Making a breakup stick.

Update! I added the widget. It makes me smile. Enjoy.

I’ve been thinking about adding a widget to my blog akin to “X days accident-free” signs found in industrial plants. “24 hours Tony-free” – which I would have to update if I contact him or reply to any outreach.

He doesn’t fully realize the nature of my goodbye. Granted, the last time I said goodbye (May 2015) I lasted a mere few months. I don’t blame him. No matter what I’ve said, he thinks we will be “friends”.

I didn’t think it worth my time or emotional energy to challenge his ridiculous and unrealistic beliefs about what would happen next. When he said we could now have play dates with our children, all I said was “oh and how are you going to explain who I am to Mary?” and he said “I will figure something out.”


I wasn’t as emotional as I thought I would be last week when we had our “big goodbye“. We met mid-afternoon and went to the three-bedroom Air B&B he rented for the night. It had an amazing mountain view. He bought champagne- the good stuff – and I brought a suitcase full of lingerie and toys. The night was amazing.

The next day was very low key; some amazing Lebanese takeout for lunch, hanging out on my couch, an afternoon movie. Dinner was at one of the best restaurants in the city. We were both rather subdued – for him it was his post-Ecstasy use, for me it was processing what was happening.

We didn’t have sex when we got back my place – it was late and we were over stuffed with food. As we fell asleep on my couch together I distinctly recall thinking “well, this is anticlimactic for our last night together”.

He woke me up before 6am and we had lazy yet intense morning sex. I was keenly aware it was last time – for a very very long time if ever – and I didn’t cry. Laying on his chest afterwards I certainly thought about how much I would miss those moments, but I felt no desire to talk about it. I didn’t need to hear anything from him – quite the contrary. His vague promises and comfort words just irritated me.

I told him I would need some time to not talk to him and he said “sure Ann, whatever you need.”

I’ve had moments of intense sadness but work has been more intense, which is a blessing. I had a date Saturday night with a lovely guy who massaged my feet and sent me to bed early. Another said he understood I was busy but didn’t want me to be “the one who got away” from him. I don’t believe my heartbreak from one can heal with another but the distraction helps.

I’m not sure if you believe in the universe giving you signs, but how’s this: Tony and I met on the 22nd of December. It had been 22 months we were together – to the day. I sent him an email to that effect, and he replied that in a 5 minute stop at his apartment that same day, the 22nd, his child broke a small glass sand timer I had bought Tony as a gift.

Our time was literally broken.

I’m listening, universe.

~60 hours and counting.

69 thoughts on “Making a breakup stick.

  1. Bahahaha! I read the title and thought ‘a breakup stick? to like, beat you up with?’ *laughs and laughs*

    GIMME THAT FUCKING THING! *grabby hands*


  2. Staying strong with you. My ex left what he thought was a snarky comment on a post of mine from the other day without knowing that the day after we broke up, I set his comments to deposit to my spam folder. A total passive agressive move that i won’t respond to because ‘When they go low, we go high’. πŸ’œ

  3. It’s interesting you are calling this a “breakup.” What do you think he told his wife he was doing while with you? (rereading this it sounds mean…I don’t mean it to be mean but just maybe a reminder of what a jerk he is). And have you deleted his number and other contacts from your phone? Oh, and when that sadness comes, SELF LOVE! Do you have a puppy or kitty? Maybe now is the perfect time to get one?? Or treat yourself to walks in mother nature, binge watching a series, or what ever else brings you happiness.

    • Hon, it’s been 22 months… his phone number and all contact info was memorized 21 months ago. I have a thing for numbers; they stick.
      What else am I supposed to call it? And why do you think I need a reminder of how much he’s lied to his wife?
      I have a kid, friends, family, work, wine… lots of things that bring me happiness.

      • Block his number, unfollow and block on all social media. Anything less than that is just ticking down the time until he pulls you back in.

        • Josh, here’s the thing. I don’t keep chips in my house because having easy access to them means I have a really hard time not eating them. So I usually don’t buy them. But if I want chips, I’m going to leave my house and go get them.
          I memorized his number ages ago – it just happens; I remember numbers of all kinds. My willpower relating to him can’t be so tenuous that seeing something of his on social media, or him sending me a text, sends me back.

          • Your logic makes no sense though. If you want to make a clean break and truly move on, make a clean damn break. The fact that you are still even allowing him the ability to text or call you, or the temptation of looking at his social media increases the likelihood that your willpower will be tested and eventually be found lacking. And everyone here knows he WILL try to text or call you. So why are you doing that to yourself, exactly? What is your logic for that? To test how strong your willpower is? What a useless game. What you *need* to do is let him go cleanly, once and for all, and that means blocking him from being able to reach out to you, or keep tabs on each other on social media.

            Yes, you may know his number by heart, and yes, YOU could still call or text HIM. But that requires a greater degree of action on your part than it does for HIM to call or reach out to YOU.

            Sorry, but your justification for not blocking him completely simply because you could still reach out to him is specious at best. Again, if you end up wanting to reach out to him, yes, you will do it. But that has nothing to do with blocking him completely from contacting YOU. Justify it any way you want, the fact that you won’t block him says you’re not really ready to let him go.

          • So…we have now progressed (devolved?) from bear poking to ursine sigmoidoscopy? πŸ˜’

          • Well, this “Inside Ann St. Vincent: A Probing, Intrusive Inquest” fortunately has yet to reach the depths of full-bore (if you will) colonoscopy. πŸ˜‰

          • Josh, I never said I decided to never talk to him again for the rest of my life. That’s not what I want. You can say I’m “not really ready to let him go”, but I am. I’m not going to have a romantic or intimate relationship with him. I’m not going to be friends. I don’t have to stop him from texting me in order to accomplish what I want. I’m taking the time I need – and he’s going to give it to me – in order to cut those ties. I won’t be communicating with him at all until I know my decision has fully set, like concrete. May be weeks, may be months. I don’t know and I’m not worrying about it now. I’m working on moving on and resisting reaching out when I have pangs of sadness. But I can tell you, there is nothing he would say or do right now that would have me back with him.

          • F.P., your tactic of painfully forced erudition as a way to try to get into Ann’s pants is tired, bud. Plastic wrap is less transparent. πŸ˜‰

            Ann, you say that you’re not going to have a romantic or sexual relationship with Tony. You say you’re not going to be friends with Tony. So it raises the question. If you’re not going to be partners, you’re not going to be lovers and you’re not going to be friends with Tony, what is left? *What is the point of keeping the lines of communication open with him then, exactly?*

            Obviously you’re not going to cut Tony out completely, and that’s your choice, but for all your protestations, you still haven’t given a single good reason for not doing so.

          • First of all, I’m not trying to “protest” anything.

            I think I wrote – but could have imagined it – about my definition of “friends”. Bottom line is I can’t see myself being in regular contact with Tony, ever. I’m not going to be dropping texts daily or weekly and hearing about his day-to-day experience. We aren’t going to be hanging out on a regular basis, and certainly not going on playdates with our children. That’s what I think about when I think about my friends.

            For as long as Tony and I are still in love, a true friendship isn’t going to work.

            But can I see a time when every once in a while, maybe every three months, we have a text exchange or a phone call? Perhaps. Why? Because I care about him, and because frankly I want to see what, if anything, he does about his situation. But I’m not making a call about that either way. I could see myself getting to a place where I don’t want to / need to talk to him ever… or perhaps a place where once a quarter works just find and doesn’t send me down a path I can’t travel anymore.

            I don’t know. I’m not trying to guess. I know that right now there can’t be any contact until I get used to it – until not having him in my life is a habit.

          • Ann, you’re acting as if blocking him now is something that can never be undone. Not to belabor the point, but if you agree that there can’t be any contact with Tony until you get used to it, or things are set in “concrete”, that argues even more strongly for blocking him for now. You can always unblock him and re-establish some sort of contact down the road, AFTER enough time has passed that you know you’re safe.

            If there can’t be any contact with Tony for now, but you’re leaving the lines of communication open for him to reach out to you while you’re still trying to move on, then you are needlessly adding to the temptation at a time when you need to be the strongest. And I can’t for the life of me understand why you insist on making things harder for yourself when there’s a simple and easy way to reduce the risks for now.

          • Josh – I need to know that I can be strong even if he reaches out… which he won’t in the near term because he said he would give me time and if he’s worried I will be angry at his contact he won’t do it. And I know I’m already strong about this. Really.

          • >And I know I’m already strong about this. Really.

            Hence the need for a Tony contact widget on your site, of course. πŸ˜‰

          • Josh – enough already. It was a joke…a fun reminder. Especially since with working insane amounts these days, I would guess it’s been 10 days since I’ve talked to him and it’s been much less.

        • I’ve had his number memorized for a long time – I just tend to remember numbers of all kinds. And honestly, I’d like to think my commitment to sticking to my plans is not to tenuous that a random Instagram post or text will have me fall off the wagon. Just like having chips in the house – I don’t buy them because I tend to eat them. But when I want them, I go get them πŸ™‚

  4. Hugs, Ann. While some seem to pounce on this news with glee, I feel melancholy for you. You are doing the exact right thing, but no one ever said “right” was easy. I have a “Tony” sized hole in my life and time passes but the loss remains. I’ve built paths to cover the hole so I can cross it, but haven’t mastered filling it back in yet. So here’s to building bridges (or filling holes!).

  5. Oh, Josh, you flatterer…😌
    My remarks are constipated, tedious, obvious? Hot damn–praise from Caesar, indeed.

    Ms. St. Vincent, wearyingly, we see that today brings only further gastrointestinal exploration. 😏

  6. hahahahaha your widget made me laugh. A lot.

    Its a good thing I dont have one of those, bc it would be negative… or always resetting. #fail. #butalsoslightlydifferentcircumstances #onedaymaybeIllblogaboutitonceIamsurehowthestoryendsoratleasthowifeelaboutit


        (90 days is pretty good, methinks.)

        (Im actually trying out the friend route – since I see him 3x a week for dance class. Its interesting. Surprisingly working out, mostly. I go back to the premise that once something inside of you breaks, proximity is irrelevant. You are safe.)

        • Lol I’m soooo with you on this. Love your last line about proximity. I know that being with him solo in private is really dangerous for me because we are like magnets and the physical compatibility could take over. But other than that a text message isn’t going to send me over the edge.

          • Hey to both of you!! I have enough arguing in my life – plenty to go around – can’t you all just get along? I know you’re both trying to help me, you’re just doing it in very different way. 😘😘

          • Bah.

            I do my bit by not replying to comments I disagree with. Or reading them.

            But if someone singles me out pointedly, and addresses me directly, I do allow myself one response to indicate that’s not how this works, before settling back into indifference. πŸ™‚

          • I practice radical honesty. I don’t sugar coat anything and I don’t coddle anyone, nor do I expect everyone to agree with my approach or opinions, but apparently that’s ruffled the feathers of more than one poster, and I’m not looking to make any aspect of your life any more turbulent with my approach that seems to rub others here the wrong way.

            So I’m going to respectfully bow out, and I truly wish you all the best in the rest of your journey and story, wherever it takes you. Be well, Ann.


            Uh huh. Sure.

  7. I also don’t want Josh to bow out. He may be the only one that gives the hard, bold truth. Even though it’s hard to hear, that viewpoint needs to be heard, too. People just need to respect others’ viewpoints, even when they’re not similar to their own.

  8. Nothing but support from me Ann… Oh and virtual Hugs! And yes I’ve had a hole or two in my own love life I’ve had to fill in with pebbles at first then concrete. It’s the waiting for it to set that is the hardest at times. Your resolve is strong and I’m glad you’ve reached this point.

  9. Back to my rounds reading my favorite blogs and its good to catch up. I wanted to apologize here for perhaps doubting your resolve to break up with Tony in my terse comment a few posts back with regard to the wisdom of following through with that Last Huzzah of a weekend. I know all too well the challenges of trying to move on from a man who will never be available, yet still claims to have some need for you in their life, and my spikiness came from a place of projection. We do what we can do – one foot in front of the other. What matters more is how sane and grounded you feel in the moment, and you seem to be doing really well right now. I love the widget! I used to be a nuclear physicist, studying things that centered around rare events and slow decays. One variable that was of great interest was the inter-event time (IET), and I have often thought about that in the context of frequency of contact between two people in a relationship. its not so much the singular event that matters, but the trend that occurs over the course of time. meaning, if you break no-contact with him, its not the end of the world. Keep track of how long that first period of no contact was (or IET), reset the clock, and start measuring again.

    • Thank you for your comment… your mention of it not being the end of the world should I break down and reach out was rather timely, as you may have seen from my subsequent post.

      It was okay to have doubt; lots of people have and with good reason. It was a long time coming. I feel very sane and very grounded.

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