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. Funny, that over the edge forth­right­ness is what I find the most iden­ti­fy­ing­ly refresh­ing about you. Of course I’m blamed for the same trait.

  2. @Xibee — Thanks. I wish I could say that it nev­er got me in trou­ble. Or maybe peo­ple should hear the truth nonethe­less. I haven’t decid­ed yet.

    @Pita — Very fun­ny.

  3. Maybe it is some­thing about the sea­sons. I won­der if peo­ple get cycli­cal urges to look up and open up old clo­sures in more con­stant cli­mates.

    Boundary changes can be awk­ward. Can’t know where new ones can be with­out inquir­ing.

  4. It may be the some­thing about the sea­sons for some. For me and a few of my girl­friends, the fall is the most roman­tic time of the year. I think it has some­thing to do with the leaves, but I can’t explain it.

    Maybe this in itself is region­al, because only cer­tain parts of the world have the same vibrant autumn colours as Canada.

  5. Not want­i­ng to in any way dimin­ish the val­ue of the blog for express­ing your­self, but I do hope there’s peo­ple in your life you can say what­ev­er you want to ask well. I think that’s prob­a­bly pret­ty impor­tant.

  6. There are peo­ple in my life with whom I can be total­ly open, but it’s only close friends. People like that are few and far between.

    For most oth­er peo­ple, I think it’d be pret­ty inap­pro­pri­ate to say what I want. It would just cre­ate a lot of dra­ma, and many aren’t pre­pared to hear the truth (or my ver­sion of it, at least). Maybe that’s why I write here so often.

  7. I’ve been read­ing some of your insight­ful blog entries for a while, and it nev­er ceas­es to amaze me the dif­fer­ent paths in life that every­one takes. I’m bare­ly begin­ning my life, still won­der­ing where this road will take me. Hmm..not much else to say unfor­tu­nate­ly, but I’ll be around ran­dom­ly com­ment­ing on the moments of your life that you’ve decid­ed to share with the rest of the world.


  8. I think it’s a com­mon thing to always be curi­ous about how our friends end up, let alone what dif­fer­ent paths we have yet to take indi­vid­u­al­ly.

    Thanks for de-lurk­ing, it’s always nice to know who’s read­ing. :)

  9. I just want­ed to drop by to say thanks for intro­duc­ing me to WordPress, I’ve start­ed pro­mot­ing its use instead of Movable Type and have had a more enjoy­able time play­ing around with it, espe­cial­ly since the price is right. :)

    Your post hit a res­o­nant chord. I con­tact­ed an ex last year after 5 years of silence and I real­ized after that expe­ri­ence that there is some­times good rea­son for those silences to remain. I’ve always want­ed to write a long entry enti­tled “let­ters to all the girls I’ve loved”, but I nev­er seem to be able to hit the “post” but­ton.

  10. @Jason — Not a prob­lem, I’m always try­ing to espouse on the use of WordPress, espe­cial­ly over the evil Movable Type.

    It’s always a risk to bring back old mem­o­ries; things can always go either way. Sometimes it takes a leap of faith to hit “pub­lish”. It also helps if you feel that it’s worth the risk.

    @scarlet woundsmile — It’s com­fort­ing to know that I’m not the only one who feels this way. I’m sure I’m as glad as you are. :)

  11. Hi,

    I had an ex call me a cou­ple of months ago. Supposedly it was a step in her 12-step pro­gram to reach out to those that she had hurt. She did hurt me, but it was before she became a user — of drugs, that is. I would have liked to con­tin­ue stay­ing in touch with her, but I ran into a sim­i­lar thing as you did — she was­n’t open any­more the way that she had been. Without that open­ness I sim­ply had no desire to call her back.

    Best regards,


  12. Thanks for the insight.
    I’ve been debat­ing if I should con­tact my first love after 19 years of silence. I don’t know why, but it’s been the only thing I can think of for the past two weeks. It almost feels like some­thing is telling me to con­tact her. I was on the net and Googled her name only to find she nev­er changed her last name (like­ly nev­er mar­ried) and only lives 10 miles from me. We both have moved sev­er­al times, includ­ing long dis­tance moves, and we both moved back to the same area in 2005. Our depar­ture from one anto­her was not on good terms and I’m sim­ply look­ing for advice if I should leave this alone or take the chance and send her a let­ter. I would like for her to know how much she still means to me and that I still care great­ly for her.

    If any women can give me some direc­tion it would be great­ly appre­ci­at­ed.

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