Wednesday, 4 April 2012


"You're mended" came the PIB's assessment, as we sat in a cocktail bar late on Saturday night.

The weekend had been full of the things I like best: zipping around London, meeting new friends and catching up with old ones. Friday night was spent in the company of Future Housemate and later, some of her (male) friends; one of whom had caught my eye and attention from the start.

"Look at me all talking to boys 'n' that!" I'd exclaimed excitedly to the PIB the following night, "He's probably got a girlfriend, and he's probably really young. But we talked a bit. And he was lovely".

Ok, so it's just talking - hardly a string of illicit dates or marriage, not even texts - but it was nice to feel normal again. In fact, the entire weekend had felt exactly how being single in London should feel: exciting and full of endless possibilities. The broken heart a vague memory in the distance, well and truly mended.

So when the e-mail popped into my inbox on Monday night as I pottered around on the internet - a name I hadn't seen bolded and unread in there since last March - I wasn't really prepared for the zap of panic that came over me.

Here it was then, the long awaited contact. No subject line to determine what it might contain. What's he e-mailing me for? My heart started racing as I stared at my inbox. How should I reply? Should I just delete it? Why now?

The reasons for the above became clear seconds after I took a deep breath and opened the e-mail. And there it was in all its glory: a spam link. Hurrah for the ironies of modern technology; after a year of no contact, my ex boyfriend was sending me links to porn.

Don't check the other e-mail addresses to see if her name's there. Don't. Don't. Don't. 

Oh, fuck it. 

Click "more". And sure enough, among the other lucky recipients was her name, too.

After a few minutes of staring at the e-mail, my heart beat returned to normal. Just spam. I pressed delete.

But when the second e-mail arrived today at lunch time, in the midst of a day where the to-do list was getting longer while the working week was getting shorter, it knocked me back again, and I took myself outside for a walk.

It felt faintly ridiculous to be teetering on the verge of emotion in Pret over an e-mail about, well, absolutely nothing at all - a warning to undisclosed recipients  not to click on any links in my previous e-mail, his e-mail got hacked, thanks. 

It felt stupid to feel slightly disappointed that it wasn't just to me, apologies with a by-the-way how are you.

It was alien to see his name come up and his words on the screen - no matter how impersonal they were.

And it's a strange thing to admit when you're an advocate of being single, taking what life throws at you and being happy with it, that you might actually want someone else now. Because deep down, you know a ridiculous spam e-mail sent to an entire address book wouldn't bother you so much if another person was on the scene.

Can you ever really get mended until you've moved on to someone else?


Jilly said...

'people' see being mended and moving in as being with someone else. Me ex got with someone quickly after our long relationship but I've not been in a rush. Sure it's always going to irke a bit but I can honestly say now that I don't care what he does, I'm ambivalent. I'm eaiting til I meet te right person. Why rush and potentially end up in the same situation? No siree

Jilly said...

Ps sorry for poor grammar/spelling - using my phone and it won't let me edit but I hope you et the point ;).

Redbookish said...

I'm not sure about whether it's being 'mended' or not: every experience changes us, so you never go back to how you were. But it could also be tat there are things in this life that are easier if one has the particular kind of emotional and physical support of a beloved (or whatever you want to call it). I think something that completely sucks about life is that even the best of friends aren't the same as that one person who's yours, and you his (or hers). I would love to get out of the toils and coils of romantic love, but according to my grandmother, these feelings persist until you're at least 90.

Anonymous said...

Honestly? I don't know. But I do know you can get childish enjoyment out of signing his email address up for a variety of wildly inappropriate websites.

Small minded? Me?

Amy said...

I don't think that getting with someone else will necessarily make you stop reacting like that to your ex. Some people will always impact you strongly and make your heart stop when you get a message from them. It might not even be because you want anything to happen romantically with them. You might be in the happiest relationship you could imagine but still hearing from someone else makes your whole day feel strange.

That being said, it doesn't mean you're never going to be mended. You're having fun, you're interested in other people, you're getting on with your life and generally being brilliant. I'd say that's pretty damn mended xx

Dominic said...

Ah yes, that sudden lurching sensation in the chest when a name suddenly pops up somewhere unexpected..

I wouldn't rely on the arrival of somebody else making it stop, tbh.

But if you ever figure out what will, do be sure to pass it on :)

em said...

Like some of the other people have said - i don't think, even when you 'move on' this stops happening. I am very much in love with my boyf, but when a fb message arrived from the ex after more than a year of no contact, and almost 4 apart, it made me feel a little odd. Not bc I want anything to ever happen again, but in a 'wow, i haven't seen that name for a while' way.
The reappearance of a name that meant so much is always going to make you stop - if only for a minute.... x

Sprinkledwords said...

I was wondering exactly that the other day, and had come to the conclusion that no, you can't, because there's always the fact that you'll miss them because you miss having a relationship, and though they were the wrong person for that and you might not want them back, there's still that "other half" void many of us try to convince ourselves doesn't exist, especially when we are trying hardest to forget about the one who last filled it.

But today, after deciding that I need to crush a very handsome and intelligent man's feelings within the next few days, I think perhaps that isn't true. Perhaps you can mend from the previous person without having a replacement lined up. I'd like to think so. It sounds healthier, doesn't it? Surely you can eventually come to a place where you can tell the difference between occasionally being lonely for the security of a relationship and being lonely for your ex.

But then, maybe I'm just in a particularly good self-esteem place today.

I'm glad you've been feeling so much better lately, and the reaction to that e-mail is perfectly normal. xx

P said...

I think you can FEEL mended but you never really will be until you move on.. because this other person has hurt you. I'm speaking from my own experience too here - my ex is with someone else and even though it wasn't under the same circumstances as your break-up, I feel like he is "winning the break-up" until I move on and find something better.

But it's a struggle internally because you don't WANT to find someone else purely to win and feel better about yourself, and I think that's a mistake a LOT of people make sadly. Catch 22.

London-Lass said...

Some people can have more of an impact on you than others. Not sure why this is. And, generally speaking, they are usually the biggest b*stards too.

I reckon you are pretty much well over him now - just there are still teeny tiny portions of your heart that have yet to catch up.

Blonde said...

I'm with Mud. Gay porn all the way.

(Sorry - that's about as constructive as I get today. But I think Amy made a good point. Sometimes, names will make you gulp. But I think that wears off with enough time.) xx

Anonymous said...

I think you move on with them with your head when you're single but you move on with your heart (and that lurch when you see ther name) when you meet someone new

Please Don't Eat With Your Mouth Open said...

Jilly - Completely agree with you there. I'm not one for moving on until I'm ready, I tried it last year and it didn't work!

Redbookish - I think that's it, the whole thing about friends just not filling the same gap. As much as you try and plug it, there's still that need for someone (human condition, I expect).

Mud - Genius. On it.

Amy - I feel mended. And you're right, there's still that little strange feeling you can get even when you're with someone and an old flame gets in contact. Can never truly break the connection, I suppose.

Dominic - The lurch in your stomach. Bleurgh. I will be sure to pass on any miracle cures I find...

Em- You're completely right. I don't think you ever escape that feeling especially when the contact is unexpected.

Sprinkledwords - I've read your comment a few times now - the last bit really struck a chord! Spot on, I think that's the difference - I'm definitely just lonely for someone else as opposed to my bastard ex. Thanks.

P - You're right about the "winning" thing - sad that it comes down to that, isn't it? I wondered whether my ex had moved on or is still with the girl he cheated on me with, and hope so badly he's not. Not because I want him. Just because I don't want him to be happy.

London lass - Yep, sod "it's always the quiet ones", I think "it's always the bastards" is a much more apt description.

Blonde - I know a few choice mailing lists that would welcome his email address. And yes, the gulp. The "what does HE want" gulp.

PJB - I think you've hit the nail on the head with that sentence.

Brennig said...

My ex just started following me on Twitter. How odd. After what she did and everything that went on in the fall-out? That threw me in to a mild state of confusion. And now I see the funny side of it. I think.

Ellie said...

Good question. The someone else might just be used for the mending and certainly facilitates the process .... But required for mending? Hmmm. Mulling.


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