Friendship with the ex: it’s not working

by singlemomseeking on November 12, 2008

When I first told you, my dear readers, about the ex who had come back, a few of you warned me:

“Sorry to throw cold water, but I think the whole turn of events is more than a little bizarre,” wrote my reader, MC.

And he’s suddenly got a blog! (eyerolls). He wants attention from you…. But why? I think it’s kind of weird that he’s going to such lengths.”

Weird, indeed. But the writer in me was too damn flattered to see that might have been screaming for attention — from me, from all of you.

“I was hurt by you once before,” I told him over dinner. “I need you to be honest with me.”

“I will be honest,” he said. He reached out and touched me.

“I will, too,” I said.

But was I being honest with myself?

Or was I too caught up in my fantasy of him?

When he’d first tried to contact me again, after so many years, I knew he was acting from an unconscious place. He’d sounded so confused, but he was persistent. I met him for coffee with my guard up. But as many of you know, unconsciousness can have a rippling effect.

We had dinner, and there was no hiding it: the crush I’d had on him six years ago was still there, stronger than ever.

I wanted to believe that he wasn’t on the rebound. I wanted to believe that his tears were real.

~~~

A few weeks ago, we made plans to see a movie. But then I got his email, asking if he could come over instead, so we could “make out.”

He went on to say that he “could use some intimacy.”

Yeah, I could use some intimacy, too.

But something in me said “no.” I suggested that we go on a walk.

It was a beautiful sunny afternoon and we set out on his favorite trail, near his home. He explained that he always took the “high trail.” But today, in order to catch the sunset, he wanted to take the “low trail.”

Within 10 steps onto the dirt path, he stopped. I stopped.

A woman was walking towards us: she was thin, attractive, with big brown eyes.

“This is awkward,” he said.

But I didn’t know what he was talking about.

She paused. He introduced us. It was his ex-fiance!

If this was a sign from the universe, it could not have been clearer. In sixty long seconds, I saw their grief, love, sadness and pain.

Then she went her way, and we went ours. But he was gone. I saw that, too.

Less than eight hours later, he would send me another email:

“I am going to take a step back from everything,” he wrote. “I am concerned that our physical attraction is the wedge that keeps us from being the friends I’d hoped we could be.”

He went on:

“I am still too raw and uncomfortable with my inabilities to cope with the loss of [my ex-fiance]. I’m not even sure how I feel anymore. Until I do, it would serve you, me, and her if I used my time to heal, learn, and grow.”

We haven’t spoken since.

In such a short time, he’d thrown me some crumbs. They were delicious. But I deserve more than crumbs, I know I do.

Talk about cold water! So tempting, but… Photo by coniferine

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{ 52 comments… read them below or add one }

Honey November 13, 2008 at 10:24 am

It is always better when the inevitable happens sooner rather than later. People talk a lot about not wanting to “waste time,” well this saved you from wasting months and months! On to “the loaf” as it were…

Honey´s last blog post…The Nicest Surprise

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dadshouse November 13, 2008 at 10:55 am

I don’t get the “I told you so” attitude of some of the comentors. Is everyone clairevoyant? Rachel wanted to see him, she saw him, the universe was revealed to her. That’s perfect.

I bet she’s more glad she had the experience than if she’d followed the “I told you so” advice, not acted, and was left wondering.

dadshouse´s last blog post…High Cost of Company

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mc November 13, 2008 at 11:20 am

I must say, that was a brilliant move to basically give him the rope to hang himself! At least now you know for sure what he’s made of! And you’ve immunized yourself against more of his schtick that he’s sure to try on you again later.

We all deserve the whole loaf of bread! Unfortunately, it always seems that have to bake it up ourselves. I mean, why does finding a great relationship always seem to require such hard work?

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Lees November 13, 2008 at 11:25 am

You deserve better. Way better. And I personally think it’s immature to email & ask for a make out session… It was all about what HE needed, not you.

It was a blessing in disguise to see the ex on that walking path. Leave this guy in the dust. He is not worthy of your time AT ALL.

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GLSD November 13, 2008 at 11:29 am

You took a chance and made a choice…life is about choices… but you are worth so much more than crumbs… i mean the whole loaf… At least you didn’t go all the way with him and said NO. Follow your gut… you deserve better! xo

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Kristiina November 13, 2008 at 12:00 pm

I’m so sorry to hear this.

But you know what, you can say that you tried, and you were brave enough to go and try. With love, men, women, feelings and the whole package, I’m not sure we can ever really learn and be wiser the next time. So often the emotions just lead us somewhere where sense would not. If you think about this, you and the ex could have worked out, as you never just know how things will go.

But you went and tried. Good for you! As it was mentioned here before, it’s good you know you deserve more. Because you DO.

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Kelly November 13, 2008 at 12:04 pm

You know? When I saw that he had “hidden” his old blog within a new blog, I had a hunch he was all about the drama. Plus, he himself even admit that he enjoys being a tease, even from high school days.

My biggest ewwww…. is the way he talks about his daughters. Too much information for certain!

Move on Rachel, for you are in a much better frame of mind and good things will come your way.

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Stef November 13, 2008 at 12:47 pm

Hey Dadshouse,
From reading all of the comments,
I don’t think anyone was being rude or inappropriate with “I told you so” comments. It does sound like many of her readers saw signs and tried to warn her because they care about her and didn’t want to see her hurt. People on the outside often see things more objectively when they’re not close to a situation.

Then there are those who thought it was a good experience, and that simply alludes to when we fall down, we have to get back up. Was the relationship all bad? Of course not. Did it end badly? Sounds like it.

It’s all about the choices we make. And whether we make the same mistakes or not, we undoubtedly learn from any experience. The nice thing about this blog is Rachel obviously has a lot of support.

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The Exception November 13, 2008 at 1:20 pm

I am with Dad’s House on this one. Sometimes you have to do your own thing – no expectations; no regrets. And now is another of those times.

BTW – I am not sure that those words were mine (would hate to have someone else missing that credit). Thanks for the link though.

We can’t win if we don’t play the game. And we can’t even try a slice if we don’t buy the loaf. Don’t settle, but don’t regret!

The Exception´s last blog post…You Can’t Handle the Truth

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dadshouse November 13, 2008 at 1:42 pm

Stef – in Rachel’s initial post, most of her readers said “oh, I have bad feelings. Don’t meet him!” But she met him anway. Now some readers are saying “see, I knew it wouldn’t work.”

Is that being supportive?

Or is supportive saying “Rachel, you’re the one walking in your shoes. You’re the one who needs to experience whatever you need to experience. We’re here for you, no matter what.”

Seems a world of difference to me. But maybe I’m just misreading some comments. Does that make me unsupportive? Ha

dadshouse´s last blog post…High Cost of Company

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singlemomseeking November 13, 2008 at 2:08 pm

The Exception: Thanks for pointing out my error!

I just looked back through all my comments… and indeed, it was “MC” who gave the above advice. Thank you!

Corrected!

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JimAKASydney&Hunter'sDad November 13, 2008 at 2:34 pm

Rachel, congratulations for not allowing your fears to hold you hostage from seizing the golden opportunities (good, bad, and otherwise) that life presents. Growth comes from all types of experiences. A rich life requires doing, taking action and overcoming our fears. Let’s be honest folks, we live in an imperfect world filled with imperfect people, of which we and our potential future lovers are all a part of. Rachel, perhaps it is time for you to ascend one rung higher in this game of life, since clearly you are the more emotionally mature and stable person, between you and this guy, and reach back out to him and offer him a life line and some much needed help.

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The Girl You Don't Bring Home to Momma November 13, 2008 at 2:38 pm

It seems to me that you were almost sucked back in. Be strong, you can now honestly say “I tried and it didn’t work” It’s better than never knowing at all.

The Girl You Don’t Bring Home to Momma´s last blog post…You Know How I Love My Keywords

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Mom2Maddie99 November 13, 2008 at 5:26 pm

I wasted most of my 20′s going back to failed relationships.

It just isn’t the way to go.

Have you read “It’s Called a Breakup Because Its Broken?”, if not I suggest you order it ASAP!!

It really helped me to realize you cannot go back.

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singlemomseeking November 13, 2008 at 5:52 pm

Jim: Are you suggesting I offer him “make out” sessions when the need arises?

I hear your empathy. But seriously, although I’m in good place emotionally right now, I don’t want to be his therapist — his “life line,” as you say.

If you read his blog, he seems to be craving sex — and without any regrets.

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stef November 13, 2008 at 6:05 pm

No, we/they were saying, the guy has issues and isn’t ready for a relationship, don’t waste your time!

I agree about never knowing if you don’t try, but why try when all the signs are there saying that it won’t work? I don’t have that kind of time to waste. But maybe that’s just me…as I’ve gotten older, my tolerance is much less.

And no one said YOU weren’t supportive. YOU were saying that WE weren’t. I will always give my best advice, if asked. And it just may be not to give a loser or otherwise unworthy guy the time of day. This guy had issues when they dated previously and he has issues now. To me that’s a no brainer. But opinions are going to differ! That’s the fun of having a blog.

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PT-LawMom November 13, 2008 at 6:15 pm

Ouchie. :( And I’d say you DEFINITELY have his blog pegged. Seems like a fun guy but really not in a place to have a relationship. You deserve the whole package and then some!

PT-LawMom´s last blog post…Big Ass Truck, Anyone?

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Giyen November 13, 2008 at 8:28 pm

good lawd woman, this makes me reluctant to get out there!

Giyen´s last blog post…Holy Moley!

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T November 13, 2008 at 9:06 pm

Girl, I hope you’re ok over there. I agree… no regrets. Every thing happened exactly as it should have.

You rock and you know it. You deserve and will have better. This I do know.

T´s last blog post…Crossing that bridge with lessons I’ve learned…

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NappyKitchen November 13, 2008 at 11:15 pm

He fitted the description from the start: FINE AS HECK, BUT FULL OF CRAP.

Yes, as someone else hinted, the low trail / high trail seemed too much of a coincident.

He obviously has some serious issues and he’s trying to pull you (and everyone else who will listen) kicking and screaming into the swirling vortex of doom which is his life.

I recently got a ‘surprise’ from an EX wanting to return to me with more baggage than I sent him away with. WHAT THA???? I didn’t think that was possible. I’m in a string ‘um up mood …

* Breathe, Nappy. Breathe, breathe, breathe … *

I’m glad you realize that Gourmet Cookies and roach poop just do not go together.;)

NappyKitchen´s last blog post…What does ‘Kitchen’ Mean?

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keenkamsmom November 14, 2008 at 5:17 am

I thought the same thing when you said he asked you to come over to “make out”. How old are we now? I’m glad that he revealed his true colors to you before you got too invested in the relationship. I agree, you do deserve far better than what he has to offer you.

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Alicia November 15, 2008 at 8:54 pm

Geez, Rachel, my heart just sank when I read this post. So many of us have been there; you try to take that step (ever so cautious) and then the other shoe drops in such a painful way. So glad you were spared now, rather than later. You don’t need the B.S. And I’m totally with you when you said “I don’t want to be his therapist”. How dare he come into your life and waste your time this way? Again, so sorry things went down this way.

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