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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