Category: breakup scenes


By The Numbers: Say Goodbye Edition

June 23rd, 2010 — 8:27pm

Like significant others, no two breakups are exactly alike. Though each brings its share of the post-split blues, what you learn that moves you forward is different every time.

As I think about how I’ve grown from my most recent split, I can’t help also thinking of the goodbye moments that have stood out for me over the years. Here are a few — By The Numbers:

Number of Breakups: 8
Number of Mutual Breakups: 2
Number of Breakups in Public Places: 3 (2 in a restaurant, 1 in Central Park)
Number of Breakups That Happened Mid-Vacation: 1
Number of Breakups Via Phone: 2

The most recent relationship-ending phone conversation, of course, was with Cleveland Chris. For once, I felt grateful to be in a long distance scenario — because I was spared the inevitably unpleasant in-person breakup scene. When someone isn’t right for you, there’s a lot to be said for parting ways in less than five minutes.

Coming up…the scoop on New York Post date #4 and a very happy hour.

| breaking up with a boyfriend, breakup scenes, By The Numbers, long-distance relationships

The Platonic Breakup

January 23rd, 2010 — 7:22pm


Whether it’s with a friend or lover, breaking up is a messy business — a fact of which I was reminded during a recent encounter with a former colleague.

After catching up over a pleasant lunch, said former co-worker unexpectedly launched into a 45-minute monologue about why he needed to pull back from our friendship. He felt ‘stifled,’ he said, adding that he still needs ‘space’ to figure out his feelings.

“It’s not because of waning interest or because you were too needy,” he told me. “And I’m sure at some point in the future I’m going to want to drop you a line.”

I was baffled. How, I wondered, had I suddenly been cast as a jilted significant other, when the man doing the rejecting happened to be gay?

The question got me to thinking about how, unlike with romantic relationships, there’s really no road map for ending a friendship.

In my experience, when friendship fades, it’s a gradual process that bypasses the breakup scene altogether. You start seeing each other less and communicating less frequently. And that fizzling out tends to happen once you no longer share what brought you together in the first place — a common workplace or dating status, for example.

Interestingly enough, this is exactly what took place with my now ex gay best friend. Our lunch was only the second time we’d socialized in a year, so his I’m-just-not-that-into-you speech seemed more than a little irrelevant.

Still, I can’t help appreciating the irony that he took a page out of the breakup playbook to get his message across. Well done. He just needs to work on his timing.

| breakup scenes, dating status, gay best friends, when friendship fades, workplace friends

The Platonic Breakup

January 23rd, 2010 — 2:22pm


Whether it’s with a friend or lover, breaking up is a messy business — a fact of which I was reminded during a recent encounter with a former colleague.

After catching up over a pleasant lunch, said former co-worker unexpectedly launched into a 45-minute monologue about why he needed to pull back from our friendship. He felt ‘stifled,’ he said, adding that he still needs ‘space’ to figure out his feelings.

“It’s not because of waning interest or because you were too needy,” he told me. “And I’m sure at some point in the future I’m going to want to drop you a line.”

I was baffled. How, I wondered, had I suddenly been cast as a jilted significant other, when the man doing the rejecting happened to be gay?

The question got me to thinking about how, unlike with romantic relationships, there’s really no road map for ending a friendship.

In my experience, when friendship fades, it’s a gradual process that bypasses the breakup scene altogether. You start seeing each other less and communicating less frequently. And that fizzling out tends to happen once you no longer share what brought you together in the first place — a common workplace or dating status, for example.

Interestingly enough, this is exactly what took place with my now ex gay best friend. Our lunch was only the second time we’d socialized in a year, so his I’m-just-not-that-into-you speech seemed more than a little irrelevant.

Still, I can’t help appreciating the irony that he took a page out of the breakup playbook to get his message across. Well done. He just needs to work on his timing.

| breakup scenes, dating status, gay best friends, when friendship fades, workplace friends

Opening The Vault: Part Thirty Five

May 10th, 2009 — 3:21pm

In a long-distance relationship, you get plenty of practice at saying goodbye. Still, all the practice swan songs in the world don’t make parting for good any easier — as I discovered when I broke up with California-based beau Mark (a.k.a Sparky).

Smile Though Your Heart Is Breaking: Sparky took this picture of me during my tumultuous visit to L.A., June 1995

Like the many goodbyes that preceded it, our final farewell took place at LAX. I now Open The Vault and take you back to the summer of 1995…

June 9th, 1995
San Diego, CA

Dear Diary,

After telling him we were breaking up, Mark and I went to dinner. We had a heated conversation about where we had gone so wrong with each other.

“We’ve played everything by your rules,” Mark said bitterly, about the pitfalls of our situation [being miles apart, my inability to make a commitment].

At no point during his monologue did he acknowledge the lengths I had gone to for the sake of our relationship — lying to my parents, skipping school and eventually going head to head with Mom and Dad, all so that he could have me in his hometown.

Mark faulted me for crying.

“I’m sorry,” I said, “I’m not 37, so I haven’t learned how to control my emotions.”

“Don’t do that–okay,” he answered angrily. “Just because I’m not crying doesn’t mean I don’t have feelings. I’m hurt. I’m disappointed.”

Eventually, we calmed down. Mark’s voice softened when he said–

“I still think I’m going to get a call from you in two years.”

“You just might,” I said, laughing through my tears.

* * *

[I wasn’t due to leave L.A. for three days. For some reason that I have no logical explanation for, I didn’t change my plans. And, after much back and forth, Mark said I could stay with him for the duration. Somehow, we managed not to kill each other.]

June 12th, 1995

Ironically, the drive to LAX took only 20 minutes. Every other time Mark has dropped me off, we’ve encountered horrendous traffic on the freeway. Now, with the end for us finally at hand, there was no doubt I would catch my flight.

“I’m sure we’ll keep in touch through the years,” he said.

At the airport, we hugged. Sparky said he would probably be in New York before the end of the year. Hand in hand, we walked to the gate.

“I’m trying to think of something profound to say,” I said.

“There isn’t any — just be happy, be successful,” he said.

“I will,” I answered. “You too.”

We arrived at the point of departure to find passengers already boarding. I put down my bag and we stood with our arms around each other. The final moment for us had arrived. We hugged tenderly.

“Have a good life,” he said.

“You too,” I replied.

And with that, I let go of Mark and proceeded to the gate.

Just before rounding the corner of the ramp, I looked back at Sparky one last time. Then, with no tears but merely a profound sense of sadness and loss, I walked onto the plane that would take me away from Mark’s world and to a new life — without him.

* * *

Though I didn’t know it then, the final chapter had yet to be written for me and Sparky. He would remain true to his word and stay in touch, paving the way for a new phase in our relationship — one that would keep us in each other’s orbit and yet also reveal the wisdom of my decision to walk away.

| breakup scenes, LAX airport, long-distance relationships, Opening The Vault

Opening The Vault: Part Thirty Four

May 2nd, 2009 — 6:52pm

Like the song says, breaking up is hard to do — and it’s even harder when you’re still in love with your significant other. My feelings for CA-based beau Mark (a.k.a Sparky) remained as I prepared to tell him it was over between us.

Tired of trying to forge a relationship from 3,000 miles apart — and of the near-constant arguing precipitated by it — I knew the time had come to call it quits. I now Open The Vault and take you back to the summer of 1995…

June 8th, 1995
San Diego, CA

Dear Diary,

Thankfully, the growth that was removed from Mark’s stomach turned out to be benign. He was still in discomfort, though, so he nixed the whirlwind excursion we’d planned and suggested we go to San Diego instead.

I was silent for the duration of the approximately 2-hour ride. All I kept thinking was — how am I going to tell him?

A road trip to San Diego illuminated how far apart Mark and I had grown

Of course, leave it to Mark to get romantic as I’m thinking that our days together were numbered. As Bryan Adams’ “Have You Ever Really Loved A Woman” came on the radio, Mark turned down the volume and said —

“You know, it seems like every time we get comfortable with each other, you leave. There’s always this void when you go.”

“Really?” I snapped. “I find that very hard to believe.”

Unfortunately, when I’m mean, I’m the worst.

When we got to our hotel, Mark kept asking me what was wrong. I needed a little more time to figure out what to say, so I laid down next to him and told him as much.

He started to kiss me and eventually, I ended up on top of him. His arms were encircling my waist as he kissed the nape of my neck. Looking up at the ceiling, I fought in vain to hold back tears.
I love you so much, Sparky, I thought to myself, but it’s no good anymore.

* * *

Later, Sparky pressed me again to tell him what was on my mind. I knew I couldn’t hold back the truth any longer.
Though I had rehearsed this scene time and time again, I floundered for words. I struggled to explain how I’d arrived at my painful decision.

“So, you’re saying you’re ready to move on,” he finally interjected, saying what I couldn’t bring myself to.

“I don’t know,” I said, my voice trailing off. But we both knew that yes was what I really meant.

Mark stood up and said he was going for a walk. I was more than a little anxious that he seemed so calm. As it turned out, I had reason to be worried — a torrent of animosity was about to be unleashed.

* * *
Though I’d found the courage to tell Mark we were through, my timing couldn’t have been worse — I wasn’t due to leave California for another four days.

| breakup scenes, Bryan Adams, long-distance relationships, road trips, San Diego

J-School Reunion: Part One

April 29th, 2009 — 4:20pm

Last weekend, I attended my ten year reunion at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism.

Past experience has taught me that class reunions can be something of a minefield. You invariably go into them wondering — will I measure up to my classmates? Will everyone else have aged better and have built up more interesting careers?

Thankfully, reconnecting with my j-school peers found me reflecting on a happier subject, namely how easy it is to pick up right where you left off even after a decade has passed.

Bond Street: The chic SoHo restaurant’s lounge was the setting for my j-school class reunion

The festivities began Friday night over shared appetizers at trendy Bond Street in SoHo, where I caught up with about a dozen of my classmates.

L.A. transplant Eric had me skeptical when he said it is possible to be happy in California as a New Yorker. I think his acclimation to West Coast life might have something to do with a passion for producing documentaries for the likes of MTV and ABC News.

I got into a lengthy conversation with on-air reporting star and sweetheart Colin about writing for Examiner.com, the curiosity to explore new paths that goes along with being a journalist, and the ups and downs of thirtysomething singlehood.

We shared breakup war stories from the last 10 years. Colin told me of the quickest breakup scene he’s ever had. During an argument with a highly-strung woman, she sarcastically called out–

“Alright, peace!”

He responded with the same two words–and that was that. I laughed, telling him I admired his brevity. My breakup scenes have tended to be much more drawn out affairs. There’s something to be said for cutting to the chase.

Up next…a bittersweet return to campus and the extremes of online dating behavior.

| breakup scenes, class reunions, Columbia University, dating in your thirties, journalism school

J-School Reunion: Part One

April 29th, 2009 — 11:20am

Last weekend, I attended my ten year reunion at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism.

Past experience has taught me that class reunions can be something of a minefield. You invariably go into them wondering — will I measure up to my classmates? Will everyone else have aged better and have built up more interesting careers?

Thankfully, reconnecting with my j-school peers found me reflecting on a happier subject, namely how easy it is to pick up right where you left off even after a decade has passed.

Bond Street: The chic SoHo restaurant’s lounge was the setting for my j-school class reunion

The festivities began Friday night over shared appetizers at trendy Bond Street in SoHo, where I caught up with about a dozen of my classmates.

L.A. transplant Eric had me skeptical when he said it is possible to be happy in California as a New Yorker. I think his acclimation to West Coast life might have something to do with a passion for producing documentaries for the likes of MTV and ABC News.

I got into a lengthy conversation with on-air reporting star and sweetheart Colin about writing for Examiner.com, the curiosity to explore new paths that goes along with being a journalist, and the ups and downs of thirtysomething singlehood.

We shared breakup war stories from the last 10 years. Colin told me of the quickest breakup scene he’s ever had. During an argument with a highly-strung woman, she sarcastically called out–

“Alright, peace!”

He responded with the same two words–and that was that. I laughed, telling him I admired his brevity. My breakup scenes have tended to be much more drawn out affairs. There’s something to be said for cutting to the chase.

Up next…a bittersweet return to campus and the extremes of online dating behavior.

| breakup scenes, class reunions, Columbia University, dating in your thirties, journalism school

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