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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