Everybody hurts, everybody cries

Photo credit: Rachel Robinson
Rachel Robinson

Dear Dan: My ex-boyfriend and I were together for a year and a half. He is a silver fox who is significantly older than me. I was 23 when we met and he was 58. It was supposed to be a fling, but it evolved into a beautiful romance. But after much consideration (he has a vasectomy and already has four kids and will be retiring soon), we ended it three months ago. It was heartbreaking, but we made a conscious decision to be close friends and talk every day. Out of the blue last week, he asked me if I had a boyfriend. I don’t, but I was coincidentally about to go on my first date since the breakup. He proceeded to tell me he “kinda” has a new girlfriend, a woman closer to his age. This was not something I wanted to hear, which he could tell from the silence that met this disclosure. This conversation ruined my weekend. I have been unable to eat or sleep. The guy I went on a date with was sexy — not a love connection, but a bangtown prospect — but I was too emotionally fucked to do anything with him. Do I explain these thoughts to my ex? Let time do the healing? Why did my ex feel the need to tell me about his new girlfriend?

—Heartbroken Over New Ex’s Yummy

Dear HONEY: Your ex told you about his new girlfriend because you two are close friends, right? And close friends typically confide in each other about their love lives, don’t they? And that’s what you wanted, isn’t it?

Backing up: It’s always inspiring when two people manage to salvage a friendship after their romantic relationship ends. But it’s not possible — it’s certainly not on anyone’s list of breakup best practices — to go in an instant from lovers to besties who talk on the phone every day. You got your heart broken, HONEY, and only time can cauterize that particular wound. Your reaction to the news that your ex has a new girlfriend proves your post-breakup friendship wasn’t a “conscious decision” but an ill-advised rush. And while the physical aspect of your relationship with Mr. Silver Fox ended three months ago, you never got out of each other’s pants emotionally. (A bruised ego might also be contributing to your inability to eat or sleep — he got over you faster than you got over him.)

I don’t think you should explain anything to your ex right now, HONEY, because I don’t think you should talk to your ex for the next six months or so. You need to get on with your life — and getting on that new guy is a good place to start.

Dear Dan: I’m a 26-year-old heterosexual female, and I was recently dumped by my boyfriend. He was my first love and the person I lost my virginity to. We’d been seeing each other for a little over a year. I had sex with someone else while I was seeing my ex (it was a more casual relationship in the beginning). I wanted more, and I’m not 100 percent sure but think that’s what scared him off. I went into a depression and started seeing a therapist. This all happened a little more than a month ago. Friends tell me that the “best way to get over someone is to get under someone else,” but I’m not sure what to do. I’m pretty sure I’m doing the thing I shouldn’t be doing: holding out hope my ex will decide he made a horrible decision and want to be with me again. I know it is idiotic to have this hope. Can you give me some direction?

—Don’t Underestimate My Pain

Dear DUMP: This may not be helpful in the short term, DUMP, but it’s not idiotic to hold out hope your ex will take you back. It could happen — indeed, it has happened for lots of folks. I have two friends who are married to men who dumped them, regretted it, and begged to be taken back. The trick, however, is to assume it won’t happen and make a conscious effort to get on with your life. (And, if necessary, a conscious effort to get under someone else.) Your boyfriend/first love/first fuck dumped you a little more than a month ago — you’re allowed, one month and change later, to live in hope of a reconciliation. Odds are good, though, that it’s a false hope, DUMP, so don’t pass on any solid offers and keep seeing that therapist. 

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