The Post Breakup Run-In

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Story Time: Excusez-moi?!?!
August 2020

As if breakups weren’t bad enough, what I had been most concerned about post breakup was the inevitable post breakup run in. Manhattan is unfortunately not big enough to safely distance exes, especially when you least expect it. About 2 months post breakup, I was finally feeling like myself again- running, cooking, talking to friends about non ex related content, and the grey cloud following me around had pretty much evaporated. Of course, the first month was an absolute disaster to the point where I could not recognize myself in the mirror, and I had completely lost my mind. Thankfully, I have the most amazing group of friends and family because I couldn’t pick up the shattered pieces myself, and everyone seemed to put back a small piece for me. 

But yesterday evening, I had the extreme displeasure of running into my ex- let’s call him Andrew, 2 months post breakup. I had spent the afternoon playing tennis at the East River courts with my good friend and his coworker, and we decided to get Mexican food afterwards. For 2 months, I had avoided going to places where I thought I could potentially run into Andrew. This included anywhere from 30th- 50th streets on the East side of Manhattan, as well as the East river running path that we used to take from 40th street down to LES. That was pretty much all I had accounted for since one of Andrew’s main personality traits was his dislike for commuting more than 10 minutes from his apartment. But lo and behold, as I am choking on a frozen margarita (a piece of ice went down the wrong pipe) at a little Cuban restaurant on a sidewalk in Nolita, who happens to walk by? None other than Andrew with I believe one of his college friends, and two girls. It wouldn’t be fair to say anything about the girls because I don’t know them and they could be amazing people, but… And he just looked me straight in the eyes for a second and continued walking.

So a lot of thoughts and feelings crossed my mind immediately afterwards. The first bit was really just shock. As I mentioned, Andrew was notorious for not wanting to go out (unless it was a drinking rampage) or socialize, and especially not so far downtown. It was an unbelievable coincidence- I was originally supposed to hangout in Queens, but then last minute decided to play tennis in LES, and the restaurant that we chose was also a complete spur of the moment pick. The second phase after the shock settled was pure anger. Suddenly, Andrew becomes mister popular and gallavants around town after we break up? He never wanted to do anything, or go anywhere, or explore before. Throughout the entire relationship, Andrew was a hermit who constantly stated that he didn’t need friends, have friends, or want friends. When we broke up one of the things he said was “I just need to be alone right now.” But I guess that was really just directed towards me, and meant to last 2 months… 

I thought that I could change Andrew. I wanted him to have a better work life balance, to value people and experiences over work and money, to be less selfish and more caring, to have a zest for life and want to live it to its fullest, and show him that being surrounded by loving people is the best thing that you could ask for. I don’t know how I could have weathered the storm without each phone call, text, or hug that I received from the people in my life. I was able to properly grieve and move on because of these people. Yes Andrew, you own a nice, expensive studio in Manhattan, but does that comfort you at night? Does that ease the pain and fill your emotional needs? His apartment was a huge factor of disruption in our relationship, but I’ll get more into that later on. The point is, I was trying to change everything about him. He was perfect on paper in terms of things that I now know shouldn’t matter as much such as looks, background, jobs, etc., but it did not translate into perfect in real life.

Part of me thinks that I failed him. That it was my job to change him into a better person and that I obviously failed. Sorry Joanne, but your son truly is broken. I didn’t accomplish changing him, and in fact he changed me for the worse. I have been consumed with so much resentment and hate, that I can’t even say that I want him to be happy. At this point, I wish I could erase him as easily as he probably erased me, and I don’t think that he deserves to be happy after all that he put me through. I’m not sure if that will ever change, and at this point I sadly don’t care. TBD.

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