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.
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.
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.