My Meet Up With My Ex

Thank you everyone for your thoughtful responses to the last Ask Holly Jean question.

For those who are interested... my column on MyFatPocket this week is on whether it's wise to choose a partner who is an opposite of you?


So it's Thursday... I met my ex Mark on Monday. It's had 3 days to sink in.

On Monday morning, I shot a video clip thingy at SPH ...just a short mobile phone review. Will show you when it's done.

We managed to shoot it a lot faster than I expected so I thought it was a good idea to meet Mark since I was already close to town.

We had spoken about meeting up a few times before, but I never felt strong enough... you know? Like I go about doing my everyday things... and move on... but I'd rather sit on a bag of nails than sit down and reminisce the happy times we had together.

I thought I was strong enough on Monday so I thought yes... it's time. Plus I hadn't seen him in 5 weeks since the break up. He also had some clothes to give back to me because I forgot to take the stuff that was still in the laundry basket with me when I left last time.

We met at La Strada. I was early....comfortably seated inside... and I thought.. ok... this isn't so bad. I can take it. And then it happened.

I saw him.

I could see him approaching La Strada because it's all glass. And immediately, I had to look away.

In that short glimpse, his shape, his stride, the air about him, was all too familiar. I know him. I know him like I know myself.

I don't know how to describe in words what I felt.... but it's like.. partly like something wrenching at my heart, and the eyes just automatically well up with hot tears. To compose myself I had to blow out through my mouth as I breathed.

When he finally reached the table, I was composed. He made a joke, pointing at me and audibly saying " Are you my date??" As if it were an awkward first date... people started looking... haha.. how embarrassing.

So I stood up, we hugged. That was all too familiar too. His scent, his feel, his warmth. It's almost as if everything were exactly the same. Yet we were not together anymore.

We updated each other on our activities. I also talked about who I was dating, which he seemed fine about. Then he mentioned that he might start dating soon... which I didn't like hearing. But that's life I guess.

It was a good meet up. I never realised how much I missed his company and how well he knows me and that there isn't a need for any walls or borders when I talk to him.

That's normal i guess since we spent almost a whole year really getting to know each other. We were planning to get married and have kids. You don't just reach that point in your minds with someone you hardly know.

Then it made me worry... what if I never find someone I know as well and who knows me as well as Mark & I know each other?

Maybe I'm feeling like that because I've only really been dating a couple of weeks now ( like maybe 5, not 5 different people!). I cannot compare the connections I make now ( so new and in its infancy) to the bond I have with Mark... cos then no one would measure up. It isn't fair.

And dating now is actually going well. It's a shame I can't just let go and enjoy it... I always second guess myself... and something keeps telling me it's doomed for failure so don't get too attached/used to him. Of course, I cannot keep the breaks on for long... I'm a full on person when it comes to matters of the heart. But I don't want to fail again... it's soul crushing.

I don't know what the future holds... and I don't like this feeling of uncertainty. If I don't let go of the old, there'll be no space for the new. But do I even want something new? With all the risks, and effort involved? That's all going through my mind now :( Yet if I I give my relationship with Mark another go... how will it be any better eventually if both of us are still the same ... won't it end in a split up again?! Then again... the new could be better but there's no promise of things working out... Outcome could be a happy forever after... or could be shit after a year.

And for the life of me... when I try to put myself back to how I felt 3 weeks or so before the actually break up.... Which to me was the worst point of our relationship... I remember waking up each day feeling lost and desperate to repair things.... but for the life of me, I cannot actually put myself back to that point to feel those emotions. I cannot feel what it was like.

Maybe it was too brief in the context of the whole relationship. Or maybe I erased it.

Ok, I'm beginning to ramble. I'll be quiet for a bit now.


  1. Celestina8:15 am

    Hey HJ
    Looks like u hv not fully let go yet.. okok!! who will for such short time frame rite? I knw.. but u already started dating & im sure, to b fair to yr new date u jus goto learn to let go & move on!

    of course im glad Mark is dating soon too & im sure both of u wil start a new charpter of yr luv lives respectively..

    Keep te gd memories & start yr love life anew. Yes i knw te fear u hv for te future & whether tings wil wk out or nt.

    tere again, tat's life rite? nvr try, nvr knw. no one can take heartaches but yet we yearn for love so much...

    U wil be strong if you choose to be, gal : )

  2. Hi HJ,

    It is never easy to let go of something good but holding on to something that was not meant to be put usin Limbo Land which i hate. In anycase, when my past relationships didn't work out, I have developed a mechanism for me to just focus on all the flaws of that persn, it was the only way that i can gather enough courage to let go and move on. Total detachment especially any forms of contact will be good (at least just for now). For sure in time to come, u will realise that all ur ex-es brought out somthing good in you and they have something complimentary to the relationship too but perhaps not now. Stay focus on yourself. You have all attributes to lead a happy life, to be a great partner to that ONE person. I wish you luck babe :)


  3. Anonymous10:19 am

    Hey Holly,

    Did Mark suggest getting back together already? Is that option on the plate?

  4. Anonymous10:25 am

    I honestly, believe it is wrong that you are 5 dates along with a new person when this kind of emotional turmoil is still outstanding with your ex.

    You're not giving the new guy the fresh start he deserves - it's not fair on him.

    So many of your readers have said you needed to take a proper break, and heal, etc. But you've just totally ignored them, and carried on regardless.

    Maybe I'm too traditional, but how can anyone honestly think that they are ready for a new emotional commitment to someone new when they're welling-up at the dining table on first sight of their ex..?

    Dating isn't supposed to be used as a tool to get over the last person.

  5. Anonymous11:49 am

    Hi Holly,

    It looks like you have not gotten over Mark, and not exactly ready to date. You had a real strong emotional bond with Mark and letting go of it is not going to be easy, and dating other guys will not help. I would suggest giving it some time to cool the hurt following the break up with Mark, this time off will really help and following that you can really decide (without making irrational choices due to your emotional unstability) what you want to do.

    It reminds me of the time when me and my current partner broke up a year ago. It shook me up, I relied on him so much and we had a bond I thought could never be broken. I tried dating other guys to get him off my mind, but the fact that I was still seeing him (for friendly dinners, coffee, etc.) made things so difficult. All it took was a long time off from each other to think things through and figure out what we want that made us realise we really wanted to be with each other and we could sort out the kinks and live with each other's quirks. And we've been together ever since, for 3 years. :-)

    Don't worry Holly, you're a strong girl and I am sure you will figure out things and eventually do what you want to do and know is right.


  6. HJ

    Being alone sometimes is healthy. Thats what friends are for. They are there to give you support, to help you through the times of pain and tears. They are there to cheer you up and allow you to move on. I strongly suggest that you make full use of these wonderful people around you instead of plunging yourself into the dating scene to do so.

    Speaking from my own personal experience after a break up, the last thing you want to do is to get your vulnerable heart exposed to the pitfalls of the love game. Do not get me wrong, I am not all against dating again but I feel that giving myself this time and space to think about how I can be a better partner or if things is just not happening on the dating scene, rediscover myself as an idividual and spend time with all my friends and family members.

    Who are we to say if you are ready or not? Only you yourself can attest to that and if you feel that the time is not right, no one will laugh or sneer at you for being alone. In fact be proud and embrace independence as a strong lady whose life can be just as perfect with or without a man.

    To end it all, nice girls always lose. Thats what I have learnt. Women like that bad streak in men and more often than not, we see that around us. How about twisting that around and inject a little badness in us to give the men a run for their love and attention?

    Take Care

  7. Anonymous9:12 pm

    if your never comfortable being by yourself you will never be ready for a relationship that lasts. Something important has just ended and 5 weeks later your hoping to allow room for the new? Be still. Learn to be you. Cause if your always looking back or looking forward you never really see where you are standing right now, and that would be a shame.

  8. Anonymous10:10 pm

    anon 9:12 - like your last sentence

  9. Anonymous10:43 pm

    Hi Holly,

    First, allow yourself TIME to heal from a breakup. It is really hard to let go of a person that you thought you loved. Let yourself feel however you need to, get it out of your system, and you will be ready to move past those feelings faster.

    Realize that you are BETTER OFF. This may be the hardest step to do, but you must take into consideration that you broke up for a REASON. You can find someone much more compatible with you. Don't jump back into the dating scene too soon though. Your heart is already broken and it may take a while for that to HEAL.

    Whatever you do, don't idealize the PAST relationship. When people break up they often remember the relationship as being much better than it actually was. Remember why you broke up, and this of these more sour parts of the relationship whenever you start to miss it.

    I don't think you should date other guys right now. I think you should take some time to be on your OWN, and heal from this trauma, so no need to jump right back to dating someone. It's not fair to the poor unsuspecting guy either--they couldn't get a fair shot from you right now. You're not in the position to offer that.

  10. Anonymous12:08 am

    Have you not heard of the saying once bitten twice shy? How could you date again within 5 weeks? This happened when you broke up in your previous relationship as well. If it's a fling you're going for then sorry to say you are well aware what the final outcome is...

  11. hi holly,

    i'm going through a breakup just like you are right now, i know how hard it is to let go and move on. i read your other readers comments some saying how its not fair to date others because you are not in a position to offer them a fresh start. but the thing is, i can agree with what your doing. because i'm doing the same thing too. its not about dating, its more of a distraction that you want. i know its selfish, but sometimes i rather just not deal with the pain and go out with someone who's interesting and new and capable of providing a few hours of distractions.

    i'm prolly get alot of readers saying sheesh wth. but hang in there HJ, one day you'll get through it. (:

  12. Anonymous1:37 am

    The first few days of the break up is the hardest; can also be the first month.

    You feel alone, though, your friends and family are looking after you. In fact,they have been trying very hard to entertain you and keep you company to help you forget. Yes, you may be alone but you should not allow yourself to become lonely. Sometimes, you can control the pain - if you only set your mind to it.

    If you only tell yourself, you can move on. But, how does one move on after break up? Precisely, there are ways that can aid a person in moving on - like dating.

    Why not? You deserve to be happy - again. Going on dates does not mean you are too in hurry to be on a relationship again. It can only mean you need a company or someone volunteers to be your company to entertain you and help you forget
    all the things that had happened to you. Of course, forgetting will not take place in a snap of a hand; it will take time. But, at least you are going toward that direction. However, when is the right time to go on a date? Is it a day after your breakup with your boyfriend? Is it after a week? Or,
    can it be after a month?

    If you decide to go out with someone after a week of breakup, it will not matter. Who cares about what people may think about you? It's your life, anyway,
    and you are the one that's hurting - not them. But, if you do care, a month or two after your heart-breaking experience will do. It is the right time for you
    to move on . You should have enough.

    If he has his own life now, you must realize, though, you also have your own. But, a reminder, dating should not be a race between you and your former
    boyfriend. You should not go out with someone all because he did go out on a date, too. You heart and mind should still be the one to tell you when you are prepared to see another 'prospect'. Your heart and mind should tell you if it's time.

  13. firstly... I underestimated how tight my bond and feelings for Mark is.

    But Yes. If nothing has changed between us, then the relationship (if rekindled) will be exactly the same, the same old problems.

    I realise, that in order to make any r'ship work...i have to change too. But I am aware that I am myself and I can bend but I cannot do a 360. I am who I am.

    I need a little more time to really be sure what's right. It's a battle of heart and brain. Yet neither the heart nor the brain is telling me to go either way.

    Will keep you updated.

    Meanwhile, I will live life the way it makes me happy.

  14. Hi Jean,

    after reading your entry, i feel that my heart crunch a little. No idea y.. but I guess because i put myself into your shoes.

    I can feel the pain when you love someone whole heartly but cant be together.

    I have a 4 years relationship and frankly speaking, i'm afraid this would happen to me. But you are much more stronger than me girl. You can pull it through quite fast. If its me i think i will go insane!

    Maybe you can do a post on how to maintain a heathly relationship and how to get over such situation? Cause i think it wil do some help for me and some trouble girls out there too...

  15. I'm not feeling good recently too, cos my sis just broke up with her bf of 5 yrs. I know it's tough for her when she also needs to cope with her studies. I just hope time will heal the wound quickly. Take care gal, you will find someone better!

  16. Hi HJ,

    It never feels good to have your heart feel this way. I know cause i give up someone i love 1 yr back and i am still regreting the loss. Don't worry. You will be fine, we all will be. Let's hope time will heal. Remember you are not alone.

  17. Anonymous3:29 pm

    Hi HJ,

    Did your ex (Mark) give you any Birthday present even though you are no longer together anymore?

    Beside texting you a Birthday wish, did he give you any present when you met him on that day?

    What is your view if an ex bf buy a present for his ex gf even though they are no longer together. The guy initiated the break up though.

    The ex bf sent an overseas birthday present to his ex gf.

  18. Anonymous3:48 pm

    cont'd .....

    Is it a common gesture from an ex bf to buy a birthday present to his ex gf?

    I have never came across such gesture from my previous ex bfs. I still remain friends with some of my previous ex bfs, the most they do is to text me a birthday wish, that's all.

    He's happened to be white.

  19. no.. Mark didn't get a a birthday gift. But he did SMS me from Spain around midnight on my birthday (while I was at F1 rocks). My Ex,exBF SKye was the first to sms. he has always been the first for bdae greetings on the dot at midnight for the past 5 years now.haha.

    but no, I don't think it's common to receive a gift from an ex. don't think whether he's asian or white has anything to do with it.

    and I don;t think u shld get your hopes up and readtoo much into the gifts.

    looong time ago, one of my exes gave me perfume for christmas... still remember it was a Davidoff box set even though he left me abt 2 weeks before.

    ANd I thought.. OMG he might want to get back.. still cares for me....etc... but no. nothing of the sort.

    sometimes these gestures can be out of guilt, or it's a selfish move to keep you thinking and being reminded about them. but most probably.. it's justa bdae gift to say happy birthday my new friend whom I still care about.

    what do others think??

  20. Anonymous1:27 pm

    Hi HJ,

    Thanks for replying. Appreciated :)

    Thanks for telling me your past experiences.(regarding the BD)

    My ex did ever told me that he still cares alot for me even though he is in the UK for good.

    None of my previous ex-es(asian) still care for me after we were no longer together.( not to mention texting BD wishes or other greetings, they said remain as friends but "POOF" literally.Ha ha!)

    So far, this ex(white) is particularly concern over my well-being and i deeply aprreciated.

    Once, he did wanna sponsored me a round trip to visit him in the UK but I did not go due to work.


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