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February 12

Valentine’s date with an ex?

Filed under: Advice — posted by Breakup Girl @ 8:47 am

Tough choices on February 8, 1999

Dear Breakup Girl,

My boyfriend and I were together for 8 1/2 months, quite a feat for two seniors in high school. We broke up not too long ago, but the relationship has really been over for longer than that. At the beginning, everything was wonderful. He was different from the typical guy that I was attracted to, but that was part of the attraction. Eventually, we decided to have sex– something that I had always wanted to wait until marriage for. But after many, many make out sessions and many, many conversations on how to protect ourselves, and many, many “I love you”s, I changed my mind. Sex wasn’t something that I actually enjoyed a whole lot, because basically, I just felt really mad at myself for giving into something when I had felt so strongly about remaining a virgin until marriage.

Anyway, after our decision to bring sex into the relationship, I became extremely emotional (my guess is that it was because of the strong attatchment to him combined with my troubled thoughts and possibly some side effects to the Pill). I didn’t want to be with him any longer because all it did was remind me of how I had let myself down.

So, after two months of “trying to make things work” and a lot of tears, we broke up. I thought that it would feel horrible and it did, but only for a few days. I realized that I was better off now (no more guilt) and that we would always stay friends… which basically is what we had become by the end of the relationship.

All right, oh wise Breakup Girl, here is my question. “Jeff” called me a few days ago and asked me if I wanted to spend Valentine’s Day with him. He says that V-Day is a day to spend time with someone special and that I am that someone–his best friend. So I am wrestling with my heart and mind, which are extremely conflicting at the moment. What do I do? I would love to spend the day with him (the plan would be to go out to lunch or dinner and maybe a movie), but I am afraid that we would do something stupid and get back together — something that I don’t want right now. He is my best friend, on the other hand, and it would be good to see him and just hang out. Breakup Girl, please help!

— Horribly Confused

Dear Confused,

You are right to take the Valentine’s Day question seriously, if only because Jeff’s invitation sounds like advice someone might give him on how to start the getting-you-back process. (It wasn’t me! But it’s not bad.)

Anyway, here’s the thing. I am worried that you broke up not with Jeff, but with Guilt.

I’d like you to consider why you are giving yourself such a hard time for changing your mind about having sex. So hard, in fact, that you gave up a spiffy boyfriend in order to punish/protect yourself for/from further bad deeds/feelings. If I’m right here, then this is something you need to confront before you can enjoy intimacy — in all its 31 flavors — with whoever might come next (back).

Or: consider that you were looking for an out from this relationship — and the door marked “GUILT” was the one that swung open right in front of you.

So. Yes, if you do go out on Valentine’s Day, you might get back together. People find themselves reunited on occasions that do not involve Godiva and sweetheart roses; do not underestimate the temptation on occasions that do. As far as I’m concerned, this would be “stupid” only if: (a) you are unwilling to then have a serious talk with this third wheel known as the G-Man, or (b) you just plain vanilla don’t want to. In which case, you can “see him and just hang out” on President’s Day.

Breakup Girl


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