Letter To An Ex-Girlfriend: Introduction

An ex e‑mailed me out of the blue the oth­er day. She blamed it on the fall weath­er, caus­ing her to rem­i­nisce and Google my name. We had­n’t seen or spo­ken to each oth­er in over five years.

After feel­ing each oth­er out for the first part of the exchange, we caught up on each oth­ers lives. She’s been mar­ried for three years. Moved out to Kingston after liv­ing through the pol­lu­tion and over-stim­u­la­tion of down­town Toronto. She has a full-time job while work­ing toward her Master of Education part-time. Her hus­band’s an artist at heart, she says, try­ing to make a liv­ing off cre­ative writ­ing. No kids yet, but instead, two cats, Emily Wednesday and Shadow.

Me? I moved to Ottawa for uni­ver­si­ty, bought a house, recent­ly got out of a rela­tion­ship, been work­ing as the mar­ket­ing and IT man­ag­er at a den­tal lab­o­ra­to­ry. Oh, and I have one cat, but I’m think­ing of a sec­ond.

There were some things I’d been mean­ing to ask her for a while. Going through a series of rela­tion­ships since ours has changed my per­spec­tive, and I’ve always won­dered whether she’s grown in this way as well. I put a few ques­tions to her, but she told me, in an ami­able way, that she was­n’t com­plete­ly com­fort­able indulging my curiosi­ties.

What she had no prob­lem talk­ing about before was now taboo and off lim­its. Was she afraid of upset­ting her hus­band by dis­cussing such per­son­al things with an ex-boyfriend, or did she sim­ply change so much?

There are a lot of things I’d like to say to my ex-girl­friends, but the nature of a break-up can be that of ran­cor. Communication breaks down. People lose per­spec­tive. I’ve always had a tremen­dous need to express myself, per­haps to the detri­ment of my rela­tion­ships, but dig­ging up what’s past and buried for the sake clo­sure seems a bit self­ish. After hav­ing this ex tell me that she was uncom­fort­able, I real­ized that it may have been rather inap­pro­pri­ate of me.

It’s only here that I can say what I want.

The Letter To An Ex-Girlfriend series

  1. Introduction
  2. Ashley
  3. Michele
  4. Christie
  5. Jackie
  6. Louise
  7. Bronwen


  1. I don’t see a prob­lem with con­tact­ing your ex, espe­cial­ly if you have such a strong sense to do so. I think it’s impor­tant to pay atten­tion to those kind of instincts.

    You should approach it gen­tly and with con­sid­er­a­tion, how­ev­er. You need to be care­ful of her own feel­ings, as being approached by an old lover can be quite jar­ring, even if it’s the form of a let­ter.

    And don’t be offend­ed if she does­n’t want to be con­tact­ed. Some peo­ple have moved on, and don’t expect or want to have a past dug up, espe­cial­ly if you did­n’t part on good terms.

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