Jamie Shupak is the Emmy-nominated traffic reporter for NY1, the Big Apple cable network that’s the end-all and be-all on all things Gotham for New Yorkers. She’s also a beautiful, single woman navigating New York’s treacherous dating scene after the painful breakup of a 10-year relationship. In her weekly column she’ll share her war stories and offer her advice and admonitions.
“I think we’re too young to be so serious. I love you and don’t want to be with any other girls; it’s not about that. I’m really confused and just need some space.”
I’ll never forget the night back in February of 2002 when my boyfriend of two years fed me that line, dumping me just one week after Valentine’s Day. He had just bought me jewelry and told me he was going to love me forever. If you had looked outside my second floor room that night, you’d have found my heart somewhere on the pavement, smashed to pieces by his cowardly excuse for a breakup. Confused? Needs space? Not about other girls? As soon as I realized that it was, in fact, only about other girls, I went out and met another guy. We dated for the next few months, but it wasn’t even that long until what’s-his-face came crawling back.
He was on a mission to get me back, and came equipped with all the right lines. He hadn’t slept with that girl in my writing class or stopped loving me, even while flirting with every girl in the bar. Or the one I could have used to pen a book entitled How to Get Your Ex Back—that he would never hurt me again. I leapt back in his arms faster than my 20-year-old self could chug a beer.
Fast-forward nine years to this past September and there we were again. Same guy, same cowardly “I just need some space” routine, but this time with so much more to lose—we were living together, we had a dog together, and I had a ring on my finger. Difference was, I had grown up. I gave back the ring and moved out.
Familiarity and comfort in a relationship are qualities a lot of people crave, but allow me to be your cautionary tale. There’s a reason why an ex is an ex. I was young and in love, so I believed him when he promised he had changed. Circumstances and situations can change, the weather and your weight can change, and while a person can grow up and mature, I’m not sure their core values ever really change.
We’re taught from a pretty young age about the benefits of recycling, to try and use old glass, paper, plastic, and electronics to make new versions of the same product. It’s crucial to saving our air, water, and planet. But when it comes to dating, should you leave your ex in the proverbial landfill, or try to recycle her? And what about a friend of an ex, or the ex of a friend; do the same rules apply?
Click to the next page to find out.