May 26, 2015


Lost Angeles: Dating Your Ex is Hard

Li Kim Goh via Getty Images
Li Kim Goh via Getty Images

Ladies and gents…don’t judge me. We last left off at a place where I was about to dive into a date with my ex-boyfriend, but I want to explain why and how. To do that, we have to go back.

Let’s start at the end of last year, when I met the third guy in a row to tell me those six deadly words: “I’m not ready for a relationship." (The close cousin is “I’m not looking for anything serious.”)

Maybe we’ll get into that whole ordeal another time, but for now, the important thing to remember is Mr. Sugar (as we’ll refer to him from here on out) had repeatedly told me he didn’t want a commitment. Even went as far as to tell me that he encouraged me to date other people if it helped me from becoming attached to him, because that was a dead end road, with no exit to Commitmentville. 

Enter too much alcohol. After another night of being rejected by Mr. Sugar, I had the realization that it was High & Dry’s birthday. (I have quite a few ex-boyfriends, several of whom I've chronicled here on Fuse, so let’s call this one High & Dry.) My mezcal-fueled fingertips raced to convey belated birthday wishes with a tinge of “I don’t give a shit though.” No response. Black out.

The next morning High & Dry responded with gratitude, inquisitive responses and a texty duet which lasted late into the afternoon and ended with an agreement to catch up in person. I was floored. Quick background: Torrid love affair that burned super hot and then was blown out just as fast by H&D, thus the nickname.

Sure H&D is younger and I always felt that he was searching for something deeper than his current position in life and work. That said, he always made me feel loved and like he wanted the relationship. I was certain all his floundering had nothing to do with me; when he called it off, I was gutted, confused and left high and dry with all of my very strong feelings of love for him. 

So you can imagine my surprise when he wanted to meet up after nine months of no contact. At this point, I was still kind of seeing Mr. Sugar and pretty content with the casual sex and fun escapades, so I felt safe. I no longer felt the pull at the bottom of my heart when I thought of H&D and I was fairly certain that we’d have a good time, I’d get my validation (that it was him and not me) and we’d go our separate ways. Wrong again. Cue Ciara.

I met with H&D the first time for a six-hour date that left both of us wanting more...and the next time we saw each other we got it, a 36-hour day in bed. Damn, I'd forgotten. I asked myself how I could forget, but then I remembered why: I worked so hard trying to get over him that I actually did.

Now I can’t help but talk about it. It seems impossible that a year apart plus a gut-wrenching, life-wrecking heartbreak could allow for a second round of love, but it’s almost as if that never happened at all. Everything is there. The urgency, the laughter, the tingles. The stupid "I miss you" text after saying goodbye 10 seconds before that.

It’s like the other person was made just to fit with you somehow. Like the curves of their limbs were cut out from the same cardboard, made from the same particles, and scattered on the other side of the country so that when you finally find their piece you fit together and realize you’re made from the same crazy puzzle.

I forgot about that feeling and what’s worse is I realize that nothing I felt after him has compared, but I let myself believe it was close. I forgot what completeness feels like. What it’s like to feel like someone else’s skin is actually just a second layer of your own skin and not someone else’s. That sounds really Silence of the Lambs now that I’m reading it back, but I swear it’s not.

To add madness to the whole ordeal, H&D is leaving in a month. I feel like Phoebe the second time she said goodbye to David when he left for Minsk. Where’s Joey when I need him?

H&D's moving away on a one-way ticket to explore his life and career options, inevitably leaving me high and dry again. I can’t help but ask myself if his impending move is building the urgency, or if what we’re feeling is really that once-in-a-lifetime connection.

Meanwhile, Mr. Sugar has become even sweeter and a little more serious and wants to hang out more often—while all this is happening. I can’t help but feel guilty and strange that he might be reading this and I know I shouldn’t kiss and tell so openly, but it’s partially my job and I partially can’t help it.  

What would Carrie do? I recall Carrie dealing with her men reading her articles about them in Sex and the City (the peeing politician deserved it), but what are the true consequences of it in real life? I wish I could ask her advice right about now. How am I supposed to navigate the situation without hurting Mr. Sugar and how am I going to enjoy H&D without getting heartbroken again? Are either of those things possible?

For now, I’m going to be honest and enjoy the present. Wish me luck…I’ll let you know how it turns out.