Arrow-right Camera
News >  Features

Ask friends to stop reporting about ex

Dear Carolyn: I recently ended a long-term relationship with someone I loved but knew was not “the one.” It’s been a hard breakup for me, ending what was such an important part of my life, and I’m taking my time adjusting.

He met someone new soon after. I know this is fair and want him to be happy, but I keep getting reports from mutual friends that they’re doing things together that were traditions we’d started, and I’m in a bad rut, comparing myself to her and, despite my being the one who ended it, feeling our relationship was insignificant to him and that I’m easily replaced. Any thoughts? – Washington, D.C.

You can ask your friends to stop reporting his whereabouts, for starters. If his name comes up in passing, so be it, but the way you’ve described it here, people are depositing news of these sightings like cats leaving mice on your doorstep. You don’t need to know, and they don’t need to tell you.

More important than adjusting your friends’ behavior, though, is adjusting your frame of mind. You see his quick “recovery” as evidence you didn’t matter. Maybe so. When someone isn’t “the one” for us, it’s disappointing. But when we aren’t “the one” for someone else, it’s personal.

I could also argue, though, that his speed in finding somebody, paired with his putting your special places on his new itinerary, means he wants you back, and this is as close as it gets.

Of course, it’s also possible there is no “the one” with this guy so much as “the current one.” That happens, too.

Regardless, you’re regrouping, and so is he. That’s the forest. His ways and whereabouts are just so many trees.

E-mail Carolyn at, or chat with her online at 9 a.m. Pacific time each Friday at