it’s your ex who you haven’t seen since the breakup. You grab your best friend’s elbow and hiss in her ear, “That’s him.” You stay in place, paralyzed and unable to move, until she grabs you by the back of the arm and steers you across the street. You think yourself invisible while you stand in between two parked cars, waiting for him to pass.
Later, when you get a text that says, “Did I just see you outside that bar?” you wait two hours and numerous drinks before texting back in all caps “NOPE.” Near the end of the night, as you sit on top of a bar stool with your best friend like imperious, drunk queens, you blatantly ignore him when he enters the bar to retrieve his forgotten credit card. Likely story. Even with his sudden ambush, you manage to avoid contact. At the end of the night you collapse into bed with a glass of water in hand, and think to yourself, Crisis averted!
But really, was it? Keep reading »
“Why didn’t any of the guys you dated love you as much as I do?” my boyfriend asked.
The question hung in the air like foggy breath steaming up a cold windshield. It’s one of his favorite questions to ask. To him, it’s a mystery why other guys passed me over. It’s a riddle I love him for wanting to solve.
“I don’t get it,” he said.
“Me neither,” I shrugged.
These are the kinds of conversations you have four hours into a five-hour road trip, after you’ve listened to a Lorrie Moore short story on The New Yorker Fiction podcast and gossiped about people you know and stopped at an abandoned McDonald’s with one, lone carousel pony on display in the dining area. The pony looked out of place — like it was in search of its missing carousel. Keep reading »
My friend Nina and I were having one of our typical “where oh where have the good men gone?” whine-fests when it randomly occurred to me that I knew one.
I felt as neutral about Matt as you can possibly feel about an ex-boyfriend. He had a lot in common with the wine Nina and I so often indulged in: he was delicious, addicting, and made me giddy. On the flip side, he left me with a massive headache the next day. But I couldn’t hate him for it — it was his nature. I knew we would never date again, but I still wanted Matt in my life. Totally kicking him to the curb would be like pouring a perfectly good bottle of Pinot Noir down the drain, and that’s just wasteful.
Both Nina and Matt were intrigued by the idea of being set up and quickly agreed. Watch out, Patti Stanger – here comes the Minimum Wage Matchmaker! Actually, my clientele is more of the indebted grad student variety, but that’s not as catchy. Keep reading »
How do you become friends with your ex after a shitty breakup? The short answer: Time heals all wounds. The long answer? Well, that’s a little more complicated. And it’s especially complicated if your ex has done something incredibly douche-y or terrible to you. Case in point: My Crappiest Break Up Ever (™), in which my live-in boyfriend broke up with me over IM while we were both at work. Even while it was happening, I knew that some day, in the very distant future, I’d find that incredibly funny. Like now. When I can laugh with him over Gchat about it.
I never thought I’d get to that point with Alex, or that I’d ever want to. But lo’, three years later, and we’re totally buds. How did this happen? Keep reading »
I don’t know how many times I’ve heard “don’t date a guy who’s just broken up with someone.” No one wants to be the rebound girl. Not only is it hard on YOU, it can be just as hard on him, as he’s trying to heal from his breakup.
But sometimes, you find yourself breaking the rules, liking a guy who has just split up with his last partner, and you go with it. It feels right. So you do it. Sometimes? It works out just fine — the relationship between your partner and his ex was long over and the breakup was an inevitability.
Other times, he clearly hasn’t moved on. Here are some obvious and not-so-obvious signs that he’s not quite over his ex. Read more…
A while back I was dating a guy that I was really into. In hindsight, the relationship was ridiculous… but I was transported by what seemed like some of the best between-the-sheets I’ve ever had, and I besotted myself into some idea that we had a future. So I was devastated when I was dumped, over email. (Yep, even in middle age, some men still do that.)
I went through the usual shock and awe, aided by piles of tissue and a hive of caring girlfriends. Moving through the stages of grieving, I saw him clearly for the incapable slouch that he was. But what kept nagging at me was how much I was going to miss that naked tango. Read more…
The holiday season can be a tricky time to be single, even if you’ve been that way for a while, even if you’re totally comfortable with it the other 11 months of the year. Some weird single holiday haze descends and makes the most well-adjusted among us feel like a lousy lumps of unwanted coal. Spending time with your family can, well, make you feel vulnerable and stressed. Sleeping in your childhood bed (or a pull out cot in my case while my brother and his wife take my bed) can, well, make you feel as bitter and lonely as the Grinch. The combination of Hallmark ephemera, sentimental Foldger’s commercials, and old black and white movies playing on a loop can make you, well, overly emotional and temporarily insane. All of the above may cause you do naughty things. Like think it’s a good idea to contact say, an ex that you know you shouldn’t. Don’t let this happen to you. Nowhere in the rules of Holiday does it say that you should extend kindness and good will to some not-good-for-you douche bag. The holidays are NOT a valid excuse for fraternizing with ghosts of relationships past. In fact, it will probably only make you feel worse. Once the haze has lifted all you’ll be left with is the lingering shame … and there’s no gift receipt for that. It’s not worth it. After the jump, some ways to keep this holiday season ex-free Keep reading »
I am going to refrain from going into too much detail and say that I, like most women, have one awful ex. I’ve dated lots of dudes in my years on the scene and there is no other man that compares to him in the badness department. I’ve lived with a low-level and persistent fear of running into him. I’m not afraid of him, but rather afraid of how I would behave if I saw him.
Keep reading »