Category: being friends with an ex


Opening The Vault: Part Fifty Two

October 3rd, 2009 — 3:07pm

When you still have feelings for each other, remaining friends with an ex can be tricky — as I discovered time and again with California native Mark (a.k.a. Sparky).

Nearly two years after we broke up in 1995, I was crushed when a dinner encounter in NYC failed to produce those three little words from him. Oddly, I’d grown accustomed to hearing it in our post-breakup relationship. I soon found out the reason Sparky was tight lipped. I now Open The Vault and take you back to the spring of ‘97.…

April 4th, 1997
New York, NY

Dear Diary,

Sparky called me today. I knew he’d eventually call, but didn’t expect to hear his voice at work this afternoon. I could feel my heart beating rapidly and the effort it took not to be tongue tied.

1 State Street Plaza: I was at my desk here at Thomson Financial when Sparky called

As if he’d read my mind, he told me what was going through his Monday night.

“I didn’t want to get too crazy,” he said.

“Meaning what?” I asked, wanting him to spell it out.

“I didn’t want to make it any harder than it had to be since I knew my visit was going to be short,” he said.

I told him I was surprised he’d been in such a hurry to leave, and wondered if it was because of me. Sparky insisted he was tired from his journey — and that he’d held back because “there’s a lot of etiquette” to our relationship.

“I didn’t want to degrade what we have,” he said firmly.

Sparky admitted that he thought about asking me to come back with him to his hotel.

“It wasn’t that I didn’t want you to,” he told me, to which I responded that I had considered asking him to spend the night.

“I miss you,” I said finally.

“I miss you too,” he said — in that warm tone of voice that indicates he thinks of me often.

It meant so much that he called just to tell me, albeit without those three little words, that his feelings haven’t changed. All my doubts were laid to rest — our love is still alive.

We’ve spent more time being officially split up than we have as a couple and yet, we can’t seem to let go. Is it so wrong to hope that, someday, all of this what if-ing will lead us to a second chance together?

* * *
Though Sparky and I remained connected, we also continued to move forward in our separate lives. An unexpected twist of fate in his life would force us to do what we had been unable to when I first walked away.

| being friends with an ex, catching up with old flames, ex boyfriends, long-distance relationships, saying I love you

June 9th, 2009 — 8:35pm

When it comes to remaining friends with an ex, being 3,000 miles apart helps — as I discovered with my Calfornia-based boyfriend Mark (a.k.a. Sparky).

Nearly a year after I broke it off between us, Sparky continued to call and we fell into a rhythm of communicating at least a couple of times a month. In the meantime, my romance with brooding and brilliant Larry continued to blossom, as he assured me his recreational drug habit was behind him. I now Open The Vault and take you back the summer of 1996…

May 18th, 1996
New York, NY

Dear Diary,

I had the pleasure of seeing Larry twice this week, and both times I rediscovered everything that drew me to him in the first place.

His quick wit and inexhaustible vocabulary engage my intellect, while his attentiveness and sensitivity appeal to the emotional side of me…There isn’t an encounter we’ve had during which Larry has failed to tell me how desirable I am to him.

All smiles during my first road trip with Larry to Broadkill Beach, Delaware, July 1996

As anyone who knows me will tell you, Larry was a very tough nut to crack in the beginning. Hardened by divorce and years of solitude, he was reluctant to get involved with me beyond a very superficial level.

Still, I was patient and willing to accommodate Larry’s hesitancy. Because the more time we’ve spent together, the more apparent it’s become how he feels about me. As his [CFA] exam draws closer, Larry has spoken more and more about being with me more frequently after June 1st.

* * *

May 27th, 1996

I guess it shouldn’t surprise me that I still think about Sparky a lot. He’s the only man I ever thought about marrying.

Rationally, I know all of the reasons I ended our relationship. But that hasn’t changed my feelings for him. A few weeks ago, Sparky called and admitted the same thing.

“It was very difficult for me to let go,” he said, “but nothing will ever change my love for you.”

“I love you too, Sparky,” I replied.

“I still think we have a chance,” he said.

“So do I.”

* * *

And so, Sparky and I kept the door open for a reprise between us. I couldn’t have imagined then where the years would take us — or the ways in which time would only confirm what I already knew about him.

| being friends with an ex, Broadkill Beach, , long-distance relationships

By The Numbers: Old Flame Edition

June 5th, 2009 — 4:33pm

Today, I’m enjoying a Summer Friday off from work — and some quality time with my old flame Steve.

We had planned to catch up during my recent visit to Kansas City, where Steve now lives with his wife. He was (understandably) busy celebrating their first anniversary.

City Gal: Steve took this picture of me when he visited NYC back in 2006


This will be the first time in years we’ve had a full day together, so I can’t help feeling nostalgic about the memorable moments we’ve shared since we met nearly eight years ago. Here are a few of them — By The Numbers:

Number of cities in which Steve and I have reunited: 5
Number of weeks after meeting that we first said those three little words: 2
Number of steamy clinches in an airport parking lot: 1
Number of aborted breakups via email: 2
Number of giant teddy bears Steve has given me: 1

Steve’s thoughtful gestures went far beyond stuffed animals. A man with the soul of an artist, he’s also written me poetry and music — and has, throughout the trajectory our relationship has taken, always been in my corner.

Whether it’s encouraging me in my literary aspirations or sending me a comforting email on the anniversary of my dad’s passing, Steve never fails to be there for me. We are that rare exception of former lovers who have become friends. And, really, that’s what love is all about.

| being friends with an ex, By The Numbers, catching up with old flames, Kansas City, Summer Fridays

By The Numbers: Old Flame Edition

June 5th, 2009 — 11:33am

Today, I’m enjoying a Summer Friday off from work — and some quality time with my old flame Steve.

We had planned to catch up during my recent visit to Kansas City, where Steve now lives with his wife. He was (understandably) busy celebrating their first anniversary.

City Gal: Steve took this picture of me when he visited NYC back in 2006


This will be the first time in years we’ve had a full day together, so I can’t help feeling nostalgic about the memorable moments we’ve shared since we met nearly eight years ago. Here are a few of them — By The Numbers:

Number of cities in which Steve and I have reunited: 5
Number of weeks after meeting that we first said those three little words: 2
Number of steamy clinches in an airport parking lot: 1
Number of aborted breakups via email: 2
Number of giant teddy bears Steve has given me: 1

Steve’s thoughtful gestures went far beyond stuffed animals. A man with the soul of an artist, he’s also written me poetry and music — and has, throughout the trajectory our relationship has taken, always been in my corner.

Whether it’s encouraging me in my literary aspirations or sending me a comforting email on the anniversary of my dad’s passing, Steve never fails to be there for me. We are that rare exception of former lovers who have become friends. And, really, that’s what love is all about.

| being friends with an ex, By The Numbers, catching up with old flames, Kansas City, Summer Fridays

May 16th, 2009 — 8:11pm

When you break up with someone, you inevitably find yourself wondering — is it really over? It didn’t take long for that question to come up after ending my relationship with California-based beau Mark (a.k.a. Sparky).

Single in St. Louis: A girlfriends getaway here was my first stop after calling it quits with Sparky, June 1995
Just one week after we said goodbye, Sparky called. And he continued calling on a regular basis, making it clear the door was open for us to see each other again. While slowly getting my bearings as a newly-single college grad, I also contemplated what the future would bring for our complicated love.

I now Open The Vault and take you back to the summer of 1995…

June 20th, 1995
New York, NY

Dear Diary,

Guess who just called? Sparky! He just returned from Hawaii and said he was calling to say “I love you.”

I apologized for being difficult when we were together.

“You, difficult?” he quipped and we both laughed.

I mentioned having a had a weird dream about being pregnant.

“I hope I was involved in that,” he said.

Before saying goodbye, Sparky promised to call before the week’s end.

Wow. I guess men really do want what they can’t have. Could it be that, now that we’ve ‘broken up,’ our relationship will be stronger?

I’m still intending to move full speed ahead with my life. But I can’t help liking the idea that Spark Plugs will still, somehow, be a part of it.

* * *
June 25th, 1995

Sparky called again today. He said he dreamt that I had called him to say I’d found a prince and was getting married.

“You’re not so easily replaced,” I assured him.

When I teased him about moving on with Polynesian princesses in Hawaii, he said firmly–

“It doesn’t work that way.”

Mom insists that I’ll hear from Sparky “400,000 more times” and that I can bank on him coming to New York before the year is out.

“When a man is in love,” she said, “he doesn’t give up.”

* * *

July 20th, 1995

I’m hanging in there. I still have my blue moments and I’m in dire need of a steady job and stable social life, but I’m okay. Being in touch with Mark takes some of the edge off my loneliness. Hopefully, a fling will occur sometime soon.

* * *

Much more than a fling awaited me when I began a temp job as a receptionist. One of my co-workers would end up becoming the next big thing romantically — and showing me just how much better it is when your significant other is of the local variety.

| being friends with an ex, girlfriend getaways, Opening The Vault, , St. Louis Arch

By The Numbers: More Than Friends Edition

December 17th, 2008 — 3:21am

When it comes to relationships, the question of whether a man and woman can be just friends is one that tends to come up time and time again.

I’ve experienced my fair share of friendships that veered into mutual attraction territory — and navigated the equally tricky terrain of attempting to cross back over the platonic line with ex-boyfriends.

Inevitably, I suppose, the latter transition is more difficult. After all, as one of my favorite post-breakup books says, it’s not easy being just friends with someone who once saw you naked.

Still, many of my most memorable moments with the opposite sex have come from rekindling old flames or discovering there’s one worth igniting with a friend. Here are some of the relationships that have straddled the more than friends line — By The Numbers:

Number of male friends I ended up locking lips with: 3
Number of disastrous flings that resulted in the end of a friendship: 1
Number of post-breakup friendships that led to a romantic reprise: 5
Number of successful ongoing post-breakup friendships: 1
Number of evenings with a friend of five years that have ended with a kiss: 3

The most recent of those evenings, a last-minute autumn encounter when my hunky friend breezed into town, was an exhilarating reminder that some mutual attractions are too strong to deny and worth the potential complications that accompany them.

Coming up…an evening with Bill and Hillary Clinton and a double dose of holiday partying.

| being friends with an ex, , By The Numbers,

By The Numbers: More Than Friends Edition

December 16th, 2008 — 10:21pm

When it comes to relationships, the question of whether a man and woman can be just friends is one that tends to come up time and time again.

I’ve experienced my fair share of friendships that veered into mutual attraction territory — and navigated the equally tricky terrain of attempting to cross back over the platonic line with ex-boyfriends.

Inevitably, I suppose, the latter transition is more difficult. After all, as one of my favorite post-breakup books says, it’s not easy being just friends with someone who once saw you naked.

Still, many of my most memorable moments with the opposite sex have come from rekindling old flames or discovering there’s one worth igniting with a friend. Here are some of the relationships that have straddled the more than friends line — By The Numbers:

Number of male friends I ended up locking lips with: 3
Number of disastrous flings that resulted in the end of a friendship: 1
Number of post-breakup friendships that led to a romantic reprise: 5
Number of successful ongoing post-breakup friendships: 1
Number of evenings with a friend of five years that have ended with a kiss: 3

The most recent of those evenings, a last-minute autumn encounter when my hunky friend breezed into town, was an exhilarating reminder that some mutual attractions are too strong to deny and worth the potential complications that accompany them.

Coming up…an evening with Bill and Hillary Clinton and a double dose of holiday partying.

| being friends with an ex, , By The Numbers,

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