fb-pixel Skip to main content
LOVE LETTERS

‘I have an e-mail all queued up’ for my ex. Should I send it?

He wants to express his feelings correctly after the end of a strange relationship with someone who was important in his life.

Love Letters

I’m a man in my early 30s and recently fell into something strange and new with someone important in my life who’d ended a long-term relationship. She initiated it over the span of a few months and then ended it for sensible reasons; she’s not feeling emotionally available, and caretaking responsibilities will likely send me away, maybe permanently. We also share professional circles (another concern) and lead rich lives separately.

There was physical and emotional intimacy but never sex; we both felt on different occasions that it was a bridge we didn’t want to cross. I welcome the possibility of a lasting relationship with her but I don’t believe the moment is right. I feel like I navigated the waters as best I could, but reading other letter writers has me second-guessing.

Advertisement



I am compelled to say something to her for some kind of coda and to express how I feel correctly. What’s the accepted and appropriate thing to do here? I feel like some words would bring me — and perhaps her — some kind of (dis)closure, but I understand the need for space. It would also be the first time in my life I’ve ever done this (previous relationships were simple fades and frankly did not reach this level of intensity). I have an e-mail all queued up but part of me thinks it’s an exercise for solely myself.

– Parting Words

A. If she asked you not to talk to her, don’t reach out. If communication was left open, sure, go ahead.

Disclosures can feel good at the end of a relationship, and if you believe there’s confusion about your feelings, sending that e-mail could help.

But do not send anything until you understand exactly what you’re telling her. Are you asking to get back together? I assume not. Are you telling her you’d like to consider spending time with each other in the future? Are you simply showing gratitude for the time you spent together? If you could boil it down to two sentences — a thesis statement — what would the note say? Make sure you’re very clear about the message.

Advertisement



The e-mail can also be short. Like, “I want you to know that it felt nice to be with you. I hope that if we’re ever in the same place (mentally and physically), we can try this again. Let me know if the stars align, and in the meantime, I hope you’re well.” If that’s it, that’s it.

Before you hit the button, consider how you might feel if there’s no response — or a short one. Part of the issue is that she’s emotionally unavailable, right? She might not have the bandwidth to match your tone, and that’s OK. Her response might be a “thank you” with some well wishes. That’s its own coda, by the way. Even a non-response counts as closure.

– Meredith

READERS RESPOND

Reaching out is the complete antithesis of closure. You’re trying to keep it alive like some zombie relationship. PEREAGAIN

When someone tells you they’re done with the relationship, you LISTEN to what they say and move on. BKLYNMOM

I think the ball is in her court if she ended it. Probably best to keep it to nice memories. She knows you both enjoyed it. HOLLYIVY

Advertisement



You’re not looking for closure. You’re looking for an excuse to talk with her about your feelings for her. ADAM-NO-SPACE

Open the tab and fill out the form and hit submit. That's it! Keep a look out for your question in the next Love Letters.